“To me, it’s a job that needs to be done, and it’s something we ought to do, even though we’re not at full strength.” This is how deeply Cindy Tan cares about fulfilling her duty as Senior Associate Executive in Quality Service and Office of Patient Experience, especially in these COVID-19 times, when colleagues are often deployed to external operations, including the dormitories and community care facilities such as the Singapore EXPO, thus disrupting work routines and patient schedules.
In handling all kinds of patient feedback, Cindy and her team are keenly aware that patients have been extra sensitive during the pandemic. “We empathise with them as they are frustrated about the important processes that we have implemented in the centre,” she shares. “We will go to the clinic to speak to the patients — in surgical mask, and maintain safe distancing, of course. There, we will explain how we can resolve their problems, such as scheduling another doctor should their regular one be on duty at the dormitories.” Cindy also helps to allay their anxiety about their eye condition, and gets advice from doctors on symptoms to look out for as well as preventative methods. “We work really hard to look for solutions and alternatives, but also advise them that there are health and safety guidelines that restrict what we can do to meet their expectations.”
Because of COVID-19, staggered hours, safe distancing, online meetings, and disinfecting her desk are now second nature to Cindy. She is unable to work from home because Repeat Prescription requires her to physically coordinate with the Call Centre, Pharmacy, and Medical Officer. But the big challenge she faces “is the need to keep myself motivated, especially when handling negative feedback, and patients or their caregivers who refuse to accept my explanations”. She adds, “I just remain positive and get the job done alongside my dedicated team.”
Cindy is thankful for observant colleagues and supervisors — who can tell from her body language that she is feeling burnt out — for sharing snacks and advising her to take a break.
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