In June I announced (here, on this very blog) that after nearly 5 years I was leaving my job for an entirely different, unrelated career move. I hope that I honored the amazing season of growth that working for a church was for me because I will say this: I respect the heck out of people who make ministry not just their mission but their job. All Christians are called to ‘full time ministry’ but career ministry is tough y’all. Be kind to your church peeps.
I’ve spent the months since absorbing, learning, and taking in two things: how to sell and the amazing field of medicine. First off, I’ve never really had to sell anything other than friendship bracelets & handbags. I worked retail in high school and college but nowhere that ever had me make any sort of sales pitch. And as a self proclaimed doctor avoider – I knew even less about the medical field than about selling things. One of my patients recently invited me to give him his final knee injection in our Lakeland office and I responded: honey, don’t ever let anyone whose lab science was entomology or rocks for jocks put a needle in you.
What have I learned? Other than a WEIRD amount about knees and neuropathy (I literally have knee models sitting on my desks) – I’ve learned a lot about trust and honesty. I asked myself early on: what would I WANT in a medical office experience since I detest going to the doctor. I want to be treated like a friend or a family member. I definitely want them to be ON TIME (can I get an amen for not waiting an hour anywhere, ever?). And most of all I want straight shooters. The great part is as equal parts office manager and treatment plan presenter – I can control all of these things. I get to set the tone for how we treat our patients, help our staff stay on time, and tell the patients the whole truth and nothing but (well, except when I help them with their NFL pick em choices).
Each of my previous jobs in some way contributed to preparing me for this job, so I’m grateful for all of them. But ironically the most relevant experience I brought into this job? A summer of waiting tables at TGI Fridays. I was not new to waiting tables and if you know me you can probably imagine that waitressing was pretty much my time to shine. Hosting strangers and paying attention to every tiny detail of their orders? Yes and yes. But I’ll never forget going through training and having my manager say: we trust our people so you have the authority to do what you need to to make sure your tables are happy.
Ownership. I have since that job always believed wholeheartedly in ownership in the company I work for. Its our church. Our office. Our event. Unfortunately also sometimes: our mistake. And even now they are my staff and my patients. Making sure they have a memorable experience, that’s what I love. The days we win at that, are really, really good days for me. One patient this week said he was going to change insurances just to make sure he could come back and work with us because he didn’t want to go anywhere else. That. That’s what I love.
I pride myself on being wholly honest so I will also say: it hasn’t been easy. In fact, I’m currently down a front desk person and my boss already left the company and was replaced once (I’m 3 months in). Our X-ray machine broke and we had to reschedule 30 patients one week. And this week I put my hand on a giant squirmy frog while trying to open one of our offices and pretty much had my first heart attack. Also, as previously mentioned I never even took anatomy or biology at the collegiate level so my learning curve was large. I’ve had to overcome my fear of needles since we put them in knees and feet all day long. And I also went to bed by 8pm pretty much every night for my first month I was so tired from the long days and the commute life. So there. Grass is greener in some areas, brown in others.
Despite my best efforts (and I’ll admit I’m really proud of them) I know I haven’t kept everyone I wish I could in the loop about how things are going so I wanted to take a few minutes to post. Also, for the record: wearing scrubs everyday is what dreams are made of.