Meet Shiven Tan, a Senior Patient Service Associate in Woodlands Health
When we first met Shiven, we actually had to walk briskly just to keep up with him. We jokingly asked if that was why he wore sports shoes to work.
“My role as a PSA is actually very dynamic and not entirely desk-bound.” Shiven tells us. “I run around a lot to assist in answering calls and enquiries while doing my routine work.”
Shiven works in the inpatient wards, and his job covers all sorts of administrative work from purchasing assets to assisting to solve IT-related issues, as well as documenting patients’ admissions, transfers and discharges. He sheepishly shares that his work requires him to 'bao ga liao' (Singlish adjective meaning doing everything), since the questions he receives can be complicated, requiring him to speak to various departments before he is able to provide an answer. “As PSAs, we need to learn a bit of everything – from general knowledge of how the hospital works, to being the ‘connector’ of the departments! It’s a challenge, but it can also be very rewarding when we have the full picture and are able to share that knowledge with patients and their families.”
To Shiven, there are two essential qualities that every PSA must have in spades: the ability to multi-task and problem-solve. He shared an example with us: when he encountered family members of a patient, who had arrived outside of visiting hours. “We had to suggest other ways for them to be able to get in touch, such as giving them a bedside phone number so that they could call the patient. If the patient had contracted COVID-19 and was in isolation, we would advise them to video call their family member. For me, I saw how we could value-add to a patient’s experience even through suggestions like these.”
Being part of the Woodlands Health pre-opening team in particular, has given Shiven a unique experience of the inpatient PSA role. “Here, we have the opportunity to try new things, such as standardising workflows and setting up new wards. I get to learn a lot, and work alongside other healthcare professionals to care and serve others – which is what keeps me coming to work every day!”
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