Saturday, July 23, 2011

Week 5

Oh crap, I think I'm getting old. I'm having difficulties trying to recall what happened during the first few days of the week.

Day 24
Warehouse day (nothing surprising *yawns*). Did all the necessary things to be done on warehouse day. By the time we were done, it was time for lunch! Had lunch with Qi Xuan, Alwin, Mariana and Sabariah! :)

A old uncle came to up to me and asked me for Diaspan. I was puzzled because I've never heard of such medicine. I asked him to spell it out for me, he said "D-i-a something something". I told him we don't have such medication here. He told me that it is a very common medication and asked me how come I'm not aware of such medication. He told me it is a common medication for sore throat. I am aware of the common medications for sore throat unless it's a prescription only medication. I asked Doreen about the medication he wanted and Doreen have never encountered such a brand for sore throat.

Since he said it was common, I showed him the closest medication for sore throat to the brand he mentioned which was Danzen. Then he was like "Ah yes Danzen, sorry sorry I was wrong just now! I forgot the name!". Luckily he apologized, otherwise I'd be pretty upset since he accused me for not knowing such a common medication earlier. I may not know all the drugs available in the pharmacy but I do know a thing or two about common minor ailment medications.


Mariana bought for Alwin, Qi Xuan and I a giant cookie from Famous Amos each! :D Mine is the one with the pink ribbon!


Day 25
It was quite a boring day at the store. There weren't many people in the morning. We got every task settled as soon as we received them. Qi Xuan, Alwin and I had Korean for lunch! I had kimchi fried rice which tasted pretty good! :) The good thing about that restaurant is that we didn't have to pay any additional charges (eg. service charge, government tax). But who knows, they may have already included those petty charges into the price itself.

When we returned to the store, Alwin had to attend to an old man who demanded for codeine. He was telling Alwin how he knows that we do have it our store and wouldn't sell it to him. But the truth is, we don't keep any form of codeine in our store! Some pharmacies keep codeine hidden away from customers to avoid potential abusers. Alwin kept telling him that we really don't sell codeine in our store until he was satisfied enough to leave.

Day 26
All the pharmacists in Unity had to go for a meeting so there wasn't any pharmacists in our store that morning. We couldn't sell anything that's in the cabinet so we had to politely reject customers who wished to purchase Pharmacy and Prescription Only Medications.

Apart from that, we helped the staff to take care of the cashier and replenish stocks! Once Mariana was back, Qi Xuan and I were tasked to check all the expiry dates of the medications in the cabinet! We had to stick an orange label into any medication which was expiring within the six months to come. It took us quite a long time to finish checking every medication as there were shelves which were at higher levels and weren't within our reach.


Found this cute perfumed body mist in one of the shelves under the dispensary counter. It belongs to Mariana. Apparently, she bought a few bottles from Korea since they were pretty cheap over there and she thought they were only available there. She didn't know that they also sell it here in Etude House. Hahaha.


Day 27
Warehouse day again! Alwin didn't work that day because he had to get enough rest before he went to work at night at Ang Mo Kio! He had to work there over night along with all the pre-registration students and other staffs because they had to do some re-merchandising. That means, all of them had to unpack many boxes of products and place them on their respective shelves. I think Ang Mo Kio had a minor renovation before this. They had to work overnight, when the shop was closed!

I did some paperwork that day and also counselled a few customers as per normal!

Day 28
I had to count all the money in the safe box for the week! I spent about 30 minutes counting all the money inside! Then it was Qi Xuan's turn! Luckily the amount we counted tallied! Otherwise, we would have to count all over again.

It was a part-time staff's birthday that day! Aunty Lye Kim, Doreen, Qi Xuan and I went around Jurong Point to buy her a birthday cake! :D She came in the afternoon for work and we went out when she was busy at the cashier. Bought her a yoghurt cake!

