As a Respiratory Therapist Assistant, Jennifer’s primary responsibility is to help the therapists with “everything on the back end.” “The therapists and doctors see patients, work with patients, and find the best outcome for them,” Jennifer says. “And once that outcome is found, that’s where I come in — making sure they have proper documentation, obtaining the guidelines for their insurance, coaching a patient on how to turn their machine on and how to operate it, helping them figure out when something’s not working for them. It’s a lot of teaching, which is important. People can only recover when they know how to use what will help them get better.”
When you help them get better, Jennifer says, you get situations like the one that happened to her recently. “A man who I had previously helped secure some equipment just came through the door, and he said, “You made my life. Thank you. Everything was so great.” However, he needed the equipment back because he was still recovering, but the doctor hadn’t returned the equipment to us yet. So, we set him up for the short-term, and then I called his doctor and reminded him that the equipment needed to be returned.”
This story is important because to Jennifer, it represents Chartwell’s culture in a nutshell. “If I was working somewhere else, I might have have asked my manager, ‘do you think I should call the doctor and ask about the equipment? Should I just wait? Should I send another fax?’ Because I work at Chartwell, they’ve instilled in us that they trust us to use our knowledge and expertise to make something happen or solve a problem. I knew what had to be done, and I did it.”
Jennifer knows that what she does on a daily basis is important. “I think we can all agree that most people don’t want to go to the doctor, they don’t want to go through the tests, or the procedure. They don’t want to go to the hospital. Sometimes, there are mobility issues, and going anywhere is hard. So, when someone needs new equipment, or has equipment that needs to be cleaned or a tube needs to be changed, we go through the steps to get them what they need so they don’t have to go to the hospital. Or, when someone leaves the hospital, we get everything together for them so when they get home, they have what they need.
It seems like little stuff, but it’s things like this that permit people to be in their homes and have the quality of life they need. My job everyday is to not figure out a way that they can’t have it, but to figure out a way that they can.”
When asked what she appreciates most about working at Chartwell, Jennifer says, ‘I’ve never worked at a company where you see everyone’s faces regularly. Susan (the HR Manager) will come to my door just to say ‘hi.’ Don Powell (Chartwell’s CEO) is always walking around. It makes you feel like everyone’s on the same level — we’re all professionals, doing the best we can for the patients we serve. I’ve worked at some of the major healthcare providers here in Madison. I’ve worked in Janesville. Right now, I live in Beloit, and it’s an hour drive one-way.