The official blog of the Lung Institute.
A featured series where Lung Institute employees tell their stories. #WhatIsMyWhy
A little more than two years ago, I was at home with a two-month old baby. I was considering my future and thinking of going back to college. I had gone to trade school and worked in retail all my working life.
One day I got a call from Lynne Margnelli, the Lung Institute’s former vice president, and she was asking if I might be interested in working here as a patient coordinator. Her husband and my husband worked together, so we knew each other.
Family History Helped Guide Me
I had a definite interest in a company like the Lung Institute. My grandmother had emphysema and my father has COPD, so I was well aware of these chronic lung diseases. I did my due diligence on the company and liked what I saw, so I accepted the position as associate patient coordinator.
I am able to use my family history in dealing with patients, though when I was growing up, some family members just thought all the complaining from our older relatives about their health was just something that older people did. They get older, they suffer.
When I think back to what I was listening to from my relatives, I hear very similar stories from patients when I talk with them. I realized it is important to know how they got to that point. I try to dig into their background and learn more about their story. It is important to remember they are a person, not just a patient with COPD.
I offer compassion and think I have a good ear for what they are experiencing. Some patients need a little bit of time to decide on whether they want stem cell treatment or which treatment they want. There are things we can do to help a patient, but sometimes they just don’t know what is available and that means we can be a piece of their treatment puzzle.
An Advocate for the Cause
I do think I have a good ear and a sympathetic feel for what our patients experience. Some patients are angry about their situation. Many don’t realize there is something they can do to feel better. I want them to give up their anger, see hope and not give up.
The most difficult call is when a younger person contacts me. It is hard to hear about their condition, but I also realize that, in the long run, they may have more hope because of the technology we have today and the advancements that are happening.
Patients can take Control
There is one patient I work with who is a hoot. We’ve never met but we have shared many experiences, she has a great attitude and she is doing phenomenally. She started a Facebook-type of page and tells people about her treatment all the time. I also have two patients who have started blogs and tell their story to let everyone know how well they are doing.
I really enjoy working here and want to make a difference. I am now a patient coordinator. I’d like to think I have compassion and it shows through my voice and reaches our patients.