A day in the Life of an orthoptist AHP support worker Nouman | News from Whipps Cross Hospital

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A day in the Life of an orthoptist AHP support worker Nouman

My daily routine 

My typical day starts when I arrive at 7am to clean and prepare the clinicians rooms. I calibrate the Goldman visual fields so it is ready for the Orthoptists. I also help with the vision testing by uploading these onto the sheet for the clinical staff.

I use a Trust laptop to log onto the Millennium computer system and check the patient list for the next two days. I print out the list and write the patients details and then call each patient to confirm their appointment and remind them. By doing this it helps to keep the 'Do Not Attend' numbers down as the Trust incurs a charge for every appointment that is not kept. By the patients not attending this can be detrimental to their health, particularly for the the elderly and children. A lot of team working skills are involved. I use the WeCare visions and values throughout the day.

I liaise with my colleague for any patients wishing to reschedule their appointments helping to improve our departments efficiency. I support the orthoptists with patient flow. I put the patients at ease and keep them informed by letting them know what is happening. I have also accompanied the orthoptists to support them in the community clinics and special schools.

I work in the secretaries office to support my colleagues by sending out the letters and helping with administrative tasks to make sure the patients and GP’s receive their letters. I regularly check the stock supply for the eye drops and the PPE. I like keeping myself busy and like to be helpful. Every day I am learning something new.

My greatest achievement was when a patient came in and I was able to help with a patient’s vision test and record the results, I had never done this before. I was proud as I had learnt something new. I felt I had mastered a new task and helped the patient and the team.

What I enjoy the most

What I enjoy most about the job is helping the patients and my colleagues smile and helping my colleagues get through the day by being on time and supporting them.

The most memorable feedback I received was when I had just started working and was still learning new skills such as phoning patients and doing the scanning. One of my colleagues said to me that I was making a real difference as I was helping to improve patient experience, helping colleagues to do their job by giving them more time which made their job more rewarding and enjoyable. This made me feel valued and appreciated.

Challenges

My biggest challenge is the telephone calls when patients need to reschedule their appointments. I have to explain to my colleagues why the patient needs to reschedule. Sometimes the patient can become agitated if they are not able to get a new slot as soon as they would like it. I feel that sometimes patients don’t seem to understand just how busy the Eye Treatment Centre is, but I do my best to give them the information they need and let them know we are doing our best for them.

Thanks to Project SEARCH

I am very happy to be doing the job I really love with a fantastic supportive team. Before this I was on an internship programme with Project SEARCH at Whipps Cross Hospital. I first heard about Project SEARCH from my Aunty. My Mum researched this and explained to me that Project SEARCH helps young people to get experience and job roles. I said I would like to give it a try.  I attended an interview where it was explained what I will be doing and the support I would receive. I liked that the team were all friendly and smiling. I had three great rotations within the hospital and i'm now working in a meaningful and purposeful full time paid job .

Before Covid I used to go to the gym, do taekwondo, circuit training and badminton. I like to keep fit.

What's next for me

In five years’ time I would like to be an ophthalmic technician doing the vision tests and eye drops to help speed up the clinicians times to be able to deliver great patient experience.

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