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Engineering Behind the Scenes

Doctors and nurses are not the only staff in a hospital. There are allied health professionals, administrative and service staff, and not to forget, a group who often goes unnoticed - the operational team.

The Beginning

57-year-old Abdul Halim Bin Sukaimi, better known as Halim, is an engineer in Farrer Park Hospital who had joined the hospital in 2013, even before the building was up and running. He was one of the pioneering staff who were on the ground ensuring the smooth set up of major departments such as the hospital’s 24-HR Medical Urgency Clinic, pharmacy, lab and more.

Asked what a typical day at work was like for him, the engineer in the Support Services team shared that it varies. For instance, they would be called whenever an equipment or facility breaks down. At times, work can also mean being activated to help transform the whole inpatient suite to better cater to the needs of patients. Projects such as the latter can take several weeks to even months to complete.

When asked what encouraged him to stay on in the hospital after so many years, Halim said: “Every job has its own challenges. I learned that from my previous job experience and resilience is key.”

“Here at Farrer Park Hospital, there are definitely challenges too. But our colleagues are all very close and we treat one another warmly. From peers to superiors; it’s always like family,” he added.

Halim (first from left) and his team members from the support services team pose for a commemorative photo with their vendors in 2013, after a day of site inspection at Farrer Park Hospital. (Photo by: Abdul Halim)

Unwavering Support

While on his way to work in July 2016, Halim got into a car accident and had suffered a broken femur; the longest, largest, heaviest and strongest bone in the human body. The unfortunate accident caused him to be hospitalized for a week and resulted in him being on home leave for eight months.

While this means he had to be out of action for almost three quarters of the year, Halim said the hospital supported him throughout the ordeal and reassured him that his recovery and wellbeing was priority. Together with the constant check ins by the HR team and his fellow colleagues, he was able to recover well and return to work as scheduled in March 2017.

“I felt blessed by the support,” Halim revealed. “I was a little lost when I first returned to work but the help and reassurance from my colleagues certainly made it easier for me to catch up with all of them.”

Training and Opportunities

When asked if there is any special episode of his career here at Farrer Park Hospital, Halim nodded his head and said yes excitedly.

“I had the opportunity to go for an on-site training in Borkum, Germany in 2016,” Halim revealed. “It was a short factory visit there to learn the mechanics behind one of our biggest machines in the hospital – our washable beds. It was only for 3 days but it was an unforgettable experience.”

For Halim and his team who are in the operational team, they have to always be on standby. Whenever there is a breakdown or faultiness, they would be activated to investigate and rectify it.

“We also have to work closely with vendors to learn how to manage the equipment or devices as most of them are imported from different parts of the world. This is also what makes the job interesting,” shared Halim.

While some operational work can be daunting, Halim said that at the end of the day, having a good team around is what matters most.

The operational team plays a vital role in ensuring that processes and operations run smoothly and efficiently in the hospital. We thank Halim and team for their hard work, support and dedication!

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