Wednesday, November 17, 2010
An Update on My Working Life
I can't really talk to much about my job, but I spend my Tuesday mornings wondering how things are going at the Fredericton clinic and I feel bad for not really participating in the quid pro quo when the volunteers there do give me updates. So I will give you a little update on my (working) life here, and try to be general.
Working at the Toronto clinic is pretty much 100% different than working at the Fredericton clinic. It's the difference between operating six and a half days a week as opposed to one, and being in a fully staffed clinic every shift as opposed to just me and SL four days out of five. I like it, just like I liked Fredericton, but they can't really be compared. But for the abortion angle, it would be a totally different job.
I like answering the phones. I didn't think I would like a job that was essentially just that, because I'm not a phone person, but having a script helps. I really enjoy talking to different women and hearing their stories, including the stories they tell through not telling. I love my co-workers, they are fabulous women (with the exception of a few doctors and one accountant, everyone who works there is a woman) and I admire them greatly. I have one co-worker in particular who is always saying hilarious things and then commenting "I know you're going to blog about me saying this!" but I never do. Mostly because it would be strange, out of context. But I do think she is awesome.
For those who are interested, basically what I do is I sit at a computer with our appointment software in it and I take calls and make appointments. During the downtime I help out with the stuff that needs to be done to get the clinic ready for the next day - pulling files, printing day sheets, verifying health cards and that kind of thing. The shifts go by quickly because there are always calls.
Recently I started training on admitting, which involves actually dealing with patients face to face (to do their billing paperwork). This is a lot less heartbreaking than in New Brunswick where everyone is paying out of pocket, but it is a lot more complex and involves a lot of bureaucratic nonsense. There's also a little more time pressure because there are two counsellors, so they are sometimes waiting around if you take too long admitting. And then they get antsy.
My favourite thing about working at the clinic is that everyone treats everyone else like an equal, and it seems effortless. I think they would all be surprised to know that it's not like that in some places. People have weird issues around medical staff and authority, and it's easy in a facility like this to treat doctors like they are better than the rest of us. But the admin staff and the doctors and management and counsellors and nurses and accountants and security staff are pretty much indistinguishable in their interactions with each other. It feels very empowering to think the work I'm doing is just as vital a part of the organization as the doctor's work.
I do miss the Fredericton clinic - I miss working with SL, and seeing my volunteers every week. It is still my favourite job of every job I've ever had. But I'm really glad that this job is working out, and that I can go to work in such a positive environment. I am a very lucky person.