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Help in a crisis
Karen: Clinical Support Team Administrator

Karen Smith_550px.jpg 

What does a usual day look like for you?
I work 9-5 in a very busy team and our work is organised by our supervisor who shares out various tasks so that the work is distributed evenly amongst us. It’s all done in a very fair way. We take calls for various teams so some of our time is focussed on answering the calls and directing them to the appropriate person or taking messages and keeping a record of those which is very important.

I get a good mix of different administrative duties – taking calls, providing excellent customer service to other members of staff and service users.

I enjoy using my audio typing skills, typing letters dictated by clinicians and Doctors. Most of our work is urgent and so there is always a busy atmosphere which I like.

We have a busy inbox which needs managing efficiently. I also take minutes of a weekly meeting and this is helpful for me to understand more about the services we are providing to patients.

What made you want to work for the Trust?
Before joining the Trust, I wasn’t enjoying my work and I had started to question what I wanted to do in my last decade or two of working. I felt I was too old to become a nurse but I actively started looking for work within the NHS, and last year I was successful in getting job as a Team Secretary within the Trust’s HR department.

I then decided that I would like to work a bit more with patients – be a bit closer to the front line – so I applied for several different roles via NHS jobs and was successful in being offered my current role. It’s been a really good move for me, and in terms of job satisfaction it’s the best thing I could have done. I’m really happy.

What parts of your job do you find the most rewarding?
I’ve always been a caring person and I love helping people, so the customer service aspect of helping people over the phone is great. I feel that I’m really helping people who need it. I also love having a busy and varied role and am finding this role very interesting.

I have a huge respect for all the people in the teams I work for – they all seem so very young and have achieved so much and their dedication and commitment to their jobs is wonderful to see. I have a lot of admiration for them. I like to do my best by supporting them with the administration tasks to help them on a day to day basis.

What’s the most challenging part of your role?
As a team we do have a huge amount of work to get through on a daily basis and it would be easy to feel overwhelmed at times but I just concentrate on the task in hand at any given time and it’s great at the end of each day to know you have achieved so much.

At the moment I am learning a new system but in the long run it will help us all to be more efficient.

What’s it like living in East Anglia?
I love it living here. I moved here from Hertfordshire 20 years ago, And have never felt a desire to move back, although I do miss my family.

I love the pace of life, the countryside, and what it’s offered my children when they’ve been growing up. Norwich is indeed a Fine city – I’ve always called it mini-London because of the cobbled streets in the older parts of the city, we have the Norwich Lanes which have a multi-cultural feel and then there’s so much history here. Mousehold Heath is like a smaller version of Hampstead Heath with its winding road through the middle.

There’s just so much here. You’re near the coast, you’ve got the countryside, and you’re not too far from London either. Improvements to the roads connecting us to the South East are improving all the time and in my village I have no less than two train stations – just a 10 minute trip into Norwich. It’s perfect.

What advice have you got for people who might be thinking of joining us as an administrator?
You need to be a good team worker, be flexible and adaptable and have a calm nature. I think it’s important to want to help others and always do your best.

It’s all about having a good work ethic and a positive attitude.