National Healthcare Group (NHG)
Special Features | Healthcare

Fully Transparent With His Patients

National Healthcare Group (NHG) Diagnostics Radiographer and Healthcare Scholar Christopher Ong tells us how his radiographic images aid in diagnosing and addressing patients' ailments.

Radiographers form an essential constituent of the healthcare equation. By combining their clinical experience and technical skills, radiographers employ imaging techniques and obtain radiographic evidence to facilitate diagnoses, clinical management as well as treatment of patients’ diseases and injuries.

At NHG Diagnostics, Radiographer Christopher Ong makes it a point to ensure these images are clear and patients will receive the most accurate radiography results via the latest digital technology and diagnostic imaging modalities.

For a staff who believes in NHG’s vision of ‘Adding Years of Healthy Life’, Christopher’s work has gone beyond adding years of healthy life – it is also about carrying out the challenging yet rewarding task of preventing illness, preserving health and maintaining patients’ quality of life.

What First Sparked Your Interest In The Healthcare Sector?

Christopher Ong: I attended a scholarship talk which was jointly organised by Nanyang Polytechnic and the National Health Group (NHG). I was attracted to the course of study as it would allow me to experience life abroad and a career within the healthcare sector.

"I was attracted to the course of study as it would allow me to experience life abroad and a career within the healthcare sector."

I was also particularly intrigued by how radiologic images were translated into diagnoses that determine which medical treatments are to be administered. One example would be the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines – the science behind the formation of images is absolutely fascinating!

What Are Some Interesting Highlights Of Your Scholarship Journey?

Christopher: My University (the University of Newcastle) provides students with a good and productive learning environment. I was given the opportunity to work with a team to publish a poster for the Combined Scientific Meeting 2014. Throughout the preparation, we received invaluable guidance from our mentors which was immensely beneficial for us. The study allowed me to tour around the country during the semester breaks and I concluded Tasmania to be one of my favorite cities!

I was also attached to Sydney’s Westmead Hospital, one of the largest Australasian Level 1 Trauma Centres. The eye-opening experience allowed me to learn a great deal from the local radiographers and doctors. Not only do they nurture a pleasant working environment, they also greatly encourage communication among doctors, nurses and the Allied Health professionals.

Tell Us More About Your Roles And Responsibilities As A Radiographer.

Christopher: I start each day by setting up the X-ray machine and carrying out necessary checks. Throughout the day, I will perform the various types of X-ray projections requested by doctors. Once the reports are ready, I will dispatch the reports and X-ray films to doctors or patients. Patients usually have the misconception that X-ray examinations will lead to cancer. Being a radiographer, I think it is my duty to explain that the dose one receives from a single X-ray examination (0.02w mSv) is roughly equivalent to that of the exposure to cosmic radiation from a flight from Darwin to Perth (0.016mSv).

Other than my usual duties, I am also required to interact with patients and understand their medical problems. Sometimes, patients may not be able to assume certain positions which are ideal for the requested X-ray projection – hence, I must always think ahead and modify certain techniques so that they will experience lesser discomfort or pain.

Christopher Ong Eng Kiat
Healthcare Scholar

Radiographer, NHG Diagnostics

Bachelor of Medical Radiation
Science (Diagnostic Radiography),
University of Newcastle, Australia

"At times, they share with me their various life stories which give me a clearer perspective of some of the struggles they face and how they triumph over adversity."

What Do You Find Fulfilling About Your Job?

Christopher: I enjoy interacting with the patients, understanding their conditions and offering my support. At times, they share with me their various life stories which give me a clearer perspective of some of the struggles they face and how they triumph over adversity. I’m glad that my time abroad has honed my communication and interpersonal skills and put me in a better position to carry out my daily work duties.

What Advice Would You Have For Aspiring Healthcare Scholars?

Christopher: Aspiring Healthcare Scholars should look out and apply for voluntary positions in the healthcare sector. This will give them a glimpse of their prospective workflow which will help them understand the common challenges faced by healthcare professionals. A cultivation of good interpersonal skills is also tantamount to their confi dence to interact with patients on a daily basis and for all their future endeavours.

It is also important to have an open mind and be receptive to feedback and criticism. This will unequivocally help them to grow and expand their learning potential. Lastly, they should not be afraid to speak up and to ask questions. The Healthcare Scholarship will offer you the opportunity to study and experience life abroad, as well as pursue a meaningful career in the healthcare sector.