Ever wonder who those smiling faces are in those blue t-shirts at Health Services? They are Health Services’ Patient Flow Facilitators (PFF). We sat down with one of our PFFs, Ayesha Khan.
So tell us a little bit about yourself, what are you studying at UWaterloo?
I’m in my 4A in Health Studies, minoring in Gerontology.
What is a Patient Flow Facilitator?
Patient Flow Facilitators are students who work for Campus Wellness and assist with health-related services. Co-op positions are usually with the Student Clinic, whereas part-time positions are with the Family Clinic. PFF jobs are to make the clinic more efficient. This can include checking insurance coverage, preparing patients to see the doctor or nurse, and making sure the treatment rooms are clean.
How long have you been a PFF?
I have worked as a co-op student for two terms and am now working part time. So in total I have worked as a PFF for roughly 8 months.
How did you get this position as a co-op student?
I applied through Waterloo Works. The position are posted online.
How many PFFs are there?
Three positions are open in the fall and winter while two are open during the spring term. Part time positions are posted on a term by term basis so there is nothing definite.
What about this position appealed to you?
I really wanted to get my foot in the door with clinical experience. I have done volunteer work in the past with clinics, but thought this would be a great way to get involved on campus. Additionally, I knew this would be a good way to build upon my current skills, while also learning new ones. A lot of what I had done in the past had been more admin work, I didn’t have as much patient experience as I do here. In this position, although we’re not directly part of the patient’s circle of care, we are involved in aspects that do influence their care.
For students who are interested in being a PFF co-op student, what specific values or attitudes do you think they should have?
I think one of the biggest things you need as a PFF is the ability to be flexible, because every day is different. The staff working certain day’s changes, the patients you are helping changes and although your role on paper is to check their coverage and clean the treatment rooms, your day to day tasks also change. Sometimes you will be asked to do different tasks that help improve the efficiency of the clinic, and at times those tasks are things you’re not used to or you haven’t had experience with. So being a quick learner is also big part of it of the role.
What has been your favourite parts about being a PFF?
You really learn to appreciate the non-clinical staff. You realize that even though someone may work in reception or in a different position, everyone plays an important role in a patients care. When I first started, I didn’t really feel like I was doing that much. However, as time went on, I made connections with others and really understood how these connections influence an individual’s experience with their healthcare providers. Being a student myself, I can often be a relatable source of support. These little relationships that we develop with patients are really motivating, and overall positively influence peoples’ healthcare experience.
Is there anything you want people to know about this position?
While clinical experience is an asset, if you don’t have prior experience in healthcare that’s okay—the staff here are willing and ready to help someone out when needed! For a lot of students working as a PFF this is their first co-op job. I believe that transferrable skills are more valued, so I think even if someone doesn’t have clinical experience or is trying to get their foot in the door, they should still apply.