Out of the comfort zone – what it feels like to work in a clinic

Employees not working in the clinics often know only theoretically how the dialysis treatment works. Therefore it is very accepted to take short trainings in the clinics to get an insight to the daily clinic routines. We spoke to Mariyana Nikolova, IT System Specialist in the Central IT department about her experience in our Crawley clinic:

What motivated you to work in a clinic for one day?

This decision was very much related to the importance of empathy and our Diaverum values. This was something that I needed to do for myself as an employee. I believe we need to train empathy for our colleagues and sitting in the office wasn’t enough for that. I wanted to be in their shoes, even if it was just for one day. I think this short video explains better what I mean.

How was the reaction of the colleagues in the clinic?

I was welcomed by Anne Mbanje, Senior Staff Nurse who was on shift that Saturday. She walked me around, showed me all the bays and service environments in the clinic and encourage me to chat with the patients. Everyone was very friendly and it wasn’t just the famous British politeness. They were also interested in what I normally do in the IT department. I found it was a mutual exchange and I was happy to provide as much information as possible. I hope they felt also noticed and appreciated.

What was the most surprising experience during your stay?

Frankly, I expected to meet people being a bit depressed as I thought they suffer from a chronic disease so it would be normal, but surprisingly it was the exact opposite. I met very cheerful patients, from the very young to the 80-90 years old. In one corner there were four gentlemen having their dialysis session, known as “The guys club”. They get together every Saturday morning kind of having fun during their treatment, joking and chatting with the staff.

What were your tasks?

Of course I was not only there to have small talk with the patients. Around lunchtime, it was time for the shift change. And I can tell you, it was a hell lot of a preparation. From setting up the medicine for the next treatment, to release the patients that were currently connected to the machines, cleaning of absolutely everything around – from the machines itself, the beds, the chairs, changing of the linins, even to wash the pillow! I was fascinated. And these non-medical tasks are just a small part, the medical tasks are even more complex but of course I was not allowed to help with those. I can only imagine how multifaceted this work must be.

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