It’s Diabetes Awareness Month, and we’re highlighting staff at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre who play a vital role in diabetes care. Today, we’re sharing a Q & A from Samantha Jewett, a ward clerk at the Centre for Complex Diabetes Care (CCDC).
What does it take to be a ward clerk?
To be a clerk at the CCDC, you need to be able to multi-task efficiently. You need to have the ability to take care of patients in front of you while having the telephone ringing. You also have to be compassionate and be able to empathize with our patients.
What inspired you to work in diabetes care?
I was inspired to learn more about diabetes. I wanted to explore the clinical aspects of the condition and learn how it is impacts a person’s everyday life.
What is unique about your role?
My role is unique because I am often the first person the patient meets when they enter our clinic. I’m there to help the patients in a variety of ways; I call the patients to remind them of their appointments, help them to contact different clinicians, and assist with getting medications refilled by the doctor/nurse practitioners.
How does your role impact patient care?
Not only am I the person who handles schedules and reminds patients of their appointments, I also collect any questions or concerns a patient may have about their diabetes and direct it to the appropriate clinician. If a patient is having trouble with their blood sugar or anything to do with their diabetes, they usually call the main phone line and speak to me.
Promoting a healthy lifestyle is part of your daily messaging to patients. Do you have any personal tips on how to stay healthy?
Set goals, celebrate the little victories, and make mental health a priority. Setting realistic personal goals give us something to work toward. Celebrating the little victories helps to not get discouraged when results aren’t showing. You start to realize that you are moving forward and all the hard work is paying off. Lastly, mental health is just as important as physical health.
Any final thoughts?
Working at the CCDC for the last year has shown me how strong people living with diabetes truly are. They put so much work and care into every decision and action they make, decisions and actions that many of us take for granted.