811 Experience - Kathy
13 Apr 2020
Kathy has requested the below statement published under her first name only, as she would prefer to maintain anonymity.
811 is a 24/7 phone service in BC staffed by navigators and health care professionals for answering all sorts of health-related questions. Since the outbreak, 811 has specifically opened a sub-service for all COVID-19 related questions. Medical students were recruited to answer the calls that are directed for the COVID-19 line. We work around clock depending on the needs of the public and the call center. Since working at 811, I have not only learned how to answer the FAQs regarding COVID-19, but also realized the aggravating impact that COVID-19 has on so many people’s mental health, especially those with underlying mood disorders. Because of that and the limitation of being only a phone service, I learned to sharpen my listening and counselling skills, and become better at validating those worries as well as feelings.
I believe these are valuable skills which I'll carry with me to and through residency. Lastly, I just want to acknowledge that this was not an easy job, and doing this has made me really appreciate all the amazing work that 811 helpers do 24/7!