Back to Civilian World

4 06 2017

Actually, it’s not like I spent the past few weeks away from civilisation. It’s probably more like, it’s about time I go back to normal day job and deal with the tasks at hand. Yeah, the past few weeks saw myself spending the time performing mandatory reservist duties, a high key call up after more than a decade which is supposedly relatively uncommon to have such a huge break in between.

As per last week, there’s no work related stuff this week so I guess I shall pen some thoughts about the whole training course experience since it has now wrapped up. While I expected to have to deal with needles and learning some new skill, the biggest surprise for me is really the number of hours of standing required which is truly more challenging than all other aspects of the course (for me). Till now, I think it’s fairly amazing that my feet hasn’t exactly swollen yet, as it would have if it was anything like what I experienced last year due to other activities which are probably less strenuous in comparison after factoring in the duration and all. That said, I am still suffering from the aftermath of all the fatigue since during the past few weeks I was literally scraping through each day, with my feet being really red (but not swollen) every day and towards the end having multiple blisters surfacing. Been sleeping a lot every rest day I had, and I am not sure if I am really ready to go back to work tomorrow though it’s supposedly physically less tiring, but probably mentally more so.

Thankfully for me, the training course is conducted by a statutory board so in some sense there will be less regimental elements as compared to the uniformed organisation though there are still expectations and SOPs to follow. Personally, I don’t like to deal with needles but this is a course where escaping from it is impossible. Well, just have to think of it as picking up a skill which is actually used widely(?) in the civilian world, as compared to the many other training options that other vocations may have which may not translate to anything commonly practised outside of these duties. That said, it’s not like I hope that this new skillset which I have sort of picked up will be put into real use outside my ICT cycles, since it would mean that something bad has happened that even barely trained personnel like me have to be activated. To be honest, my current skill level is probably insufficient to be on my own during the event of a real crisis, but I guess it’s still better than having no helping hands at all. Right, the said skill is to be able to perform blood donation on donors which is (mostly) different from your usual blood drawing for medical tests.

The staff at the stat board are generally friendly and nice people, be it the trainers or the regular staff on the ground. Despite us (me and the other people called up) being total noobs at the start, they are pretty patient and willing to guide us as necessary where we were lacking till we got better and could do most things independently without supervision. I would like to think that this sort of spirit is also applicable to actual trainee staff who are new to the job as a full-timer, which I feel is something quite important in a workplace, though it’s still not something I would opt to work as full-time even if it was not as (physically) tiring. I also noticed that quite a number of staff, especially the younger ones, are clearly not locals and it’s probably rather understandable after going through the job. And without having to actually experience other nursing roles first hand, I can imagine why some institutes depend heavily on foreign workers to make up the head count for sufficient staff to run the place.

I also got to experience different locations, and thus slightly different aspects of the job though I spent the vast majority of my time at the HQ. There are some differences in terms of equipment and facilities in each location, and thus some smaller aspects of the practices may differ a little, though the main process still has to follow the SOP designed and audited. For example, in the mobile site, “high tech” mixer machines are not available due to the need of both power and network ports and of course the logistic aspect, so some things will be more manual though the outcome and main process are not affected. Each site has its own differences and I can see why some of the more experienced staff have certain habits while working at HQ – it’s partly to help them be more efficient and optimise their workflow, and also to be versatile enough to be applicable to whichever environment they are required to work in. I suppose this really comes with experience and more time spent on the job, something which a short (in comparison) course cannot provide sufficient time for us to level up adequately.

On the up side, there are really many different kinds of donors, some of them pretty friendly or accommodating, while there are also a small number who are pretty fussy and demanding despite doing a noble task. The most stressful donor I had to work on is actually not from the general public, since the bunch of us will only be doing on donors who are willing and are suitable (ie. veins are not so fine etc), but rather a high ranking officer from the main HQ which my NS unit belongs to. In terms of ranking, he’s on par for the 2nd highest rank there, but luckily he has fairly good veins and it was a success case for me. Lots of big shots were around to observe and I think quite a number of photos were taken during the entire process. Perhaps I am going to appear on some internal circular or newsletter soon, though I probably won’t be able to see it for myself. It’s only later on I kind of realised why I got ‘arrowed’ to perform this task (ok, more like a guess). Good thing the top gun of the medical organisation was not eligible for donation at that time, as I think that would really change the whole atmosphere a lot.

It turns out that I was nominated (and awarded) to be the best trainee for the course after discussion with the trainers, which is likely the reason why the in-charge chose me to do that “high profile” donation, though I still don’t quite understand why I got the award. For one, I am definitely not the one who did the most successful number of venipunctures, and for another I am not the most hardworking or enthusiastic trainee. If I had to advocate a reason for myself, it would probably only be that I picked up the theory part pretty fast and perhaps thought of/pointed out things which are considered ‘impressive’. But actually, I noticed those things mainly because of my “skillset” from my day job. Lol. Well, an award is still an award and supposedly there will be some credits which I will be able to utilise after it’s officially credited. Not something I would trade all that fatigue and pains/aches for, but it’s still better than nothing I suppose. Hopefully I would be able to get something useful out of those credits. Shall wait and see what is in store for me.

Well, I suppose the above wraps up what I have to share for my recent training experience, though there are more details which I have left out since I am not sure how much I am actually allowed to share (publicly). For those who are really interested, I suppose we can have a separate session just for that. But for now, I suppose it will be the end of it until the next time I get called up, which I think would definitely be at least once per year from now on. Moving forward, it’s back to the usual stuff for this entry, starting with scheduled entries. Of course, once again I have already scheduled the stuff for the rest of the week and as mentioned previously it will be all fighting game videos content and it looks set to be the case for the weeks to come judging from the backlog which I haven’t watched just yet, unless there is something ‘special’ to interrupt. Haven’t really worked on the other aspects of my backlog and there are some things pending my attention which I would have to find some time and effort to attend to them in the near future.

I actually started writing this before the usual publication time for weekly updates, but it is now beyond that point, partly due to me writing such a long entry. Probably the longest entry in recent months, or perhaps even longer. Kind of lazy to check, though it is definitely the longest entry in this ‘blogging year’. Still really quite tired and have the tendency to feel sleepy despite not doing much, so I’m not sure if I am really ready for tomorrow and the week to come. I will probably need some time to adjust back to the pace and catch up on the stuff which I have missed out in the past few weeks. I’m expecting to feel a different kind of fatigue in the coming week but I hope it will be relatively all right to handle. In the meantime, I shall try to rest more and relax with whatever time is left of the weekend. Take care and I shall be back next week!

p.s. boring ‘repetitive’ updates will probably return from next week onwards.

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