Saturday, June 25, 2011

Week 1

As promised, a recap of my week! :)

Day 1
Yu Lee, Seng Thiam and I started our journey all the way to the East for our orientation! We had to be at Ubi Avenue 1 where Unity's HQ is located. We took the MRT to MacPherson station and looked for the place by foot! We almost got lost! Luckily, Yu Lee asked a passerby for directions! Otherwise, we would be heading towards Paya Lebar!

At the headquarters, all 12 of us sat in a meeting room where we were thoroughly briefed about our entire stint. We were given a handbook and a copy of an old edition of MIMS each. One flip through the handbook made my eyes popped! There were so many things to do, so many questions to be answered!

Then, we went to Suntec City for lunch. We were treated Swensens! Yums! :D Thank you, Unity! After lunch, we visited the Unity outlet in Suntec City which is where Yu Lee is attached to! Over there, we had another briefing about the quality control aspect of the store. We were dismissed by 5.00 pm!

Day 2
I was a little bit nervous and had butterflies in my tummy probably due to the new environment that I was about to experience. I met my preceptor, Mariana and a few other staffs. She took me on a little tour of the store. The store is very small compared to the regular Guardian and Watsons outlets you see in shopping malls. I can see the whole store from the dispensary counter!

Then, she taught me a few things from the operations aspect of the store. After awhile, there were deliveries coming in back to back which I learnt how to handle. The store was starting to get busy! This went on all the way till about 5.00 pm! I also met my preceptor's partner, Doreen. She taught me how to do daily submission in which I had to do invoice recording into the computer.

Besides the operations stuff, I also listened and observed how my preceptor counselled patients. :)

Day 3
My preceptor wasn't around in the morning because she had a meeting so I had to work with the staffs and attend to customers' needs! I was quite blur and had to rely quite a bit on the staffs. Good thing that all of them were very familiar with the medications and products in the store. Unfortunately, we could only sell medications that were on the shelves (General Sales List) and not in the pharmacist's cabinet (Pharmacy only medications and Prescription Only medications).

I had to explain to customers about our inability to dispense P and POM medications because only licensed pharmacists are allowed to and I'm not one YET, heh. When my preceptor returned, I helped her to stick cautionary labels on certain medications!

Day 4
This was the day when so many warehouse stocks came in! Unity is in the midst of going through a change to a new system. Hence, all stocks had to be delivered by this day and orders could not be made until the new system begins. I had to stick labels on all the P only medications! I spent a few hours on that!

After lunch, a sales representative from a company who manufactures blood glucose monitoring devices taught me how to use their blood glucose monitor! We actually did it before last semester during our last lab session of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology but it was from a different manufacturer. She did a test on me and my blood glucose level was 7.2 (which is high!). Well, that's because I just ate! Hahaha :) Then, the sales representative asked me to test my preceptor's blood glucose level *gasp* But then, since all the staff wanted a test too and she was quite busy, she asked me to just conduct the tests for the staffs. So I pricked their fingers and tested their blood glucose levels! So random but quite exciting! :)

I also was given the privillege to dispense chlorpheniramine (runny nose) and Zyrtec-D (runny nose and blocked nose) which were P only medications! :D So exciting cause I normally have to ask my preceptor to dispense eventhough I know what to give because I'm not allowed to dispense these medications unless she approves!

Day 5
I was feeling quite bored because there weren't any deliveries! Didn't have much to do in the store. So I just walked around the store to sort of familiarize with the locations of items. Doreen also explained to me a few things about the common medications for minor ailments. I also did some packaging for a few medications together with my preceptor.

I also had the chance to observe how my preceptor explain to a customer about smoking cessation!

Day 6
Half day work! Didn't have much to do in the morning so I helped the staff to replenish stocks! I also helped them to handle the cashier! :) At least I had something to do, rather than just stoning around.

That's all for this week! I am quite pleased with my experience thus far but I know there is still a lot to learn! Glad that I'm attached to Unity because learning how to manage a store is a plus! Guardian and Watsons have their own store managers but in Unity, the pharmacist is also the store manager!