When we were back at the store, she was still busy at the cashier. She saw the cake shortly after and she felt so grateful! She asked me to take a picture of her blowing off the candle on her cake using her phone's camera. She looked so cute! Haha. :D She turned 71 that day! :)

Before I left the store to go back that day, I bade farewell to her wished her "Happy Birthday!" to which she responded "Thank you, girl!". Something about that response made me feel warmth in my heart. :)


Mariana gave me a new bottle of perfumed body mist! Aww so sweet of her! :D


Day 29
Doreen's last day at Jurong Point! She was transferred to Tiong Bahru because the pharmacist there decided to resign. Alwin and Qi Xuan went out to buy a bigger duck plushie for her since she is quite fond of ducks. Haha.

Aunty Sabariah cooked nasi lemak for us! Her sambal was so tasty! I ate her nasi lemak for lunch! :) Mariana also bought pies from "Pie Kia" (haha such a witty name!) but I didn't eat because I was too full!

Earlier, two different customers came back to the store to ask for an exchange of a dressing which only had hard hollow tubes in the packagings without the actual bandages! Apparently, the newly bought dressing contained the tubes only when they opened the boxes. It was funny because normally, the dressings don't even come with the hollow tubes.

Then, we realized that someone had actually stole the dressings that were in the boxes and replaced them with hollow tubes to add some weight! How smart! :/

A foreigner came to our store sounding very urgent about the prescribed medications needed for her mother back in London. We didn't have one of the medications she wanted but she really needed it urgently for her mother because her mom would have palpitations without it. We told her that she could try going to hospitals to get the medication but they probably wouldn't be able to dispense any since all the pharmacies in hospitals only operate half a day on Saturdays.

We tried calling the emergency pharmacies for a few hospitals to see if they could dispense any for her as it's urgently required. We called up NUH but they couldn't dispense as those in charged there weren't licensed to dispense. :/ Anyway, we helped her as much as we could and gave her a few contact numbers for her to try calling.

Among the medications needed was warfarin! She needed 20 tablets but we only had 11 tablets. Two of the tablets were chipped so we could only dispense nine tablets to her. Warfarin is quite a meticulous and serious drug so it is no joking matter if the tablets were not taken in full.


Done with Week 5! Supposed to have my presentation but Mariana said we'll do it next Thursday! Lazy to check for grammatical errors again! Toodles :D

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Week 4

Week 4 right here!

Day 19
I went back to work after a two-day leave! It was pretty quiet in the morning but the store slowly picked up pace! It was a Tuesday, so sales should be pretty good because Unity offers a 5% discount to all senior citizens every Tuesday! Qi Xuan and I were handling the cashier for a moment until he had to attend to a customer who needed a knee guard. I was left alone at the cashier and the line started to grew longer!

There was a problem with the system because certain items were given more than 5% discount after pressing "Senior Citizen Discount". By more, I meant like 40% more! So I had to be very careful and made sure every non-promotional item was given only a 5% discount.

After attending to the customer, Qi Xuan couldn't help me at the cashier because he had to do some paper work upon receiving stocks from suppliers! Both of us worked all the way till 3.00 pm without any rest! I was quite relieved when the crowd started to quiet down a little! Qi Xuan on the other hand, looked hypoglycemic! Haha.

Aunty Jennifer fell sick that day. She came to work as usual in the afternoon but she felt dizzy shortly after. Qi Xuan and Alwin were tasked to go get a wheelchair for her. They brought her to a clinic nearby and she was given the day off.

Day 20
Mariana had to replace Victor at West Mall because he flew overseas. So, Qi Xuan and I decided to follow Mariana, to experience a different place and crowd. I arrived almost an hour too early for work that day. I thought that it would be hard for me to find the place but to my surprise, as soon as I stepped into West Mall, I could easily spot Guardian, Unity and Watsons! I walked around the mall a little before work.

