I researched relevant courses and took up certifications to help achieve this dream.
This included a specialist diploma in gerontology — the study of ageing — at Temasek Polytechnic. It was a one-year, part-time programme which I completed last October.
That same month, I also completed a month-long certification for basic exercise science at Republic Polytechnic, which I also did part-time.
I then found the SkillsFuture Career Transition Programme Therapy Support course offered by healthcare training provider HMI Institute.
This piqued my interest as it included a training attachment with a healthcare institute.
The difference was that this was a full-time course that would take five months, but I decided that the time was right to leave my old job and take the plunge.
It was difficult not getting any income during that period. Thankfully, my wife was supportive, and we agreed to cut back on our expenses.
I enrolled in September 2022 and graduated in January.
The training equipped me with the skills and knowledge to start my career as a therapy assistant.
For instance, we learned about medical terminology, how to read vital signs, manage a patient’s physical and mental needs, and respond to medical emergencies.
Training to become a therapy assistant was quite different from communications, which involved sharing information to manage perceptions about an organisation. My focus now was working together with physiotherapists to help patients get better.
Beyond technical training, the programme enhanced my confidence, leadership abilities, and teamwork skills.
I attended theory sessions from home, while the in-person training included discussions, scenario-based learning, case studies and simulations.
My favourite part was the clinical attachment at NTUC Health Nursing Home at Chai Chee as I could transfer my learning into a real-life setting.
It gave me a glimpse into the daily challenges and rewards of working in the healthcare industry.
I wanted to experience working in a hospital setting. So, before graduating from HMI Institute, I applied to Tan Tock Seng Hospital and started there as a senior therapy assistant on Feb 20.