Receptionist Broadoak Unit

Lusu Smee Receptionist Broadoak Unit

Our wards are for people who need to come into hospital because they are too unwell to stay at home. I’m on reception so I’m often the first person patients and families see.

I came here through an agency two years ago and I can honestly say I’ve never once felt like I didn’t want to come to work. Every day is different. A lot of people are scared when they come here; they don’t know what to expect. It’s so rewarding to think that what you do can affect what happens next.

A couple weeks ago a family member came in distraught and anxious because his wife had been admitted. He mentioned he was really cold, so I offered him a cup of tea. I listened to what he had to say and he seemed better afterwards. When his wife got discharged and they were leaving he stopped to say he appreciated the support.

Our reception can be very busy. You need be able to respond quickly whether it’s phones ringing, people at the counter, staff needing information or alarms going off I’m naturally calm, so that helps. I’ve just completed suicide awareness e-learning training; it helps you to talk to someone who thinks their life is not worth living.

You don’t always get to know that what you’ve done makes a difference, but today I got the chance to say goodbye to a man who’d come in a few weeks before and shared with me how bad he was feeling and I managed to get staff from our access team to see him. He came back with his dog and he was smiling. It made me happy.

The agency offered me two job options - here or a hotel. I think I made the right choice…