Occupational Therapy is a healthcare profession that aims to develop and/or maintain a person’s ability, throughout all stages of life to perform tasks and roles which are meaningful to them.
Occupational Therapy uses activities with specific goals to help people of all ages prevent, reduce or overcome effects of disabilities. These include, but are not limited to:
- Self-care – getting dressed, eating, showering
- Productive activities – attending school, working, performing household chores
- Leisure – playing games, doing arts and craft, participating in social activities
Occupational Therapists collaborate closely with the medical team to create a care plan that is holistic and person-centered. Occupational Therapists primarily focus on improving functional status after a debilitating medical condition so that patients can participate in meaningful activities safely. This facilitates the patients’ transition back home and into the community.
Occupational Therapists work closely with other allied health professionals, such as Physiotherapists and Speech Therapists, to meet patients’ goals. For example, physical function has a great impact in patients’ ability to participate in daily activities. Physiotherapists work towards improving aspects of physical function such as movement and strength, and Occupational Therapists aim to integrate their physical abilities into maximizing their performance of tasks such as grocery shopping. Another example is in the activity of eating. Speech Therapists are trained in optimising safe swallowing and feeding, while Occupational Therapists focus on environmental, behavioral and cognitive strategies to improve independent eating.
The Physiotherapy section in the NUH Department of Rehabilitation works in parallel to NUH’s vision to improve the health of the community. From our extensive range of services, Physiotherapists aim to develop, maintain and restore maximum mobility alongside functional ability. Moreover, our active participation of in clinical research and commitment to continual education ensures prevalent evidence based treatment for our patients.
Physiotherapy services are available to patients admitted to the wards as well as outpatient clinics. Our services include; falls prevention, pulmonary rehabilitation programme, cardiac rehabilitation programme, sports related injuries, total hip or knee replacements and paediatric conditions.
Our team of Physiotherapists also works closely with the Singapore Physiotherapy Association to develop the profession within Singapore. In addition, our Physiotherapists render support to the education of Physiotherapy students from Singapore Institute of Technology.
The Podiatry Section in the NUH Department of Rehabilitation provides comprehensive services for patients that put us in the forefront of Podiatry in Singapore and beyond. Our Podiatrists are highly trained healthcare professionals that diagnose, treat and prevent disorders of the foot and ankle. We work both in inpatient settings when patients are admitted to the hospital, and outpatient clinics as well.
The treatment focus for the profession includes the following:
- Biomechanical assessment of the foot and leg (including gait analysis)
- Skin and nail conditions e.g. ingrown toenails, callus and fungal infections
- Diabetes foot care – assessment and prevention
- Wound care
- Paediatric foot conditions
Podiatrists work closely with other departments such as Vascular, Orthopaedics and Endocrine teams to provide holistic care for patients with foot and leg conditions. Podiatrists also work closely with other Allied Health Professionals such as Physiotherapists in dealing with biomechanical disorders of the feet and legs.
We are currently involved in research projects such as pressure analysis of the feet for patients with Diabetes. We are also working with the National Healthcare Group to train nurses for diabetes foot care education and screening. There are also opportunities for final year Podiatry students to do clinical placements with us.
Speech Therapists assess, diagnose and manage swallowing or communication disorders, which may arise from various developmental and acquired health conditions. Communication disorders include disorders in the areas of language, speech, fluency, cognitive-communication, and/or voice. We work closely with patients, their families, multidisciplinary teams, and community partners to achieve desirable outcomes for our patients.
The Speech Therapy Section in the NUH Department of Rehabilitation provides both inpatient and outpatient services within NUH. Special collaborative clinics with other health professionals include: Adult Neuromuscular Disorders Clinic, Paediatric Feeding Clinic and Paediatric Aerodigestive Feeding Clinic. We also provide specialised dysphagia services like Videofluoroscopy (VFS) and Fibreoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES). We use dysphagia rehabilitation approaches such as Surface Electromyography (sEMG) Biofeedback and Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to Feeding. Paediatric weaning workshops are conducted to provide parents with knowledge and hands-on experience. Communication intervention programmes that we provide include Lee Silverman Voice Treatment, Lidcombe Programme, and Smooth Speech. We also run a monthly Parkinson’s Disease Support Group.
We are also actively involved in research activities and supports professional development initiatives. This includes student observations and/or clinical attachments, volunteering opportunities within the team, and conducting professional talks and seminars.
Our Speech Therapists are also involved in the NUH Parkinson's Disease Support Group, which aims to provide a platform where our patients and their families can meet and support each other in their journey together, through the exchange of experiences and ideas. The group gathers on a monthly basis on NUH premises. Speakers from various Medical and Allied Heath disciplines share topics that would be relevant to patients with Parkinson's Disease. Talks are presented in English and informal translation may be provided when available.
Pre-Registration is required to allow for the necessary logistical planning.