Having majored in nursing, Ann Sim worked as a staff nurse in Changi General Hospital for three years before joining Khoo Teck Puat Hospital as an emergency medicine nurse for another two years.
“I wanted a change of environment; to do something out of my comfort zone,” she says when asked what prompted her to make the move to Singapore Airlines.
From being always on the move in scrubs and trousers, Sim found that having to don the Singapore Girl kebaya and to adopt a more gracious manner of speaking were among the challenges she faced as a new cabin crew. “I’m thankful for the facilitators and friends in my training batch who helped to look out for me,” shares Sim. “They remind me that I should walk more gracefully.”
In the fourth year of her career with the Airline now, Sim has not left her nursing training behind – she still volunteers as a medic with the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) Auxiliary Unit. “It helps me to stay updated with what goes on in the medical world, and get hands-on experience instead of just reading books.”
This training came in handy when Sim encountered an emergency on board a Singapore-Australia flight, during her first year as a cabin crew. She recalls, “The flight was taking off when a mother started screaming that her baby was not breathing. I immediately asked my colleague to inform the captain to stop the takeoff. We then rendered assistance as a team, and everyone was very cooperative. The flight took off, and all the passengers were happy that everything turned out well.”
Continually seeking to improve herself, Sim also signed up for a company-sponsored three-month intensive German course. “I learnt to do announcements on our German routes, and also communicate with our passengers who don’t speak English. Even for something as simple as helping them with their choice of meal, informing them of the landing time or what the previous announcement was about; being able to speak their language helps to make them feel more at ease.”
Sim has also been an assignment girl for events like the FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE AIRLINES SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX, as well as the destination videos for Dusseldorf and Wellington when the routes were launched. But the favourite part of her career is still the opportunity to meet people. She shares, “We look forward to visiting the destinations and seeing the sights. But one of the best things about flying is meeting new people. We also become firm friends with the colleagues we work with on different flights.”
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Photography assistant: Angela Guo
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.