Mdm Ohn Kyi Kyi has been with HWA for 20 years and was a manager with the HWA Jurong Point Rehabilitation Centre until July 2018, when she retired after a long career in physiotherapy.
Mdm Kyi Kyi stumbled onto physiotherapy by a stroke of luck. When she was a fresh graduate majoring in Physics in Myanmar, her sister submitted her details in an application for a physiotherapy course thinking it was related to physics. It was during the orientation programme that Mdm Kyi Kyi realised physiotherapy was her dream job.
After graduation, she was assigned to a community hospital as a junior therapist. Initially, she worried if her experience was enough to care for her patients. But her resourcefulness and quick thinking to adapt the treatment to the patient led her to do well. One case that remains ingrained in her memory is the time she had to use hot towels, in replacement of heat pads, to warm up the joints of a young man at Yangon General Hospital.
Mdm Kyi Kyi also remembers one case where a young man and an old man had attended a similar recovery programme. Despite being older, the elderly man’s determination and discipline to exercise resulted in him recovering and regaining mobility faster than the young man.
She attributes her vitality to the importance of exercise. While admitting that bodily aches have become a part of her life, she says that exercises such as stretching have been helpful in alleviating them.
Her advice to new therapists? Communicate effectively with patients to understand their needs before, during and after therapy sessions, evaluate the problem, and change the treatment intervention whenever necessary. She emphasises that learning is never-ending. As treatment interventions are always advancing, one needs to upgrade one’s knowledge and skills through continuous learning, sharing and case discussion. Lastly, always put yourself in the patient’s shoes and treat them wholeheartedly.