Posted by: Sunita Gill27 JUL 2012
As I drove back from my ‘Healthy Eating Advisors’ (HEA) relaunchcourse arranged by Sainsburys, my mind was flitting between starting my firstGames Maker shift tomorrow and the succinct and informative HEA course that Ihad just attended. Sainsbury’s pharmacists are receiving additional nutritional training so that we canwiden our role and provide specific nutritional and dietary advice to ourcustomers. This training covers the dietary needs of a wide range of customersincluding the elderly, children, teenagers, pregnant women as well as specifichealth groups such those suffering from diabetes and heart disease . This knowledge gives us an ideal opportunity tohelp our customers make informed choices and lead to a more healthy diet. Ourpharmacies are situated in our supermarkets creating a perfectly symbioticrelationship, where we can assist our customers with their food selections. AsI had attended the original training launch a few years ago, we have alreadybeen demonstrating our HEA role to our customers in our High Wycombe branch. Nowwith the relaunch of HEA, I couldn’t wait to get back to my store and brief myteam. But for now I had to put all those thoughts on hold as my first Olympicshift was imminent.
That evening I reread all my notes that I had collated overthe last few training sessions. I took out my Games Maker uniform and put myessentials into the rucksack that we had been given. As I set my alarm for 4.30amI hoped I would get a good night’s sleep as tomorrow was going to be a day with lots of work ahead.
The next morning as I arrived through the campus gates atRoyal Holloway University, my first sight was of The Founders Building. Nomatter how many times I have seen this opulent building in its lush greensurroundings it never ceases to overwhelm me. As I continued along the path Isoon reached the Athletes Village. On arriving at the Village I first had to gothrough security and show my accreditation card. I then went to Work Forcecheck-in, where we receive our meal voucher and collect a bottle of water. Onmy way to the Polyclinic, I noticed some flags hanging from the apartmentwindows, which delightfully indicated that some athletes had already arrived onsite. On reaching the polyclinic I was introduced to the rest of the team. Thisincluded a sports Doctor, Radiologist, Physiotherapists, Sports Massage,Nurses, Dentists, Dental Nurse, General Practitioner and another Pharmacist. Wehad a morning meeting first which was a chance for the overnight team tohandover to the morning shift.
Once that wasfinished I eagerly raced over to the pharmacy. The last time I had seen thepharmacy was at the Venue Specific Training Day and as it wasn’t fully stocked then,it looked quite different. Thedispensary contained all the essentials with all the medication neatly arranged. After settling into the pharmacy I wasgiven a tour of the village. The majestic trees within the village stand talland proud, weaving around the buildings, creating a picturesque scene that’sworks in harmony with nature. The campus has a relaxed and homely feel to it, somethingI am sure the athletes will appreciate.
Our pharmacy role involves liaising with each team’s medicaldoctor and providing care to the athletes and their support teams. Interpretersare always available if needed. In addition to the normal pharmacy duties, myday also involved working with a multi-disciplinary team. As I’ve always worked in community pharmacy,this was a new experience for me. Although it is early days I am already thoroughlyenjoying it and felt immensely privileged to be working with such a highlyrespected team of professionals.
It was an amazing first day andin the words of one of my fellow Games Makers,who said it felt very much like the first day at school, in new surroundings,making new friends and wearing new uniform. I couldn’t have agreed with hermore!