Vaccination Training for Healthcare Heroes in the Face of COVID-19
06 Jul 2023
With vaccination against COVID-19 identified as a key strategy to safeguarding the health of the population, the Ministry of Health (MOH) undertook the massive task of training more than 1,200 vaccinators for deployment across vaccination facilities island wide.
Appointed as an MOH-approved training provider, Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) swiftly developed the “Training of Vaccinators for COVID-19 Vaccine” programme and rolled out the training – which comprised both online and classroom-based learning – between February 2021 and December 2022.
Over this period, NP worked closely with MOH and healthcare providers to plan the training programme and schedule, while maintaining oversight of the registration and onboarding of trainees. In all, NP successfully trained close to 700 eligible healthcare personnel to serve as COVID-19 vaccinators.
For stepping up during a time of need, NP’s School of Health Sciences (HS) was awarded The President’s Certificate of Commendation (COVID-19) at the National Awards (COVID-19) Investiture on 18 June 2023 at ITE College Central.
Going above and beyond the call of duty
The Director of HS, Dr Phang Chiew Hun, recalled how she quickly mobilised her team after a consultation with MOH to understand the immediate needs. Her able team of 16 full-time nursing lecturers and 15 technical support and administrative staff promptly put aside their pandemic fears and went above and beyond their call of duty to support this programme, all while juggling their day-to-day lessons for the school’s full-time diplomas.
Dr Phang shared: “It was a privilege for the School of Health Sciences to provide the training in support of our national vaccination efforts. As our nursing staff were fully competent in this task, we could respond promptly and effectively.”
Overcoming challenges for the greater good
The team had to race against time to roll out the programme. NP worked closely with MOH to ensure that the training programme and assessment were rigorous. Training materials such as videos were developed within a week by the team of full-time lecturers and made available on a micro-learning course platform for MOH-selected trainees to complete before their hands-on training.
Ms Clara Tai Chia Chia, an HS lecturer said: “It was an honour to serve as a trainer for the COVID-19 vaccinators training course. My colleagues and I were very glad that we could use our skills to contribute to the nation’s fight against COVID-19.”
While HS lecturers developed the curriculum and conducted the training, the school’s technical support staff ensured the smooth running of the training by providing support in the areas of logistics, scheduling, classroom preparation, and health screenings. Thanks to their efforts, NP was able to ensure zero COVID-19 infection during the training.
Ms Quek Mei Li, an HS technical support staff said: “I felt a deep sense of fulfillment knowing that I played a part in supporting the training of vaccinators. It's truly gratifying to witness the participants in action as they executed their responsibilities at the vaccination centres."
“My team and I are privileged to have played a part in our nation’s fight against COVID-19. The award is indeed a significant recognition of the team’s efforts in standing together with others in times of need,” added Dr Phang.