Singapore Airlines will redeploy grounded flight attendants to a Singapore hospital, where they will serve patients in low-risk wards.
As in much of the world, health care workers are overburdened right now in Singapore, even as the city-state has largely controlled the spread of COVID-19. With most flights grounded, Singapore Airlines will re-assign cabin crew to serve as “hospital care ambassadors” at the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital starting next week.
No, the Singapore Girls will not be anywhere near COVID-19 and other high-risk patient. Instead, 30 will be initially assigned to low-risk wards and act in a nurse assistant role, providing caregiving assistance including vital signs monitoring, turning patients over, and serving meals. Even so, all will wear masks.
The hospital is understandably elated. Shirley Heng, the hospital’s chief nurse, told the The Straits Times that she hopes that the cabin crew members will help nurses offer better service to patients.
“This is also a good opportunity for our nurses to exchange knowledge and skills on service with the crew of Singapore Airlines, who are top service professionals.
“We hope that this will be a meaningful experience for them.”
Cabin crew have already undergone health screenings and received requisite vaccinations. They are now in training to learn medical terminology and how to safely interact with patients. Starting next week, the initial 30 will serve nine hour shifts, five days per week.
Singapore Airlines service in a hospital? Sounds lovely. Can I Book the Cook as well? On a serious note, what an excellent idea and something that other airlines should consider. With so many hospitals strained to capacity and so many flights attendants paid not to fly, this seems like an idea that should catch on around the world.
I can imagine, though, that this sort of role may make flight attendants yearn for a return to the skies.
image: Khoo Teck Puat Hospital