Professionalism is one of SPD’s service quality values. In conjunction with our Professionals’ Day which falls on 4 September this year, we bring you a new five-part weekly series on our staff and how they do their utmost to maintain high professional standards to deliver better care to our clients.
In this first installment, senior communications and outreach executive Melissa Tan finds out more from senior physiotherapist Nurul Atiqah on how her work helps enable her clients to realise their full potential.
1. Hello Atiqah! Tell us more about yourself.
Hi there! I am Atiqah, and I am a physiotherapist. I started working in SPD in 2013 after graduating with a diploma in physiotherapy from the School of Health and Social Sciences from Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP). I work mainly with elderly clients who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their ability to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives.
2. How does your role as a physiotherapist help people with disabilities?
Physiotherapy is a treatment to restore, maintain and make the most of a patient’s mobility, function and well-being, so that they can reintegrate into the community as much as possible.
As a physiotherapist, client care remains my top priority to ensure that continuity of care is given while under our care and when they are discharged from the centre. Other than a clinical role, I also guide my team members in ensuring service standards and support the centre manager when required.
3. What motivated you to join this profession?
Since young, I have always wanted to make a difference in the lives of others in need. When I was in secondary school, my late grandfather sustained two strokes and that made me realised that I wanted to work in a profession that could help others with the same condition.
When I attended an open house at a polytechnic, someone handed me a brochure about a physiotherapy course. I knew it was something that I would enjoy learning and I decided to apply for the course. Doing my physiotherapy placement in my final year reaffirmed my passion to serve the community.
4. What are the key attributes to performing well in this job? Why do you think so?
Other than possessing the skills and knowledge in physiotherapy, it is important for physiotherapists to have patience, tact, be a good team player, and be forward-thinking. we also need to consider our clients’ expectations and be empathetic towards their circumstances and predicaments. Teamwork and seamless communication between all those working with the client are crucial aspects of community practice as all of us may be working on different locations and schedules.
5. Are there any memorable moments at work that you have had so far?
Definitely! I remember the time when I received a lot of support and encouragement from my management and colleagues when I wanted to further my studies.
They made sure that I sent in completed documents to the university for my application and even prepared me for the sponsorship and admission interviews with the university! I felt very touched by their efforts in my journey in growing professionally.
Another moment would be the times my clients came back to visit me after their discharge. It was so rewarding to see them walk with so much confidence!
6. Any word of advice for others who are considering joining this profession?
Being a physiotherapist isn’t just about changing people’s lives. In the long run, it can also be a rewarding journey for yourself too!