AHC welcomes both Cambodian and International Volunteers… meet our favorite student pharmacist – Marynet!
Born and raised in Siem Reap, Tep Y Marynet was aware of Angkor Hospital for Children for many years before she visited our website. Marynet, in her fourth year at the University of Health and Science in Phnom Penh where she is studying to become a pharmacist, applied to be a volunteer at AHC and was overjoyed when accepted. Marynet spent a month volunteering in our Pharmacy Unit, and was grateful to “have the chance to get practical experience and helpful supervision from the AHC team.”
The most challenging part of her role, Marynet said, was developing the self-confidence to provide patients and caregivers with face-to-face instruction before distributing their medications. “Patient’s parents might not trust me if they knew I was a student. They think that being a student means I have no proof that I won’t make their child worse, even though I have received training at school and was always supervised by AHC staff.”
In addition to building and projecting confidence, Marynet learned a lot about communicating with people who do not have health education. Many of AHC’s patients and families come from rural areas and are not health literate, which makes the mandatory medication education challenging. “If parents do not understand what I tell them, they are too shy to ask me questions, and just hope their relatives will explain what they should do. It was frustrating when I knew a parent didn’t understand, but I learned to take a big breath, smile and slowly explain everything again using simple words.”
Marynet was thankful that her supervisors were just as patient and kind with her as she was with our patients—she felt comfortable asking for help, and was happy that AHC staff did not get annoyed if she made a mistake, but explained what she could have done differently.
“I learned how to count, weigh and divide medicines, and learned a lot about how to help patients face-to-face. I will work very hard in my studies so I can come back as a staff member, and be a pharmacist at AHC!”
We are so thankful to volunteers like Marynet who support us in our work to provide high quality compassionate care to all of Cambodia’s children. To learn more about how you can get involved as a volunteer, please visit our website: http://angkorhospital.org/support/volunteer/