Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Golden Opportunity for Two Caring Girls

Imagine this. Competing against the best talents from about 16 countries when you are barely an adult. Daunting isn’t it? However, two brave girls are just about to go through that next year!
Nursing students Audrey Foo (left) and Gladys Aw 
The girls are Audrey Foo and Gladys Aw. These two Diploma in Nursing students came out tops in the Caring category of WorldSkills Singapore 2012, and therefore have the privilege of representing Singapore in the international-level competition called WorldSkills Competition which will take place in Germany in 2013.

How do they do it? Well, NYP’s Nursing students have proven consistently that their Caring skills are world-class.  They have been world champions in Caring for the past three consecutive biennial WorldSkills Competition, since this category started in 2007.  Just look at our track record:

WorldSkills Competition: Caring Category
Year of Competition
Caring - Gold Award Winners
Shizuoka, Japan
Ms Ethel Lim Yee Ting &
Ms Poh Pei Fen
Nanyang Polytechnic
2009, Canada
Calgary, Canada
Ms Adeline Mah Ching Yee &
Ms Carolyn Choo Fang Yi
Nanyang Polytechnic
2011, UK
London, UK
Ms Rachel Chloe Chua &
Ms Jaslyn Li Kaiyun
Nanyang Polytechnic

Can Audrey and Gladys meet our expectations next year? We interview them to find out!

1) What was the preparation for the World Skills Singapore 2012 like?

Audrey: Commitment is the key to success. We told ourselves from the start that we would make sacrifices for our training. During our clinical attachments, we even headed back to school for training, during the intensive training period before the competition.
Gladys: We put in hard work, together with our coaches, Ms Yong Li Peng and Ms Cynthia Ngian. During this process, we have learnt how to manage our time more efficiently.  Despite the hard work, we also had fun during our training. We even did things like exercise together.

2) What was the experience like during the competition?  What have you learnt?

Gladys: During the competition, we were given scenarios in hospital settings and we have to provide appropriate care for the patient.  There were judges and an audience looking at our performance.  To stay alert and prevent ourselves from being stressed, Audrey and I kept our focus on the patient and the best care we should provide. We also looked out for each other.

Audrey: Team work played an important part. Gladys and I really have to understand each other well and read each other’s body language.  This whole experience boosted my confidence level when I'm out for my clinical attachment and also made me provide more holistic care for my patients. I have definitely gained more knowledge about my work due to the amount of research done during training.

3) How did you feel when you were announced the winner?

Gladys: On the day of the results, Audrey and I were telling ourselves that we would accept whatever results we got as we had done our best. When we were announced winners, I remembered crying tears of joy and feeling relieved. We were glad and thankful that our hard work and the effort that our coaches put in had paid off.

Audrey: It felt good, like a bonus for us, because being able to take part and experience this was already rewarding enough.  We had definitely learnt a lot.  We gave our very best during the competition and in our hearts, we were already champions.

4) SHS has been winning the WorldSkills Caring category since 2007. Share with us your winning formula.

Gladys: There isn’t really any winning formula! Besides hard work, I believe that a good relationship with your partner is the next most important thing. Audrey and I complement each other very well; we make use of each other's strengths and cover up each other’s weaknesses. During the competition, we could read each other's mind and whenever one of us was uncertain, the other would immediately step in to assist.

Audrey: Just believe in yourself and do your very best. The process is more important than the outcome.  We should not be worrying about what the outcome will be.  Instead, just focus on the process of getting things right, and the outcome will take care of itself.

5) Did you feel any pressure to perform seeing as how the previous year’s batches have been bringing home the Gold?

Gladys: Of course, we did feel pressurised. However, we kept our focus and always reminded ourselves to enjoy the process as well.

Audrey: We will do our very best. Getting gold is a bonus. The experience and knowledge gained alone are the best gifts we can get.

6) What are some important lessons you learn from your Nursing Course which can be applied to this competition?

Gladys: Throughout my course of study, I have learnt that it is important to put the patient first. However great our skills are, if we do not put our patient first, the nursing care that we provide isn’t really "care". It would just be a job which we have to do.

Audrey: I learnt not to treat what I do during clinical attachments as just routine work, but to treat all my patients like how I would like to be treated.

7) What are your aspirations for the future and what kind of nurses would you like to be?
Audrey: I might be furthering my studies. I would want to be a nurse who makes a difference and brings smiles to my patients. I also aspire to be a nurse who knows my work well.
Gladys: I want to be a nurse who has a clear purpose, which is to care for patients and make a difference in the patients’ stay in hospital. As we sometimes get very busy and drained during the course of our work, we tend to forget our overall purpose which is to give our best care to our patients. I feel that it is important to always remind ourselves of this purpose.
8) How do you feel about representing Singapore in the international level WorldSkills Competition next year?

Audrey: I’m proud and honoured to be able to do so. I never imagined myself representing Singapore before. My senior once told me this: “No dreamer is ever too small. No dreams are ever too big. Dare to dream. Believe in them, work towards them and they will come true”.

Gladys: It is definitely a great privilege to represent NYP and Singapore. We never thought we would come this far and we would definitely give it our best shot!

Gladys and Audrey will be representing Singapore in the 42nd WorldSkills Competition to be held in 2013 at Leipzig, Germany under the Caring category. Best of luck to both girls!

By Rafidah Sapa'at, Year 3, Diploma in Dental Hygiene & Therapy

Rafidah is a Year 2 Dental Hygiene & Therapy student who enjoys reading, art and craft, and especially sewing. Since she was much younger, she has sewed clothes, pouches, felt animals, and tote bags for her friends and herself. Nothing gives her more satisfaction than making something from scratch. She also loves movies and the unpredictability of LOMO photography. She loves taking dreamy, vintage photos with her Diana F+ camera. During her free time, Rafidah likes discovering new places (especially ice cream joints) to eat, and try out new different new things like yoga and kick boxing.

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