Sophie Contant is often the first face families see when they visit a clinic. You’ll find her wearing a big smile, greeting families in any number of CHEO’s clinics.
From booking first-time appointments in CHEO’s scheduling department to making follow-up appointments in clinic, from updating patient information to just having a laugh with families – as a Patient Service Clerk (PSC), Sophie does it all. Because PSCs are the first people families see when arriving for their appointment, they can make a big impact on how a family’s appointment or even their day is going to go. PSCs help ease worries families may have and they answer families’ questions too. “I think that is one of the biggest parts of our job, making sure to get rid of all that nervousness,” says Sophie. “Us being so positive and providing a pleasant experience for them, that’s a good way to start their appointment.”
According to Sophie, if you like kids, CHEO is one of the best places to be. “I think the idea of helping kids and families is really rewarding for people who work at CHEO.” Maintaining communication with families is something Sophie sees as a particularly important part of being a PSC and something that all CHEO staff do really well. “Even just by calling families and telling them that we received their referral and we’re going to get an appointment scheduled soon, that’s a comfort for them.”
For Sophie, one of the highlights at CHEO has been working in the diversity clinic. She meets lots of gender diverse youth who are coming in for appointments. “They are always in such a great mood because they are finally feeling accepted for who they are,” says Sophie. “I find it really rewarding to help them make those appointments and to see them get to be themselves.”
Even though Sophie is a casual, part-time PSC, you’ll still find her onsite almost every day. She likes working casual part-time because it allows her to choose how much she wants to work and she gets to work all across CHEO, not just in one clinic. This allows her to gain new experience every day. While it may sound difficult to keep track of your schedule when working in so many different locations, Sophie credits CHEO’s staffing and scheduling office with making it easy for her to keep track and prepare. “I normally know well in advance where I’m going to work,” she says.
In addition to the families, Sophie says her incredible team is a big part of making her job at CHEO so enjoyable. “It doesn’t matter what your title is, everyone is treated very equally. You can be talking to a physician and they will talk to you like a person, not just a clerk,” says Sophie.