Meet Ethan Tan who is an Occupational Therapist at Handicaps Welfare Association (HWA). He assists differently abled clients in their recovery journey, building meaningful long-term relationships with them.
Finding a purpose
A few years ago, Ethan Tan witnessed an Occupational Therapy session and was intrigued by the fact that simple therapy intervention could make such a big difference in a client’s life. That was when he decided to pursue a career in Occupational Therapy. He took up a four-year degree course and has been working in the rehabilitation services department of HWA since graduating. “I aid differently abled individuals in being independent at home and in the community, through therapy sessions. I help them in the application process and safe usage of assistive equipment too,” he shares about his role.
Moving forward, progressively
Ethan considers it a perk of his job that he can build long-term relationships with clients. “I enjoy seeing my clients every week and tracking their recovery progress. Some of them have even shared their life experiences with me. Over time, I ensure that they are able to live safely at home and perform functional activities like showering, dressing and meal preparation. In order to reach these goals, various aspects of the client’s life are considered such as physical, social and environmental factors. Occupational Therapy promotes health and well-being in a holistic manner,” he reveals. Ethan has regular discussions with his colleagues on case notes, to formulate suitable care plans for clients. This involves working closely with a trans-disciplinary team of professionals including physiotherapists. “It is important that my clients recover and become independent as it reduces caregiver stress amongst their family members as well. I once had a family member of a client tell me how grateful she was that her mother’s quality of life had improved,” he adds.
On his future plans, Ethan hopes to proactively better his clinical reasoning and judgement skills through courses and online journal resources. In addition, he wishes to be able to mentor students during their work placements.
A role in therapy is one of many in Social Service. To find out more, read about a career in therapy.