Elly

Elly Schwartzentruber

Receptionist

I’ve been with Home Care/CCAC and now the LHIN for 34 years. I started off as a team assistant, but arthritis in my hand made it impossible to do the work. I was lucky to move into reception.

I love my job. I get a huge variety of calls every day. The callers might be elderly clients who are looking for answers. They may be stressed out family members or the family of palliative care patients. They may even be service providers. No matter who is calling, they want to be heard. They want to talk to a real person.

Compassion is a huge part of being at reception. I always try to put myself into their shoes. I know that I’d want the person on the other end to listen to me before transferring my call. I may know right away who I need to connect their call to, but I don’t interrupt them. I listen first before I transfer them.

I’ve always felt it’s very important to focus on patients first. Your first impression of an organization comes down to the first person you meet. If you have a bad experience, it stays with you. So, I try to listen and be genuine with the people I’m talking to. I want them to know that I’m listening and paying attention.

No two days are ever the same. The people you meet at reception are really interesting. There are people who come in off the street just to learn more about what we do. Sometimes I even get hugs from the people who come in. More often than not, they don’t know who to talk to. They want and need help navigating the system, and they really appreciate when they get that help.

Our staff members here are amazing. No matter what, they always seem so calm, cool and collected, and they know how to help the people who call or come in. There are great resources here.

I love what I do. For me, the bottom line is that you can’t work in healthcare unless you care. If your heart is not in it, it reflects in your attitude. You have to have compassion, patience and empathy. I feel like if I’ve been able to help someone, even just a little bit, it makes me happy and grateful to come work.

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