Silvia Richter works on reception in cardiology. We speak to her to find out more about her role and what she loves about working here.
Hi Silvia, how long have you been in this role?
I’ve been in this role for six months. I started on the bank, and then after about four months my manager approached me to ask if I would be interested in a permanent role, which was a nice surprise! I previously worked for a year in HR on an archiving project. It was a really interesting project but I knew that at the end of the project my role would have to end too.
How did you become interested in the role you are doing?
When I knew my last role was coming to an end, I started to look at another bank role because I needed a role that was part time. I found this and applied, because it matched my skill set. It has been good and I have learnt a lot of new skills too.
What is the best thing about your role?
First of all, I am so grateful for the part time shifts – as a working mum it really helps me to balance looking after my family and working when suits me. So being able to work around school runs and my daughter makes me happy and thankful.
I also love the face to face contact. I love to be at the desk and speaking to patients and staff. My personality means I like to be among people, so being on reception suits me well.
What do you think people who do not work in your cardiology would be surprised to learn?
Probably the number of appointments we run, especially in this period. We’ve all heard about patient waiting lists being long, but I can really see how hard the trust is working to see as many patients as possible. I am proud of my role in this too. I take pride in working hard to understand and match everybody’s needs.
Who has inspired you in your career?
Before working here my big worry was that English isn’t my first language. I have 20 years of administration experience in Italy, so I know a lot, but I was nervous to apply in this country. But I needed to call for a blood test, as a patient, and the lady on the other end of the phone had a strong Spanish accent. She was perfect, she knew exactly how to answer my queries and I thought, if she can do it, I can do it! There are so many international staff here doing a range of roles and all doing brilliantly, so everybody who works here for whom English isn’t their first language inspires me.
Describe one of your favourite work memories
I have a lot! In my previous job, my manager gave me flowers and a thank you card when my role ended! I was so surprised! And more recently, when my current manager asked me if I wanted the permanent role I was really surprised and that is a lovely memory.
I love my role because…
I’m not exhausted when I wake up in the morning. In the past I’ve had this feeling, but here I don’t. This means that everything is working and everything is good, so I am going to work happy!
Anything else you would like to tell us about your role?
Everyone in my department is a really, really nice person. I’ve never had the feeling that I wasn’t part of the team, even when I was on the bank. I hear my colleagues in conversation with patients, trying to make them more relaxed and talking with them and being so kind. We are the first contact with the patient so if we can make them happy, their whole pathway and future appointments will be easier and nicer. I know some of the booking team work overtime to wait with our patients. It’s not just booking them in, we really take care of our patients.