SINGAPORE: Thirty cabin crew members from the Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group have joined Ren Ci Nursing Homes in Bukit Batok and Ang Mo Kio as "care ambassadors", assisting senior residents in their basic daily activities.
They are the first batch of cabin crew members deployed to help in the nursing home setting, Ren Ci Hospital said in a media statement on Wednesday (Oct 14). The 30 cabin crew members have been deployed at the two nursing homes since Sep 21.
In April, SIA Group said that it would provide at least 300 care ambassadors to help fill a manpower gap at hospitals "as hospital nurses are re-directed from their original duties to care for patients infected with COVID-19".
SIA Group has been affected by travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It announced a 96 per cent cut in SIA and SilkAir's combined passenger capacity in March, and in September said that it would cut about 4,300 positions across its three airlines.
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On Wednesday, Ren Ci Hospital said that it had leveraged SIA Group's care ambassadors programme since July.
"The deployment of SIA Group service-oriented care ambassadors in our community hospital has been fruitful, with visitors and staff delighted by the friendly smiles and helpfulness so naturally demonstrated by the cabin crew," said Mr Joe Hau, CEO of Ren Ci Hospital.
"The cabin crew put to good use their expertise at providing care and world-class service to enhance visitors' experiences," said the hospital, adding that they helped to ensure safe distancing, especially during the busy visiting hours.
At the nursing homes, care ambassadors will provide administrative support in the wards, attend to basic care-giving needs of residents and provide companionship during therapy sessions and leisure activities, Ren Ci Hospital said.
This will be done under the supervision of nursing staff and alongside resident care associates, the hospital added.
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"The on-the-job care-giving training complements the crew's excellent service and communication skills, allowing them to fulfil the psychosocial needs of the senior residents," the hospital said.
Among the first batch of 30 care ambassadors redeployed to nursing homes is Ms Noor Seha, a cabin crew member for Scoot.
"Being a cabin crew has taught me to be proactive and empathetic towards my passengers while keeping safety as top priority, and this was something that I could apply as a care ambassador here," she said.
Ms Noor said that although she had only been at the nursing home for three weeks, she was "already loving the bond" created with the residents.
She added: "I believe the care-giving skills I've learnt here will definitely add great value to my role as care ambassador, as well as in the near future as a cabin crew when air travel resumes again."