'White angel' dispenses care and sympathy

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 November, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 November, 2008, 12:00am

Linda Glover, practice manager of Quality HealthCare Medical Centre, says nothing makes her happier than to see patients get well, be it from a common cold or some serious illness

I have been a registered nurse for many years and before joining Quality HealthCare in 2005, I worked as a unit supervisor in cardiac and pulmonary nursing at a private hospital in Hong Kong. As the practice manager supervising more than 40 staff at our main clinic in Central, I work closely with my colleagues at the company's 57 clinics across Hong Kong to ensure the office system and company policy are well maintained.

My responsibilities are to ensure that practices at the clinics are in line with international health care standards and that guidelines set out by the Hong Kong Department of Health are fully applied so that our patients can expect to receive the best service and health care possible. I also work closely with my colleagues and staff to periodically update the operation protocols for everyone within the group so that mistakes in drug administration, customer satisfaction and personal hygiene will not happen.

Since our company has a huge base of patients, I need to organise a centralised team in our Central office to work on customer relations. We have a comment box located across all the clinics and patients' comments and suggestions are collected once every two weeks for review. Meanwhile, I and my team members who oversee this matter diligently go through all the comment sheets and later compile them into a report which is sent to management for discussion. We set a timeline for ourselves to address patients' concerns so that they can receive our feedback swiftly. We see the need to maintain an effective communication channel which can improve the relationships between our doctors and patients.

Apart from taking care of customer relations and clinic administration, my first and foremost task is to ensure all the patients coming to our health centre receive the best medical attention. Because I deal with patients from all walks of life, it is important to have patience when talking to people who each come with different health backgrounds. I have patients who are senior citizens, so I have to spend extra time to educate them on the health benefits of exercising regularly and observing a good diet, as well as to carefully explain the importance of taking their medicines punctually.

Making sure every nurse and clinic staff member is performing to the group's standards is the key to maintaining the company's reputation.

The most challenging part of my job is that out of my daily hectic schedule I still have to find time to speak to some patients individually to follow up on their progress. There are cases where patients are under a new set of drug regimes for some chronic illness and I need to closely monitor their health.

In other cases, there are patients who just need someone like me to talk to for stress release. We take into account not just their physical well-being but also their mental health. I often have to play a good-listener role and try to clear the worries about their sickness. I may have to refer the patient to a specialist for treatment. I have to treat my patients like my family.

Being a nurse myself, there's nothing that makes me happier than to see my patients get well, be that from a common cold or some serious illness. People in my profession are often called 'white angels' and I am happy with such a name, which I consider a compliment.