“Hello, for those of you who enjoyed my part one, I have been documenting my key moments for part two, so you can see what I have been up to.” – Nikki.
What was it like taking my first official call?
The first call was so nerve-wracking but once I got over that first one, I felt so much better! When I was in a preceptorship, my calls (like everyone’s) were supervised, meaning your preceptor is connected to your call. Once I passed this stage, I was on my own. I genuinely thought I wouldn’t be able to be alone I felt like I always needed reassurance but I gained more knowledge and confidence with time. After one month of taking live calls, the job has become so natural to me. I know I can always ask supervisors for advice – you are never left to deal with it yourself and no question is considered a silly question, I always ask if I am unsure.
Was the job what I was expecting?
I was unsure at first as I have always worked in hospitality which is a non-stop physical job. Being a health advisor is a mentally and emotionally challenging role – so different to what I was used to. However, I do love to support and care for people who are not only unwell but need help and advice. Some people who call genuinely don’t know what to do in certain situations so being calm, professional and having a friendly welcoming voice always provides some reassurance that they have done the right thing in contacting us. We will always provide the correct level of care and advice. Once I was completely trained, it felt so different to me – I get to sit close to my friends and even though I don’t get time to talk, a little smile or wave is always nice. I think I have been lucky as the team I carried out my training with are all amazing and we all have a lovely friendship and fully support each other.
What have been my challenges?
There has been a couple of challenges that I have faced along the way and the main one would be when a patient calls up and they don’t want to carry out a health assessment. This can be tough because to get them the right level of care, we have to carry out a health assessment and rule out anything life-threatening first. I knew that there were always going to be challenges along the way; however, it is a gratifying job and most patients are so kind and thankful and really appreciative for the care that you have provided. Once I finish my shift I try to forget about all of the calls that I have taken that day.
I did have some issues surrounding my wages, however, these were resolved with the help of my team manager.
What do I do on my breaks?
I mainly sit downstairs in the café area and have some food but this does depend on what shift I am on. I enjoy it more when one of my colleagues is also on their break at the same time so you can have a little chat and a catch-up. We have a lovely outdoor space and now that the weather is getting better it’s nice to have a little walk outside for some fresh air and to stretch your legs.
What is the most interesting call I have had?
I have had many interesting calls I couldn’t pinpoint one. I’ve had three really hard calls where sometimes it is hard to switch off mentally and emotionally. The calls that I can relate to, I always find hard but being able to fully empathise, listen and guide to the right level of care provides you with comfort. There are many calls that I wish I knew the outcome to as I want to make sure the patients are receiving care and feeling better.