Carmelina Dolente, Driver/Receptionist
As we open our HUC Heroes Staff Awards scheme for 2022/23 for submissions, here’s a look at our winners and runners-ups from our awards held earlier this year. This week, the spotlight is on Carmelina Dolente, a Driver/Receptionist from our Out of Hours services, who came runner-up in the Unsung Hero (frontline) category.
“At first, I was only told to come into the office, so I was worried whether there was some bad news. But when I reached there, I was surprised with an award trophy, a hamper, and a gift voucher. I didn’t even have the slightest clue that I was winning an award. It was an amazing feeling to be recognised for my work,” she says.
Carmelina started with HUC in 2017 and works with us as a Driver/Receptionist on Fridays and Saturdays and mostly spends Sundays ‘comfort calling’ when at work. What she loves about her role is she is able to help patients. “It is a very satisfying job and brings a lot of joy, especially when the people you have helped appreciate your work,” says Carmelina.
As a colleague working in our Out of Hours services, a typical day for Carmelina involves supporting the doctor or nurse with their duties or booking in patients who visit the base. “I am quite comfortable working in a shift pattern – often overnight. It suits me as I have another job at a school,” she says.
“According to the situation or case, I am either there at the reception when patients arrive at the base or get the car ready to drive the GP for a home visit,” she explains, as a major part of her job includes accompanying doctors who go on home visits. “It is really important to check all the stock – medicines, equipment, and everything is present in the car that is required when going on a home visit,” she adds.
As a ‘comfort caller’, Carmelina is part of an important process that supports our high-quality services. She rings up patients to check if they need further assistance or if their situation has changed and whether they need to be re-triaged especially if their symptoms have worsened. She also provides reassurance and an update if there may be a delay in the care delivery service.
These roles require patience and good listening skills, she says. “A good sense of humour is always an added bonus,” she quips.
Our HUC Heroes Staff Awards are based on our HUC values – Caring, Collaborative, Respectful, and Dynamic. Amongst all the values, Carmelina says, Caring is the one that she finds most significant. “For serving our communities, caring is the most essential attribute. We should be caring towards patients and caring for our colleagues,” she says.
When asked what is it about the job that she really enjoys, “Meeting a wide range of people both within the organisation like GPs and drivers from other areas, as well patients and their families.”
“I also feel very proud that as part of my work, I am able to help and serve patients. We often receive a heart-warming thank you for helping them and positive feedback,” she says proudly.
About her HUC colleagues, Carmelina says, “Everyone is so friendly and helpful. And we don’t always talk about work – we take our job seriously but at the same time share some humour,” she concludes.
Well done, Carmelina, and thank you for all the hard work. You are an inspiration to colleagues around you.