End of vacation job!

Today is my last day working at the Pharmacy. It’s been like an internship in a totally foreign field for me. Most of the temporary staff there, students on a vacation job, have some form of experience or learning in the pharmaceutical or healthcare science areas.

About a month ago, I wrote about how I assumed myself to have developed a passion or an interest in healthcare because it’s an industry which I’ll work towards improving people’s lives, rather than having all eyes on the stocks market to “save” the economy and it’s just plenty of profits, profits and more profits.  Pharmaceutical Science was one of my top choices of course I opted for because it was the closest to medical science. To think about it now, I don’t think I’ll be able to do alot better in that area.

While I was working, I realized I’m so much fortunate and happy to be studying what I used to think it was one of the worst choices I’ve made. Back then, if I had chosen what I think was right for me and for the next 3 years, only to slowly learn that my choice was blurred by an illusion, that’s even a sadder thing. Nevertheless, I understand that studying is a whole lot difference from working. And maybe that’s what this vacation’s for – like a trial to learn that reality draws a clear line from one’s perception.

For the past 1 1/2 months, I’ve learnt about alot of things even though I’ve been doing the same miscellaneous tasks almost every other day.

I tried to learn about the cures of the commonly-bought drugs from the little slip of paper you find in the medicine box. But you see, the terms get so technical that I’ve got to make some guesses to find sense in the words on the slip. The interns were really capable distinguishing among the different medications and what they’re meant for – from the last examination’s memory they say!

I got the opportunity to visit the renovated Pharmacy, which I soon realized that the one I’m working at is a temporary one and we’re all just hired to do what technology and machines will be doing in the near future! It was a “wow” when a couple of us got to see the new place. I bet the elderly (most of the patients belong to this group) will be really surprised to see that change in time to come. Every time I glimpse out to the patients from the back end of the prescription counter, it just looks like a late 80’s to 90’s pharmacy, not as brightly-lit as the new one – just like the ones you see in the healthcare chapter of your Social Studies’ textbook.

When I assumed (again) that work @ the Pharmacy will be really relaxing and in as little speed as possible, I should have known it’s one at a public hospital and not every pharmacy works the same way. But all that haste isn’t so bad when time passes really quickly! With the speed and many hands working together, you’d never expect to clear out that full-seated pharmacy within the opening hours.

I’ve met alot of friendly people who have been readily striking conversations with the new temporary staff wherever possible. They have guided me alot – whether it’s out of request or their initiative and kindness to do so. I thought it’ll be take me awhile to learn the ropes but thanks to their patience and so often seeing how they do certain stuff, I started to follow them. I don’t speak much, as much as I want to but I don’t know what else I can say. Most of the time, I creep to the side and do the packing. It seems really rude – as far as I know that if I’m the person who tries to prompt someone like me to speak. About 2-3 of them I got to know them better and they tend to joke more than the others which really makes my day at work. Maybe the productivity isn’t always there when there’re lots laughter in the workplace.

Apart from learning how a typical hospital’s pharmacy operates, I learnt how to do sort-of a public announcement with a mic, which looks like a walkie-talkie, to call out the patient – which is something I thought I’ll never be able to do so, especially right infront by the counter facing the rows of patients. With all their eyes on you, you wait in anticipation for the named patient to approach the counter you’re at. Or if he / she doesn’t approach after several attempts of calling, it’s just the walk of embarrassment to the back end. There are days when I don’t feel like doing that at all and even avoided instances when I’m asked to do so. Days, a few of them. It may be no big deal to many people to say something to a mic. For me, at least it matters because I die alittle inside whenever I have to do that.

I’m always complaining how tired I’m after work and how it’s a torture to do some of the tasks at work. But I’ve got to say I’ve more out of this vacation job than the last one I had – not in terms of the pay or the sleeping hours I have to forgo. Back then, I do nothing much than the usual scanning, photocopying and filing the documents. Then, getting paper cuts (But I got more cuts from the sharp sides of the blister packs while packing the medications, than paper cuts I get from filing). I worked alone, besides my manager whom I’ve to wait for her to arrive, every morning, to give me instructions. The job involves more dependency, rather than mentoring. It may be good money there, but it’s less memories over there, as compared to here.


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