May 6, 2024, by Mei Kee Lee

Experience Sharing: Summer Internship at Tun Hussien Onn National Eye Hospital

By Willy Chooi Weng Hong, who is currently a Year 3 Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) student based at the University of Nottingham, UK.


Where did you do your summer internship? How long was it?

I did my summer internship at an eye hospital called Tun Hussein Onn National Eye Hospital (THONEH), and it was for a 3-month duration.


What did it involve?

My job scope includes assisting in both the outpatient department (OPD) and the inpatient department (IPD). In OPD, I was involved in prescription screening, packing, and dispensing medications to patients. In IPD, I screened, packed, and sent the medications to the nurses. Occasionally, I had to prepare medications indented by other departments, perform stock checks, and prepare extemporaneous preparations, mainly eye drops in a laminar flow cabinet.


What did you find interesting throughout this experience?

Something I found interesting from this experience was how wide the knowledge of ophthalmology is and how niche the market is. I also got to know and make some interesting eye drops, for instance the autologous eye drop, which involves abstracting a patient’s blood serum, centrifuging it, and using it to make an eye drop tailored for the patient.


How did the summer internship support your learning and future career development?

Through this summer internship, I got to know what the daily job scope of a hospital pharmacist is and what core competencies are required for a pharmacist or pharmacy technician when working in a hospital, especially when counselling with patients. I also got to improve my counselling skills through this experience, which is beneficial for my upcoming OSCE. It was a great opportunity for me to figure out which career path I would like to pursue and what components I need to focus on when I work in a hospital.


What is one take home message you obtain from this experience?

One message that I’m able to remember vividly was being precise and meticulous. Working in a hospital requires high levels of responsibility and being careful, as we would have to deal with many patients daily. Dispensing the wrong medication or providing the wrong instruction on the use of medication could reduce the patient’s recovery rate and might potentially harm the patient as well. Therefore, frequent medication checks and asking for the patient’s understanding are needed before a medication is dispensed.


What is your advice to current or prospective students on signing up for summer internships?

My advice to the current students signing up for a summer internship is to know which career you would like to explore. For instance, if you are curious about the hospital sector, then try to look for hospital internships as early as possible. If you are looking for an internship with a stipend, I would advise you to look out for yourself and try to apply to as many as possible, as you will never know what the result will be.

Posted in Experience SharingInternshipMPharm