Welcome to our newest blog series, “Five Questions With…” In this series, we will highlight the unsung heroes that make healthcare work. From guest services to the phlebotomist, the pet therapy volunteer, and the environmental services workers. These individuals enhance our experiences when we are getting care and highlight human connection and support. Thank you for all you do!
Today, we feature Keon. Keon has been an Ambassador Hospital Concierge at Penn Medicine for three years.
Tell us more about what you do to support patients.
My main job is to ensure that the patients are taken care of. Nobody wants to be at a hospital, so it is my job to make sure their day goes as smoothly as possible while they are here. I assist with getting them a wheelchair, giving them directions to get to their appointments, or anything else that makes their visit to Penn smooth. If they come here and feel comfortable, then I did my job.
Is there one particular story that sticks out in your head about a patient you can share?
One day, it was a weekend, there was a patient that came in by herself for a sleep study and required extra assistance. She was blind, so I helped her get where she needed to go, but I found out that her appointment required her to have an aid with her. She was alone so I decided to stay with her and help her, so she didn’t have to cancel her appointment. I stayed with her the entire time giving her words of encouragement. We engaged in conversation, and she told me about how she completed a self-advocacy program for the blind. During that conversation, I learned so much and felt blessed that she had shared her story with me.
Unfortunately, she couldn’t finish the appointment so I helped her get a ride back home. I haven’t seen her since that day, but she did thank me and express her appreciation for everything that I had done for her. I am happy anytime I can learn from the patients and listen to their stories because there are so many people from all walks of life that I get to interact with.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Understanding that people aren’t bad, but that they may just be having a bad day. I try to work through it and diffuse it. Maybe the traffic or weather was bad that day, but it is my job to help them through that and turn their day around. Many times, after their appointments patients come back to me and thank me for being positive even though they were frustrated. If I can get those interactions and results it feels amazing because I know I have made a difference in their day and that’s what matters most.
What is the thing you love the most about your job?
One of the things I love most is camaraderie. Also, I try to soak up as much information as I can. I’ve learned how to carry myself and I’ve built people skills. Learning things from patients that I can take with me and use as I go through life is amazing.
This job has altered the way I think. If you think the same way and approach things the same way you will get the same results. So, learning new ways is what it’s all about and I owe that to the wonderful patients I interact with daily.
What is a job accomplishment that you are proud of?
Being able to make connections with patients. You think you will never see the patients again but sure enough, they come back, and they end up becoming your friend.
Do you want to nominate a staff member, volunteer, co-worker, or friend for us to feature in “Five Questions With…” Go to oncolink.org/feedback and let us know!