The Unity in West Mall is quite new and the layout of the store is different compared to the Unity in Jurong Point. I liked the new layout but the dispensary counter is a little small. There isn't much space for three people to move around. The display cabinets are so small and the P and POM medications stored there were all over the place! We did a bit of housekeeping, helped to clear the clutter a little so that it would be easier for us to find for the medications we needed.

A customer came asking for Robitussin DM and the three of us searched high and low for the medication! In the end I found it! It was hidden behind another medication! -__-"

The crowd in West Mall is really small. I didn't have much to do over there. I still prefer Jurong Point!

Day 21
Back to Jurong Point! It was warehouse day! Bleh. We received so many boxes of stocks from the warehouse. We had to make sure we received the correct quantity of medications, paste labels and replenish stocks! It was a lot of work. Moments after we finished handling the warehouse stocks, Ah Ho (delivery man from Zuellig Pharma) appeared with many boxes stacked on his trolley! *faints*

Day 22
Woke up early and travelled all the way to Pasir Ris for a visit to Zuellig Pharma. Zuellig Pharma is one of the biggest pharmaceutical industries in Singapore! I didn't like the thought of travelling so far for just a 1.5 hour visit! :/ Pfft. But I was really looking forward to the goodie bags!

Their warehouse is really different compared to LF Asia. It was huge and the interior design was more classy! After the visit, it started pouring outside! On top of that, there weren't any refreshments or goodie bags for us! :(

We went to White Sands for lunch before heading back to work. When we reached Jurong Point, it was already 3.00 pm! I decided to work until 8.00 pm that day! I actually wanted to work till 10.00 pm but I felt a bit uneasy and nauseous because of the coffee I had during lunch (it was in my Ying Yang drink). I hate the feeling coffee gives me other than keeping me awake. I don't really like the palpitations either!

Anyway, when I reached Clementi MRT station, I saw that the estimated time of arrival for the next 183 bus was 54 minutes! That's crazy! I didn't wanna wait for almost an hour just for 183 so I took 189 and alighted at Kent Ridge Terminal. Luckily, a NUS shuttle bus came just right in time so I didn't really have to wait to go back to my room! :)

Day 23
It was a quiet day at work without Qi Xuan! Hahaha. He took a day off because apparently, his bicycle would be arriving from overseas!

Doreen taught me how to do posting on the new system! :) Other than the normal patient counselling, I had nothing much to do. After work, I went to Clementi Mall to meet Seng Thiam. Then, we headed to Cashew Heights in Bukit Panjang for Grace's 21st birthday! :)

It was a long day for me and I was really tired by the time I got back to my room!



Alright! Back to my presentation slides :(( Can't believe four weeks flew by just like that! I have to hand in my slides by next Friday! Argh!

P/S: Too lazy to check for grammatical or spelling errors!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Have A Clean One!

HAPPY 19TH BIRTHDAY LIM WEN YEE! :D

My lovely sister! :) Have a "clean" birthday, hahaha!

I love you and miss you!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Week 3

Week 3 updates!

Day 12
It was a Sunday! Apparently, the crowd is different compared to the other days. Most of the customers are foreigners from Bangladesh. Mariana says the way to counsel them is a little bit different compared to other customers. It can be pretty funny too!

One of them actually asked me for a cream called "Termite". I was like "Huh? What is it for?". He said it was for his itchy skin. I asked him to spell it out for me and he spelled it the way he pronounced it. I was confused because from what I know termites are insects that eat up wood! He proceeded to call his friend over the phone to ask for the spelling and gave me the same spelling back again. -__-". I tried searching for a product that is somewhat related to it online but it was to no avail. Luckily, he spotted the cream inside the cabinet and pointed it out. When I took it out, I was like "OHH DermAid!". LOL.

Day 13
I had to wake up super early and on top of that I only had five hours of sleep! I had to go for a training for all pharmacists in Unity. They have to go for this on a monthly basis. Usually, the training starts at 8.30 a.m but this time it started at 7.30 a.m! All because of a doctor who had an appointment with a patient after his talk.

