Poly students to work at Youth Olympics Village medical centre
THE prospect of coming face to face with the sporting world’s budding talent at the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) excites Tan Li Wei, 19.
But when the third-year pharmaceutical sciences student from Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) meets some of these athletes, they may be nursing a cold or limping from injury.
That’s because Li Wei, along with 38 other students from the polytechnic, will be volunteering at Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) 24-hour pharmacy at the Youth Olympic Village medical centre.
The pharmacy is a collaboration between the polytechnic and the YOG Medical Services Committee. The latter provides medicine for the pharmacy and training sessions for the polytechnic’s studentsand staff.
The students are rotated on three shifts from tomorrow to Aug 28.
Li Wei said with a grin: “In the long run, these talented young athletes may become world record-breakers or the next David Beckham.
“So this is a chance for us to meetthem and hopefully we can interact with them.”
The students had signed up for the job in April last year.
NYPsenior lecturer Kelvin Tan, 38,came up with the idea of getting his students from the School of Chemical & Life Sciences to volunteer at the Games two years ago.
The response was so good that most students will work an average of just one or two shifts per week during the course of the Games.
These second- and third-year students do not miss out on lessons because they are either on semester break oron work attachments.
Mr Tan, a registered pharmacist, said: “I’m proud that they signed up even though there are no co-curricular activity points involved.
“They are doing it in the spirit of volunteerism without needing incentives.”
Muhammad Khalid Mohammad Kusbari, 19, a third-year student, is looking forward to the experience.
He said: “It’s a first for Singapore, so naturally we all want to be a part of it.”
The students also get to interact with doctors and nurses who are housed within the village’s medical compound, he added.
On hand to guide the students are six NYP staff, including five registered pharmacists and one pharmacy technician.
Each shift will see one staff member and two students on duty.
The students do not dispense any medication; only staff do.
But the students can give advice on medication usage, assist in dispensing medicine and help to manage the inventory.
Apart from common ailments like coughs and colds, students may encounter sports-related injuries like sprains, muscle strains and overstretched
The students said their work experience would come in handy.
For instance, third-year student Elizabeth Ng, 19, was attached to the Singapore General Hospital for three months earlier this year.
She is currently on another three-month attachment at Health@NYP, the pharmacy on the polytechnic’s campus.
She said: “We had to read up on sports injuries and medicines, but it was just a matter of revising things that we have already learnt in our lectures.”
Li Wei, who fielded an average of 20 calls per week from customers during his three-month attachment at Health@NYP, pointed out that basic customer service still applied.
“It’s a lot about how you deal with customers,” he said. “Even if a customer is being difficult, you always have to smile, be patient and try to offer multiple solutions.”