The winning touch, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

The winning touch

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Committed nurses inspired Ms Poh Pei Fen to pursue a nursing career, which led to a victory in the WorldSkills Competition

When Singapore was coping with the Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak in 2003, teenager Poh Pei Fen was moved by the selflessness of the nurses.

She decided to join the nursing profession by enrolling in Nanyang Polytechnic to pursue a nursing diploma the following year.

After graduating from her nursing studies at the polytechnic, she joined KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) in 2006 as a paediatric intensive care nurse.

Now an assistant nurse clinician at the Children’s Intensive Care Unit at KKH, Ms Poh, who is in her 20s, says: “While I was in my second year at Nanyang Polytechnic, our lecturers nominated us for the WorldSkills Singapore Competition.

There was an internal qualifying round before we participated in that competition, where we won the Gold Medal.

“We then trained for about one-and-a-half years before taking part in the WorldSkills Competition Shizuoka 2007.“

She recalls: “As the competition drew closer, the training became more intense. We de-stressed by improving and perfecting our cardiopulmonary resuscitation skills during breaks. It was bittersweet fun.”

Global victory in caring

Her participation led to a personal victory on the international stage — at Shizuoka, where Ms Poh won WorldSkills’ first Gold Medal in Caring, when the skill category was first introduced at the competition.

When she learnt that she had won, Ms Poh and the rest of the team were in disbelief.

She says: “We were not expecting to win a medal as it was the first time that Singapore was participating in this category.

“My win showed me that although Singapore is a small country, we have worldclass nursing standards.

“The medal motivates me to deliver high-quality care in the course of my job because my patients deserve the best.”

WorldSkills was memorable to Ms Poh for another reason — that year, her husband-to-be was taking part in the Telecommunication Distribution Technology category in the same competition.

The couple, who first met at a dinner event organised by the WorldSkills Singapore Network, married last year.

Motivational experience

Ms Poh says her experience at World-Skills Competition Shizuoka 2007 has enabled her perform better at her job.

She shares: “The soft skills that I learnt while training for the competition have helped me to communicate effectively

with my patients and their families, even during the early stages of my nursing career.

“Competing in a highly stressful environment while the public is watching has primed my resilience during stressful conditions.

“This has enabled me to remain calm and rational during emergency situations, such as when I need to respond promptly to an emergency code activation.”

Showcase your skills

The WorldSkills Singapore (WSS) 2018 finals will be held from July 5 to 7 at Suntec Singapore Convention Centre.

Besides watching the competitors, the public can pick up new skills, learn more about different industries, and explore various education and career pathways through career talks, workshops and an exhibition.

Test and celebration of skills

A key programme under the SkillsFuture movement, the WSS competition is the premier national competition for skilled talents.

Held every two years, WSS pits the nation’s best young talents in a rigorous test of skills and grit.

It is a celebration of skills for competitors, students, industry partners and the public.

The winners of WSS 2018 will represent Singapore at the next Asean Skills Competition in Bangkok, Thailand, in August; and the international WorldSkills Competition in Kazan, Russia, in 2019.

New skill areas added

For WSS 2018, nine new skill areas have been included:

● 3D Digital Game Art,

● Automobile Technology ,

● Beauty Therapy,

● Cyber Security,

● Fashion Technology,

● Hairdressing,

● Rapid Transit Systems,

● Freight Forwarding, and

● Water Technology.

These bring the total number of skill areas to 26.

Singapore’s victories on the global stage

Singapore has been participating in the Asean Skills Competition since

2007, and the WorldSkills Competition (WSC) since 1995.

Since the 33rd WSC in 1995, Singapore has won:

● 25 Gold Medals,

● 8 Silver Medals,

● 13 Bronze Medals, and

● 73 Medallions for Excellence.

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