Hospital pharmacist’s privilege to volunteer at 2012 Games

Pharmacist Laura Hughes was one of 100 volunteer pharmacists picked from more than 2,000 applicants to work with athletes at this month’s London 2012 Olympic Games.

Laura, 27, took two weeks’ leave from her job in the pharmacy at Southport and Formby District General Hospital to volunteer in the athletes’ village medical centre.

“I applied and was interviewed nearly two years ago after seeing an advertisement in the Pharmaceutical Journal asking for Games volunteers but I didn’t hear I’d been successful until just before Christmas,” said Laura from Swinley in Wigan.

Her experience began with two training days and courses on doping and anti-doping in sport and the management of common sporting injuries.

During the Games, as well as dispensing drugs, Laura helped national team doctors with their accreditation, advised on medical queries, delivered drugs around the Olympic Park and tested the water acidity in the Jacuzzi in the athletes’ village.

Most prescriptions Laura dispensed were for anti-inflammatories, antibiotics and painkillers but ear drops were also in high demand.

“It was also a great privilege to work in the village and at the heart of the Games,” said Laura.

“It was also a great feeling working with so many other volunteer health professionals, trying to provide athletes with a good service and making sure they were able to give their best for the Games.”


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