It was a lucky accident that I ended up working in health care. I had just finished school and was placed with the CCAC, which is now the LHIN, for a temporary three-month contract. When the contract was about to end, the manager asked if I’d consider going to school to get the accreditation I needed.
18 years later, the job has changed along the way, but I still really enjoy working with patients and helping them get the information they need. Usually, patients come to me when they need their records for personal reasons or for insurance claims. So many times, they have no idea what they need to provide for their claims. I love that I can use my experience to help them with the information that will help get their claims processed.
Often, it’s not a good time in their lives. They may be going through a legal suit or a serious health issue, or someone they care about has just died. I try to do as much as I can to make it easier for them. If we don’t have the information, I tell them who they need to talk to at the hospital or their doctor’s office. It’s a lot of problem-solving, and I do what I can to reduce their frustration.
I don’t mind going the extra mile. I remember working with the family of one elderly gentleman who had moved to long term care. They needed his records to get a rebate from Veteran’s Affairs. I didn’t mind staying late that night to make sure his application was received and that everything was in order.
In that case, the family was frustrated and had lost trust in the institutions they were dealing with. That small gesture of working late gave them what they needed – they felt reassured and better about the whole situation. It means a lot when I hear someone say “You’ve restored my faith.” It feels like they can see that they’re working with a real person who cares.
With thousands of active patients receiving care at home in our region, we get several hundred requests every year. That adds up to thousands of pages of records that need to be thoroughly reviewed before they can go out the door. We do accomplish a lot, but there’s always room for improvement. I always try to do what I would want for me or my parents or my children.
I’m amazed by the work my colleagues do. Our care coordinators do some extraordinary work. I don’t think I could ever do their jobs, but I like that I can support them. I try to be just as caring and do as much as I can on my end.
Health care is always changing. If you don’t like change, it’s not the industry for you. I don’t mind the change. It gives me the opportunity to learn.