Growing up, Winson Lee wanted to be a businessman like his father, travelling the world to attend meetings. Career stability and a steady income became a priority when one of his father’s business plans failed. When he’d heard that the prospects for pharmacists were promising, he opted to pursue pharmacy as a career instead.
He soon realised the value of his expertise as a pharmacist with knowledge of how the different drugs and medications work. He often debunks myths and clarifies misconceptions of different medications to patients and caregivers. In addition, his profession has allowed him to fulfil his childhood dream of travelling, for different reasons – medical mission trips where he manages the drug inventory as part of the medical team, and counsels locals in these countries on medication for their conditions.
Winson has been with CGH for the past eight years, the last eight months as an inpatient pharmacist. His current role involves close coordination with the medical care team, caring for patients in the hospital wards.
“As an inpatient pharmacist, I review medication charts, working with the medical care team to enhance our patients’ treatment plan. I conduct medication reconciliation – checking medical records, interviewing patients to understand their medication history, assessing their current medication for appropriateness, and identifying any drug-related concerns before making necessary adjustments,” he shared.
Many people think that only pharmacists work in the pharmacy and dispense medications, but Winson is quick to share that his team does a lot more than that.
“We have our pharmacy technicians who help with the packing and dispensing of medication at the pharmacy. Our outpatient pharmacists maintain medication stocks, and also counsel and educate patients on their medication, assessing the appropriateness of prescribed medications during clinic
visits in consultation with the doctors. The inpatient pharmacists like myself, review medical records such as blood results and renal function, and consider factors such as lifestyle and financial situations to assess, titrate and adjust our patients’ medications for personalised and individualised treatment and optimised care for each patient,” he said.
Winson is also involved in running the hospital’s outpatient Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) clinic with a team of infectious disease consultants, nurses and medical social workers. He provides individualised counselling for patients who have just started anti-retroviral treatment, and optimises their treatment schedule while ensuring compliance to the medications prescribed.
COVID-19 has made his job more challenging, but his fluency in English, Mandarin and Malay has helped him build rapport with his patients.
“Because of COVID-19, we are sometimes not able to see patients in the ward. This may make it more difficult for patients to open up to us - especially if they have questions about their medications. Despite this, I try my best to use whatever language they are comfortable with, and spend more time to listen to their concerns, so we can establish a care relationship and help support their medication needs,” he explained.
Winson continues to find satisfaction in his work, particularly when patients become more aware of their own medical conditions and are educated and empowered to manage their medications with his guidance.
He is also appreciative of his team of supportive colleagues at the caring general hospital, “one of the best groups of people whom you will ever meet!” Their understanding, encouragement and little gestures helped him to make his working life at CGH an enjoyable one.
If you’d like to join the CGH family, head here to find out more about the career opportunities available: https://www.cghcareers.sg/
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