Seng Thiam, Yu Lee and I took the first bus to Clementi which actually arrived later than scheduled causing us to be slightly late for the training. The training consisted of three talks about pain management, HSA Adverse Drug Events and, CPR and AED respectively. I enjoyed the last talk the most! The speakers were entertaining and funny!

After that, we all made our ways back to our respective stores. It was Qi Xuan's first day of work too! He just came back from his summer programme at Canada. So now I have company at work! I've never talked to him before in class but luckily it wasn't that awkward. Good thing that he's quite talkative and we could click!

Since Mariana didn't have to be at work that day, I was appointed to teach him stuff that I have learned on my first day! He dubbed me as his "preceptor", haha.

It was also the day that we encountered a customer who claimed to be an "NTUC supporter". We couldn't dispense the medication he wanted (famotidine) because Doreen wasn't around and it was a Pharmacy only item. So, we told him that he could try Watsons or Guardian thinking that he needed the medication urgently. Then he responded by saying "How can you tell me to go other pharmacies? I am an NTUC supporter you know! Later your boss will scold you! Where can you chase your customers?!" in Mandarin. Qi Xuan and I couldn't say much, so we just nodded in approval.

I went on an impromptu visit to the movies with Jason and Wil Sen after work! We watched Transformers 3! Finally!! I've been waiting to watch this movie ever since last year! Yes, Transformers never fails to impress me despite what people say about this sequel of the movie. Apparently, it was quite draggy but I didn't find it so! Everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion I guess! :)

Day 14
"NTUC supporter" came back again! This time Doreen was around so he could get his medication. But, Doreen told us that apparently, she saw him coming back for the same medication in less than two weeks. The medication is supposed to last him for two weeks (14 tablets to be taken once daily). So, we have to keep a lookout if he requests for the medicine again within these two weeks!

After purchasing his medication, he asked Qi Xuan for the price of Clarinase (non-drowsy runny nose tablets). He told Qi Xuan that he wanted to compare the price with Watsons. Qi Xuan nearly wanted to tell him this, "I thought you said you're an NTUC supporter?" but he didn't, hahaha. Anyway, he came back to Unity to buy Clarinase after awhile. I guess ours was still cheaper!

On the way back from work, I noticed many policemen around Clementi Woods, just opposite of NUS Kent Ridge terminal but no signs of any road accident. I found out the next day what it turned out to be. A decomposed body was found! O_O

Day 15
Mariana insisted that Qi Xuan leaves work at 4.00 pm that day since he worked from 9 am to 10 pm for the past couple of days since he had to clock two weeks worth of hours that he missed! She didn't want it to seem like she was exploiting him. So she chased him off at 4.00 pm sharp!

A customer came with a half a strip of chlorpheniramine (for runny nose) tablets claiming that she paid $1.50 for two strips at our store when she should be getting five strips for $1.50. Our chlorpheniramine tablets come in a pack of five strips that costs $1.50 per pack. It is quite impossible that she could have bought two loose strips from us. Besides, this medication is a Pharmacy Only medication and could only be dispensed by a pharmacists. There is no way that any one of us sold her two loose strips.

Even if we did, the staff at the cashier would know because there is no bar code to be scanned on each strip. The customer was so confident that she bought it from our store and apparently, a female pharmacist with short hair served her. But guess what, none of us have short hair! Aunty Karen told me that lucky thing, none of us tied our hairs! The customer tried to accuse Fang Fang (a promoter) for selling her two strips since she normally ties up her hair. But Fang Fang isn't a pharmacist! So we told her to show her receipt as proof but she said she didn't bring it. So we told her to bring the receipt back the next time she comes.

I doubt she'll come back!

Day 16
Warehouse goods day! Qi Xuan and I had to count and check the expiry dates of all the warehouse goods which arrived! We also had to stick labels on all Pharmacy Only medications and replenish them on the shelves! It was a lot of work. We worked non-stop until it was lunch time!