Next week could be an entirely different story! Wait and see! :)




Monday, June 20, 2011

Initially, I had the intention to blog a little bit of my preceptorship experience every single day.

But, guess I can't really do that because by the time I'm back in my room, I'll be too tired already. Besides, I have "homework" to do as well!

Perhaps a weekly update, yes?

Tomorrow work officially starts for me! Wish me luck! :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father’s Day!

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Happy Father’s Day, Daddy! This is a really old picture of us. Taken one year ago! Hehe. :)

The thought of not being at home today, on Father’s Day makes me feel even more homesick. I miss my family already!

I love you daddy!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Not any different.

Crap. Feeling homesick.

It’s been two years already and I still feel this way. I’ve said this so many times. Whenever I’m back in Singapore for school, there’s always that homesick feeling I get which I really hate.

I was perfectly fine this morning when my dad accompanied me to the airport except when I hugged my mom and dad before really leaving. Going up the escalator was painful. I turned behind while going up the escalator to see if my dad was still watching me. Yes, indeed he was. I waved one last goodbye to him and there they came.. tears. Now I will always remember the feeling of riding up this particular escalator because it happened one too many times. It’s just another phase in this vicious cycle I go through at every end of my holidays.

I still didn’t think it was that bad compared to the previous times when I’ve left home. But oh boy, I was wrong. I’m feeling the after effects now. I feel like crap! Still feels like the first time even if it happened pre-departure or post-arrival.

You can’t stop me from feeling heavy hearted about leaving home. I’ve grown so attached to my own home that it has become very hard for me to let go eventhough I know I must. And I know I will be all right after this. It happens all the time. But the process is really painful. A lot of things run through my mind in a flash. Sigh.

I guess I will never part from this feeling, not anytime soon.

All I need to do is just let it out (i.e. CRY) and I’ll be fine.

I should just keep myself occupied. Hate it when I’m alone cause I tend to think a lot.

Yesterday, I thought about how nice it would be if we could actually know what's going to happen next in our lives (like literally the next day). Then, I wouldn't have to be so afraid of a change. I'm not the biggest fan of change, especially really drastic ones but I do admit that it is necessary. I don't really like the fact that when I'm finally getting used or adapting to something, a change occurs. It's back to square one again. Sometimes you get too caught in the moment, time flies so fast without your knowledge and the next thing you know it, you'd be thinking to yourself "What happened to all the time I had?".

But then, I also thought about how boring life would be if you know every single thing that's going to happen next. There are no surprises and nothing to hope for because you can tell the future.

So, I think I'm just fine with life the way it is, with change that is. :) Spending time on the bus and MRT makes me think a lot during my journey. Sometimes, I wish for things that are impossible. Sometimes, I reminisce about the past. Sometimes, I think about the future.

On an unrelated note, I'm back in Singapore after carrying 21kgs worth of bags! Omg, I nearly died on the way back from Changi Airport. Most of my energy were already drained this morning before I boarded the plane! The damn Air Asia plane was so far away from our terminal. We had to walk all the way there, felt like forever! I was lugging 10kgs with me! :/

But I made it, in one piece! :D Took a much needed nap because I hardly slept last night. Now I'm wondering what to do next. Hmm..

Ooh finally got a call from my preceptor! :) Gonna report for work in Jurong Point on Tuesday at 10.30 am! She sounds like a nice person! :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Two Meals

Two more meals in KL then I’m off to Singapore. It’s just two more meals because I hardly take breakfast nowadays. When I wake up, it’s always almost time for lunch, so I have brunch instead. Need to kick the habit of waking up late soon, as work is going to begin!

Received an email from the hall office today. I have to move back to F Block by Wednesday. LE SIGH. But since I’ll be working on weekdays, that leaves me with only this weekend to move out. Not good at all. :/ Why do they have to make my life so hard? :( Oh well.. That’s the life of an international student! You will always have to move about bringing along every single thing you own. Kinda like nomads. :/

I have yet to catch Super 8 and Green Lantern! I don’t know if I have the time to catch them in Singapore. Besides, movie tickets there are so expensive if you convert to RM. But, I’ve learnt not to convert too much when buying things or spending money there. At the same time, I always limit myself to a certain amount that I should spend. It’s not like I go out all the time in Singapore. I only go out like probably once a month?

