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For 30-year-old Senior Medical Physicist Ms Laurentcia Arlany, physics is an intriguing subject. In fact, she earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Physics before joining Sengkang General Hospital’s (SKH) Department of Radiology.
“Physics has always interested me. I was especially amazed to see the application of physics in medicine. Many lives were saved through non-invasive diagnosis and treatment, as radiation has prevented the need for more invasive procedures that often carry higher risk. Observing the rapid technological advances in this field and how they have helped doctors in patient diagnosis and management sparked my curiosity in medical physics,” she said. Medical physics refers to the application of physics in the healthcare sector.
After graduating with a master’s degree in Physics from the National University of Singapore, Ms Arlany started her training at Singapore General Hospital’s Department of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.
“During the training, I learnt so much from my mentor about physics application in the medical field, which motivated me to explore more. The medical physics world is boundless, as there are many more things to discover,” she said, adding that her work allows her to stay on top of new developments in this area and to learn continuously.
“I was inspired by medical physicists and safety radiation officers who have helped fellow hospital staff and patients by addressing concerns about radiation exposure through effective communication, and explaining the benefits and risks of radiation used in medicine. Particularly, my mentor displayed the importance of instilling knowledge to help create a safe work environment.”
Over the past six years, Ms Arlany has been working at SKH. A typical work day for her involves investigating staff and patients’ radiation exposure, and making sure that the hospital’s radiological imaging equipment perform optimally.
She is also involved in many ongoing Quality Improvement projects, and acts as advisor for radiation-related matters in the hospital.
According to Ms Arlany, monitoring staff radiation exposure is important because it will help better evaluate the hospital’s radiation safety practices and the radiation levels of their work areas.
“We also want to be sure that the radiation risk does not outweigh its benefits to the patient when they go through any radiological examination or procedure,” she said. Common medical imaging tests such as mammography, x-rays and computed tomography (CT) produce radiation, and ensuring justified and optimised radiation exposure to the patient during the diagnosis and procedure is crucial.
Sharing is caring
One of the things Ms Arlany loves about her job is how she can use her knowledge to help others at work. “I am a knowledgesharing advocate, and it gives me a lot of satisfaction when my colleagues appreciate and apply this radiation knowledge in their daily work,” she said.
During her free time, Ms Arlany enjoys singing. Sometimes, she teams up with her colleagues to perform as a band at the hospital’s town halls, award ceremonies, and Dinner and Dance. She is also actively involved in the SKH Healthy Living Committee as the karaoke interest group champion.
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