After lunch, a customer came by claiming that he bought a wheelchair from our store and that he needed some spare parts because it was spoiled. He asked if we provided any servicing. Mariana told him that we do not provide such services, neither do we sell any of those spare parts. He then asked what should he do and what can we do. Mariana told him we could give him a refund if the wheelchair is still under warranty. He didn't seem to be very fond of the answer and questioned her again. She helped him to call the respective party regarding the wheelchair. But, she was told to ask him to call the lifeline. He was quite angsty because he couldn't get his wheelchair fixed. He asked the same questions over and over again and Mariana answered him patiently. He kept looking at her name tag, showing signs that he wanted to use her name as someone to be referred to or report about the next time he calls the lifeline or visit another pharmacy.

Mariana was quite pissed because she's not in charge of these kinda things! Our pharmacy only helps to sell the manufacturer's products! She asked Qi Xuan and I to buy her a cup of chai latte from Coffee Bean! She also asked us to get a drink each for ourselves from there. It was our first treat from her! :) Qi Xuan bought her the largest chai latte and she was shocked! He told her that she needed to drink more since she was quite stressed out and she told him that she won't be able to sleep tonight! Haha.

Day 17
Qi Xuan and I packed seven boxes of chlorpheniramine into packets of five strips (50 tablets) each. Each box contains 1000 tablets of chlorpheniramine! We pasted the main label and auxiliary labels as well! We also packed Famotin tablets at which I had to cut the sharp edges of the strips and made it round-edged!

There weren't many customers so we did all the packing to kill time! After lunch, the sales representative for "Hairy Lemon" came looking for me! I attended to him during my first week since there wasn't any pharmacist around. When I saw him, I immediately blurted out "Oh you're the Hairy Lemon guy!". He told me he was grateful that someone actually remembers him. Haha. Then, he asked how is his product doing and frankly, it wasn't doing so well. So I tried to put it in a nice way and told him that it wasn't doing well but there is at least a progress eventhough it's selling pretty slow!

He did a stock check and I asked him how often does he come for a stock check, he told me at least once a month. I told him that he might not be able to look for me the next time he comes because I would be done with my preceptorship. So I gave him Mariana and Doreen's names. He asked me how long have I been working in Jurong Point and I mentioned to him three weeks. He said, "Wow, three weeks only but you look so experienced!". Hehehehe :P

Anyway, he sounds like a humble guy but the way he looks at people can be a little bit scary!

Day 18
Worked for 3.5 hours only, can you believe it?! Haha.

An old lady came requesting for Domperidone (for indigestion, nausea and vomiting) but we don't sell the brand that she was looking for. However, the active ingredient and strength are exactly the same! Told her she could use what we have for the same purpose but apparently, she tried it before and it doesn't work for her but the other one (more expensive) does. :S That's weird because they have the same content! Qi Xuan thinks it's just a placebo effect, maybe she thinks that the expensive one is better.

That's about it for Week 3! :) I really don't know who would read my weekly lengthy posts about my preceptorship! They're all words without pictures at all!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Week 2

Week 2!

Day 7
It was my first time doing afternoon shift! My previous part time jobs never required me to work on shifts so I was pretty excited! Plus, I get to sleep in and wake up late! Ahh :) But the bad thing is that I end work very late! Anyway, when I first arrived for work, I met a pre-registration student named Alvin! He has to complete nine months of pre-reg before he attains his pharmacist license. I would have to do the same thing as he is currently doing after I graduate in two years time! He actually started working two weeks earlier than me but I didn't see him last week because he went for a course.

Since there were a lot of people at the dispensary, Mariana assigned me to be at the cashier with Aunty Sabariah! I like her a lot because she's nice and friendly! :) I finally got the hang of handling everything at the cashier on my own albeit a little slow, heh. Most of the time, I would prefer that customers pay by cash then I wouldn't have to do so much. Haha.

