Poh Leng (extreme right) introduces an equipment to students on a visit to Cardiac Lab.
When Koh Poh Leng joined NHCS as a Cardiac Technologist back in 2007, she did not foresee landing herself into the world of education. Now, as a senior executive with the training arm of Cardiac Laboratory, Poh Leng has been developing and implementing training programmes for Cardiac Laboratory.
Pok Leng’s nurturing and approachable nature, and her dedication in training and improvement have led her to the winning of the Residency in SingHealth Excels (RiSE) – Partners-In-Education Award (Non-Physician Faculty). This award is a first for NHCS and definitely a well-deserved recognition for her commitment in shaping the learning journey of our healthcare workers.
More from the aspiring young educator below.
What are your roles in Cardiac Training?
I coordinate the entire learning plan for the trainee attachment programmes in Cardiac Lab, and ensure the trainees receive necessary support and adapt well to the environment. Before the pandemic hit, we used to receive about 70 trainees from various institutions each year. They include students from Singapore Polytechnic pursuing Diploma in Biomedical Science (Cardiac Technology), medical and nursing students on attachment, and residents from various disciplines such as Cardiology, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Respiratory and Anesthesiology. In addition, I manage in-house training programmes and training records for my department.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
It would definitely be the interactions that I have with the attachment trainees as well as having free rein to create and organise training materials. I enjoy listening to the trainees sharing what they have learnt at our lab and gathering feedback on areas of improvement. I also love meeting overseas fellows who would share stories of their hometown and how their hospitals conduct training. Their generous sharing and honest feedback often provide me with insights on how I can further improve my training programme. This helps me to better manage the expectations of future trainees and highlight to them, what they need to look out for.
Analysing and organising details are some of my favourite to-dos! I am grateful to be given the opportunity and creativity space to plan and organise training materials such as scheduling and devising assignments. I constantly look for ways to improve the training administrative process and enhance everyone’s learning experience.
What challenges did you encounter when you first took on your training role?
I fondly remember my very first assignment of students from Singapore Polytechnic in 2009. I was then new to the role and unfamiliar with the work processes. It was also the biggest class we had encountered – a total of 19 wonderful and cheerful girls!
An old but treasured photo of Poh Leng (in purple) with her first batch of students in 2009.
Through this assignment, I learnt to be independent though with some trial and errors along the way, and building on what was handed to me by my predecessor. I appreciated the support from the school, invaluable advice from my supervisor and care from fellow colleagues. It was truly heartwarming to see that the students enjoyed their time in NHCS and the appreciative gesture of gifting sunflowers to all cardiac technologists on their last day of attachment.
Following that, I attended courses to gain more experience and knowledge on how to sharpen the delivery of training programmes.
What changes do you hope to see in your area of work or NHCS’ educational environment in general?
I have many wonderful colleagues who have vast experience and are willing to share their experience and knowledge. Compared to earlier days, there are more training and development opportunities now as well as recognition to staff who are willing to spend time in teaching. This has helped create a better working and nurturing environment to foster learning and growth for staff. Thus, I would really love to see more colleagues embracing the opportunities and taking up the role as an educator/trainer.
If you had to choose a word to represent your sentiments as a Partner-In-Education, what would it be and why?
It would be ‘Grateful’ - I am truly grateful to have had the opportunity to partner with programme directors, trainers and administrators in training programmes that can benefit and groom healthcare workers. A training programme will never be successful without great teamwork and support from our doctors, cardiac lab colleagues and other training administrators, from which I have learnt a lot from. I am also very thankful that the programme directors trust and allow me to be part of their team to facilitate and shape trainees’ learning journey in SingHealth.
If you are not a trainer, you would be a ______________?
I would probably be a Career Guidance Officer to inspire and encourage youths to plan their future wisely and pursue their dreams. Of course, I would steer them towards joining us in the healthcare industry should they be keen!
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