What do you do at the BC Centre for Disease Control?
I am a member of the Health Records administrative team. We were originally a team of three but now we are a team of six. Our primary role is to support the doctors and nurses who care for patients in BC and Yukon.
We provide administrative support in all aspects of case management, including transcribing, processing reports, recording all correspondence and documents, data entry, photocopying, scanning, faxing, mailing and emailing. We also perform cross-functional duties to ensure the smooth operation of the office and other related clerical support activities.
What inspired you to take up a career in public health?
I have family members with medical challenges. Not having a medical background, I had a hard time understanding the terms that describe their condition. After graduating from Stenberg College, I worked as a casual employee in a walk-in clinic. Being in a position to be able to help those who are sick and in pain brings a sense of satisfaction. I always believe that real joy is found not in being served, but in choosing to serve. There are people who need our care, all we have to do is open our eyes and look around us.
What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?
“Not the maker of plans and promises, but rather the one who offers faithful service in small matters. This is the person who is most likely to achieve what is good and lasting.” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe.
Putting clients at ease when they come for their medical surveillance, especially when they don’t speak any English, is a rewarding experience. Being able to communicate with them in their language seems simple, but it is an important part of patient care; patients feel that they matter and we care about them. Speaking the same language also allows me to provide education, which is an important part of prevention.
What changes do you anticipate in your field over the next decade?
Processing patient health records as quickly and efficiently as possible is something we work towards every day. Improvements to our record-keeping systems are ongoing, and with improved processes and the availability of new tools, we will be able to do an even better job.
The development of electronic health records has sped up our ability to provide nurses and doctors with results, documents, and images which allow them to make faster recommendations and deliver better patient care. Other developments include electronic scheduling calendars which minimize wait times, and overall better communication between all parties involved in any individual patient case.
What is your favourite thing about your work?
The people I work with at the BCCDC are one of the best parts of this job, as well as the variety of tasks. The processing team is now merged with the transcription team and we work closely together in one area. We may have specific roles, but we work together to achieve a common goal. We share ideas and information quickly and regularly, keep written records, and always allow time for team reflection and group decision making. The team also serves as an educational resource to others in the department. Our friendship provides a sense of unity.
An interesting/surprising fact about yourself?
Children have always been a big part of my life. I enjoy fun time with them depending on their ages and it never ceases to amaze me how refreshing it can be. I enjoy spending time with my grandniece and grandnephews whenever I can. Children can either drive you up the wall as they drain your energy or make you feel on top of the world when they are good. I guess it is okay for me as long as I have them for a short while as they go back to their parents after babysitting hours are over!