How’d You Get Started In Your Career? And How’d You Get To Where You Are Today?
So, 14 years ago I applied for an overnight position in the telecommunications department at a large hospital. I’ve been here ever since. I thought I’d be sitting behind a rotary phone taking one call at a time and it would not be complex whatsoever. Boy, was I wrong. It was a computer software program that the ladies were working on with a headset and also answering the code phone while answering for 100’s of physicians answering services as well.
It looked so complicated but I was willing to give it a try. I excelled and found that yes- I would be taking inbound and outbound calls through the hospital. These days we are the answering service for 100’s of Dr.’s and also answer the code phone first and foremost.
When a nurse on a unit has a code; they ring down to the operator (me) and I am the 2nd line of defense. I do an overhead page, send out pages to the group that responds, and also make some calls to make sure all have responded. It’s a high stress, fast paced job and I need to know how to do it before it happens. So, being brushed up on all codes is of the utmost importance.
The job has grown exponentially over the years with our answering service becoming more than twice the size. The codes have expanded and the job is basically like working in a little 911 center. I am so proud of the job that I do and I love it. Each call is different.
I’m that person on the other end of the line when you call your child’s physician in the middle of the night to have the on-call Dr. paged. That’s me. I will take your information, call the Dr. at home and connect you to him/her. I am that person that will react in the event of a code blue (cardiac arrest) and make sure the proper procedures are followed so that care can begin for the patient. Like I said, each call is different which keeps it from ever being dull.
I started on the night-shift all those long many years ago as a way to care for my kids during the day. My son was 11 and my twins were 7 at the time and I just could not afford to get a sitter for during the day so I decided to try nights. I was made for the night-shift. All those years of being a night owl and someone was actually going to pay me for staying up all night (I was doing that anyway), this allowed me to be home during the day in the event that one of my kids became ill at school and needed to come home. I never needed a sitter because my husband works days and is home all night long.
I am also in charge of monitoring the medical gas air flow alarms, the fire-board, the code blue annunciator, and the back-up emergency generators. This job entails so much and to this day I have questions or situations come up that I have never dealt with. It’s amazing. I learn something new weekly and things are always changing.
It has served me well and I’m so blessed to be a part of this great team. We definitely have great teamwork in this department and I love working with the people that I work with, we have become so close over the years.
I cannot see myself doing anything else.