For Abbi Potts, becoming a Patient Services Administrator at Bourn Hall Wickford was a welcome career change, an opportunity to learn new skills and to make a difference. We ask her about her job and how she supports our patients.
Helping people to have children
I worked in utilities as a customer service manager – I’m local and I wanted to work closer to home; the pandemic makes you realise things like that.
I was just really eager for this job. Helping people to have children is so much more fulfilling than sorting out electricity and gas! I’m really enjoying it – learning new things every day, there’s never a dull moment.
At the start of the journey
My work as a Patient Services Administrator involves booking in consultations for patients, providing them with all the information they need for their treatments or for consultation. I’m on the other end of the phone when they have queries before they’re a patient.
I often get asked about costs of treatment by self funding patients and I try to provide some guidance but until patients have seen the doctor, we don’t know what treatment or medication they will need. Everyone is treated individually, so every call you have is different.
Some people will already have had some fertility testing, but they might need additional tests. We can offer a fertility check that includes tests such as hormone blood tests or scans individually. I try to advise based on where people are in their journey.
You need a natural empathy in this role and to be able to put yourself in patients’ shoes. It’s a matter of gauging what the patient is about.
It is good to be working in a small team close to the nurses – I am learning all the time about the treatments and getting to understand the patients’ journey.
For me there is a continuous relationship with each patient; it’s like a pathway, booking each test and procedure. I see them through the whole journey, I remember booking them in for their consultation, I know their next step, recognise them when they come in – giving that patient support is the part of the job I love.
Support for difficult times
We all hope for a successful outcome, but sadly not every treatment is going to be and after an unsuccessful cycle there is an opportunity for a review with the fertility consultant to discuss the next steps.
These follow-up calls are difficult to make but you kind of gauge on the phone if somebody wants to talk, or if they need a bit of time. So, depending on how ready they are, I talk through their options and book them an appointment with the consultant and may suggest our counselling service.
We offer counselling to our patients in all different stages of their journey, but when they have had a loss or need to make a difficult decision, that is when they need it most.
Helping them with what matters
When a patient has a successful treatment, it’s an amazing feeling. I feel like I’ve been a part of all the ups and the downs on the way and to end their journey at Bourn with a healthy pregnancy and a baby is the overall goal for everyone involved.
Each patient that comes through is wanting the same outcome, and you just can’t help but be excited for them.
It’s such a different feeling coming home now. When I think back about my day, it’s fulfilling to know that we’re helping people with one of the most important things that matter to them in their lives.