Coronavirus: SIA cabin crew redeployed as care ambassadors in Khoo Teck Puat Hospital

The cabin crew will be assigned to low-risk wards and support hospital care teams. PHOTO: KHOO TECK PUAT HOSPITAL

SINGAPORE - Instead of serving passengers on a plane, 30 Singapore Airlines (SIA) cabin crew members will be caring for patients in Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) instead, starting from next week.

They are the first batch of cabin crew, who were temporarily grounded due to cancelled flights in the light of the coronavirus outbreak, to be redeployed as "care ambassadors" at the public hospital in Yishun.

They will be assigned to low-risk wards and support hospital care teams to carry out basic caregiving procedures, nutritional care as well as patient service management for patients.

Patients in these general wards are treated for, among other things, chronic diseases, heart disorders and acute surgical conditions.

On Tuesday (April 7), the care ambassadors underwent medical screening, vaccinations and a hospital orientation.

They also watched a demonstration on serving meals to patients, one of the tasks they will carry out in the course of work during their three-month stint at the hospital.

Over the next five days, they will undergo training and be taught basic medical terminologies, vital signs monitoring, oral feeding, as well as positioning, turning and ambulating a patient.

They will also be trained in safety and infection control measures and will be required to wear a mask, similar to what nurses and doctors wear, although they will have no direct contact with Covid-19 patients.

From next week, they will be deployed to work the nine-hour day and night shifts at the hospital, five days a week.

Ms Shirley Heng, chief nurse at KTPH, said: "This is also a good opportunity for our nurses to exchange knowledge and skills on service with the crew of SIA, who are top service professionals.

"We hope that this will be a meaningful experience for them."

She added that the collaboration with SIA will help boost the manpower needs, as more healthcare staff have been reassigned to care for Covid-19 related patients.

Mr Tan Pee Teck, SIA's senior vice-president cabin crew, said: "We are very proud of our cabin crew, who have responded positively to this call to meaningfully support our front-line staff at Singapore's healthcare facilities."

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