As a medical secretary, my job takes in every stage of the patient journey: from diagnosis to treatment and on to after-care.
Yet too often there is a lack of appreciation for my work and that of other staff working in NHS support services.
But UNISON is prioritising this as part of its “One Team” for our NHS campaign.
The work I do is an essential part of delivering a quality service for patients, so I am proud that my union is standing up for me and my role.
I am responsible for referral letters at the start right through to discharge at the end of a patient’s journey, and my department covers genuine life or death conditions, such as heart and lung surgery.
My work is essential in making sure that every bit of information about the patient is available for the surgeons at the clinic – this saves time and helps ensure an accurate diagnosis.
I also play an important role in direct communication with patients: calling them up, giving them details of their appointments, and explaining details to them.
I organise follow-up appointments after admission and ensure that all the relevant paperwork is available, without which it would be impossible for surgeons to make the correct assessments for patients.
My work can be upsetting at times, as there may be circumstances where I have to deal with death summaries for patients, some of whom I will have been in contact with for months or even years.
There is good team working in my department, with all staff working closely with each other: from secretaries making appointments right through to the doctors carrying out the surgery and the nurses looking after patients.
We are all one big family who gel really well for the benefit of our patients.
So it has been great to see my union UNISON highlighting the importance of the team in our NHS.
One Team for Patient Care
UNISON is campaigning to ensure everyone who works in our NHS is valued, whatever role they fill.
Our campaign One Team for Patient Care aims to promote the message amongst the public, politicians and media of the great work that support staff do every day in the NHS.
UNISON knows that all staff, no matter what their role, play an important part in delivering quality patient care.
We know that there is no real divide between ‘frontline’ and ‘back office’staff in the NHS. All NHS staff are part of One Team for Patient Care.
To find out more visit our One Team for Patient Care pages. Why not tell us about your job? If you’d like to tell us about how you’re part of the NHS team visit our One Team for Patient Care pages and go to ‘Tell us your story’.