Many kids bought thermometers for school because school just reopened. It's part of an act by Singapore's Ministry of Health.

Towards the end of the day, when we were about to close the store, customers started flooding in! We got quite busy! Nevertheless, we managed to close in time. :)

Day 8
Recorded a customer's details which is required when purchasing Nurofen! I was a little fearful that I might have missed out any details but I didn't! Doreen had to attend to a customer who had quite a number of prescription drugs while there were quite a lot of customers waiting. Thankfully, I knew the medications that the other customers wanted. :)

Thermometers were fully wiped out! One customer bought 10 thermometers at one go! O_O There were a few thermometers left but they were expensive ones (i.e $27 each!). The regular ones were about $5.90 each! So much difference!

Day 9
Taught and assisted Alvin with cashiering since he didn't have much hands-on experience since he came. I also had to make a call to a company who distributes Ebene Bio-Ray knee guard because of a customer who wore it for a few hours and complained that her leg was swollen after that. I had to ask the company for recommendations on how to advice her.

Apparently, it shouldn't be worn for long hours and at night. She should also take breaks at intervals for 1-2 hours. The knee guard can be worn with other topical medications and should be the right size for her.

Doreen measured earlier to see if she bought the right size and indeed, it was suitable for her. After calling the company, I had to call the customer. Oh my, she was screaming into my ears. I know it wasn't her intention, maybe she just speaks loudly all the time. I had to talk to her nicely and tell her that if she wants better advice, she should call the company instead since we have done what we can. It is better for her to talk to them as they know they product better. :) She agreed and I gave her the company's number. Case closed! Phew!

Day 10
We did some cleaning in the store! Mariana, Alvin and I wiped the plinth ends of all the shelves and arranged the products accordingly. It was a little dusty. As I was cleaning one of the shelves, I overheard a conversation between a Malay aunty and Aunty Jennifer at the cashier. Aunty Jennifer asked her what is intestines in Malay and the aunty replied "perut". Hahaha, Aunty Jennifer then said "Perut is stomach!". So I replied "Intestines is usus!". The Malay aunty got a shock and she was like "Wow this girl keep quiet only, but can speak Malay actually!". Haha.

Then she wanted to sign up for NTUC Plus card in which she could use to collect points. I helped her to fill up her application form. She was really thankful that I was around to help her and that made me feel good. :)

Day 11
It was pretty chaotic in the morning because it was the day we embark into our new system! We had a new POS machine! I forgot what it stands for but it's basically the cashier. The new system was so slow! Scanning a product took it a few seconds to register into the system! Also, it couldn't connect to the NETS and credit card machines! So, we had to accept cash only. The staff were a little nervous because they are not used to such "high technology" (touch screen!). After playing around with it, they sorta got used to it. But, it was still very slow! I left after a short while for my visit to LF Asia warehouse!

We had to meet at Jurong East MRT station at 1 pm. But we only left the MRT station around 2.00 pm because Fenix was late! We took a cab to the warehouse and were led to a meeting room. Listened to presentations by two important people in the warehouse. They basically gave us insights in the industrial aspect of being a pharmacists and also a thing or two about their company. Although it isn't necessary to be a pharmacist to be in the industry but it is an advantage! I think some of the guys would prefer to work in the industrial side of pharmacy. But I'm not very keen on it.

We were taken on a tour of their warehouse but first, we had to change our shoes! We had to wear safety shoes which were quite ugly yet cute. Haha. The warehouse was huge and everything was well coordinated! I also experienced -15ÂșC in a freezer where they stored botox! Haha. :D

After the tour, we had some light refreshments from Delifrance and goodie bags! :D Yu Lee and I savoured the delicacies, they were scrumptious! :) Had a few Q&As, then it was time to go home (technically, room for me)! Haha.


Week 2 is a day short because I'm off today but I have work tomorrow! I'm not sure if I have mixed up any events between the days but I'm pretty sure that they all happened last week!