Cohorted Cult bring you real-life interviews from those working directly on the front line during the Coronavirus pandemic. Introducing Louise, a Health Advisor for 111 South East Coast Ambulance Trust, working throughout COVID-19. Stay Safe, #StayHome.
1. Background Information: Name, Age, Job Role
I’m Louise, I’m 48 and I’m a Health Advisor for 111-SE Coast Ambulance Trust.
2. What made you want to become a 111 worker?
I’ve has experience working closely with individuals in my previous careers and so I wanted to use my skills to help people.
3. What is an average day for your job role?
My days consist of answering phone calls from patients. These people call with lots of questions and as you can imagine, this will be heightened at the moment. It’s our job to signpost them to the most appropriate service, ensuring that their needs are met. We deal with calls that vary from answering simple medication enquiries to sending out ambulances.
4. What is the new reality of working on the front line as a111 worker, in the current climate?
The reality for me is seeing how frightened people really are. The younger generation rely on the internet to get quick answers, but some elderly and vulnerable people do not have the same access or ability to find out and so, this leads to fear and uncertainty. Whilst I am at risk at my workplace, things have been limited as we work in an office, but social distancing can be impossible at times due to the nature of the office environment.
5. Have the PPE shortages personally impacted the way you work/people around you?
No this hasn’t been an issue for me.
6. What have been the most difficult/personal moments for you?
I’ve found it hard speaking with patients who have lost loved ones and hearing stories of how people are struggling financially. It’s a tough time for everyone.
7. Have there been times where you wanted to do more, but have been held back due to lack of resources?
Not really – I have been able to increase my hours to help the service as much as I can, as regrettably, we are busier than ever.
8. With that said, have YOU had any rewarding moments which helps motivate you?
Plenty! The thanks from patients and the support of the community around me. I’ve also been able to help elderly neighbours and friends living close by, which has been rewarding for me personally. It’s keeping me going!
9. How has this pandemic influenced your home life?
Like many people, I have been unable to see the people I love; my family and friends. But it has had a positive effect in that there are more phone calls made, more time spent catching up with people. It has allowed an appreciation of many things that we may have previously taken for granted and reinforced how these changes can be beneficial moving forward, as things begin to develop.
10. What do you do to maintain your self-care routine, to encourage relaxation at the end of the day?
I have started running and also changed my diet by cooking from scratch every day. This is how I relax, planning exercises and recipes! Lots of WhatsApp with loved ones and a new rule: no tv until 7 pm… This is making me read more in my own time, something I only ever did before on holiday!