As of right now, I’m in the midst of packing. Got almost everything packed! Dreading the journey back to hall, especially the hill and staircases that I would have to climb just to get to my room. On top of that, the thought of moving out.. Oh gosh. I really hate it. :/

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Well well well, what do we have here?

Just four days before I begin my preceptorship in Unity, Tanjong Pagar Plaza, I received an email from the Chief (somewhat like a coordinator) regarding my preceptor. Apparently, my preceptor has left and hence, I would have to be assigned under a different preceptor at a different branch.

Well, It didn’t come much as a shocker to me because Qunyuan, who is currently working with my initial preceptor told me that she will be resigning soon, probably in July. When Qunyuan told me that, I assumed that I would still be working at the same place until she resigns. Oh well, guess she resigned earlier than expected?

After I have painstakingly interrogated Qunyuan about her experience in Tanjong Pagar Plaza, it just dawned on me that most of it would be gone to waste as it is confirmed that I will not be working there. Aside from Qunyuan, I have also asked Kah Eng about her experience. I assumed that Qunyuan and Kah Eng’s preceptors are quite close since Kah Eng told me that Qunyuan’s preceptor works overtime at Kah Eng’s workplace in Tiong Bahru. Hence, Kah Eng knows a thing or two about her. Both of them have been very nice enough to share their experiences with me and also give me some useful tips!

So the Chief emailed me and asked for my preference for my new allocation. I tried my luck on Clementi or Harbourfront since they are quite near from campus. But she suggested Jurong Point Mall which is four MRT stations away from Clementi. Not that bad, in my opinion.

I wanted to opt for Tiong Bahru, eventhough it is further because of what Kah Eng had shared with me. But Kah Eng told me her preceptor is quitting as well! Haha. So after much consideration, I agreed with Jurong Point.

According to the Chief and the document regarding our allocations, there will be another student working together with me. But Kah Eng told me that he (who is also her lab partner) is currently doing summer programme in Canada and has no intentions on getting his pharmacist license. Oh well, guess I would only know on Monday.

Well, it doesn’t matter where am I allocated to. One thing that I have to bear in mind is to go there with an open heart and mind. The main goal is to learn!

I’m kinda anticipating the experience! Sounds exciting! But at the same time, I am feeling heavy-hearted for leaving home so soon.

Friday, June 10, 2011

It’s goodbye again, but I’ll be back.

One more week worth of holidays then I can kiss goodbye to it. Well, technically I still have another 1.5 months of holidays. It’s just that I’ll be doing my preceptorship rather than slacking and bumming around. Sounds like a pretty decent way to spend the next half of my holidays.

I’ve always wanted to achieve something memorable out of all my long breaks. For example, last summer holidays, I went to Cambodia for social work and this summer, I’ll be working in a pharmacy! I like the idea of knowing that I’ve learned and achieved something throughout my holidays instead of just bumming around, wasting my life away. I mean I still like the idea of relaxing and slacking. I’ve always wanted it, especially during term time but a few weeks of that would do. After that, I should be up on my feet! Otherwise, I’d just feel like I’m wasting a lot of time doing nothing productive.

However, the thought of having to work five days a week seem like a real chore to me. I am sure that I would be wishing to have holidays again once I start working. I am contradicting myself aren’t I? Well, that’s how life works sometimes. You can always have what you want and you can’t always have the best of both worlds.

I’m a bit scared but at the same time excited about my preceptorship. Hope I’ll manage to pull through. Oh and the aftermath of my preceptorship would be writing a report about it! Ah the horror. I’ll try not to procrastinate so much so that I can go home for about a week after my preceptorship ends before school starts! :) Hope I’ll have time!

I had a really good time spending my holidays at home. It’s what I have always yearned for during my stressful times in Singapore. Glad to have finally get a good grasp of it although it’ll be ending soon. Oh well, time flies right? :)

Better enjoy my last week to the fullest! I love the people surrounding me i.e my family and friends. They make me feel so loved! :)