Helping Healthcare Workers Every Day: Debbie Ochoa
Thinking about joining a healthcare staffing agency but unsure how you will get shifts? Carecor proudly serves over 90 healthcare facilities Ontario, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island where your opportunities are endless.
We asked some of our staffing coordinators to share what its like behind the scenes. Debbie Ochoa, a staffing co-ordinator with Carecor for 21 years, shares her insights about teamwork and how she builds strong relationships with our healthcare workers every day.
Q: Did you have a background in healthcare before you started with Carecor?
A: I worked at Wellesley Hospital for 28 years. I’m proud to say that I’m 73 now and still working. I worked in the emergency department as a clerk when there were no computers, so I learned a lot over there and it was great training. I also freelanced on the side and worked at several doctors’ offices.
Q: Why do you enjoy being a healthcare staffing coordinator?
A: The field staff keep me going. I love working with people. Each and every one of them has something to contribute. They really make my day!
Q: Why is your job important to the Carecor healthcare workers?
A: It’s important in all sorts of ways. They need to work, of course, and it’s my responsibility to get them the shifts they need. I try to match the workers to the unit because people have different skills. A big part of that is getting to know who the workers are — maybe one is a single mom and needs certain shifts and another one is taking care of an elderly parent. And you have to be flexible. If someone has to cancel suddenly, it’s my job to find someone else for that shift so the patients will still get the care they need.
Q: Do you feel like you’re building relationships with the healthcare workers?
A: Definitely. They trust you and you have to trust them too. It’s a job, but it’s personal, too. They’re someone’s mother, someone’s sister or brother. During the pandemic, I thought things would slow down, but much to my amazement, the critical care staff turned around and said, What can I do? Many of them ended up working six shifts a week. They’re so dedicated, and we help each other. It’s about the relationships, and the trust is mutual.
Q: How does the staffing team collaborate to help the healthcare workers?
A: We’ve always worked by ourselves, but we also talk to the other staffing coordinators to give a report on the next person coming in and pass on a message. We’ll reach out and talk or email each other if there’s a staffing situation we might need help with, that type of thing.
Q: Is there a staffing situation with a caregiver that you’re especially proud of, a story you could share?
A: I have a lot of stories, but on the whole I’m very proud of the critical care nurses. Sometimes a unit will need a certain type of health care worker; maybe the patient is a bit difficult, so I work hard to find just the right person for that unit. I get to know the workers and what their particular strengths are, and I’m proud of that. There are so many stories, but mostly it’s just answering their needs every single day.
Q: When did you come home from work bursting with stories and feeling enthusiastic and excited? What was it about?
A: We try so hard to meet the requests of the hospital, so when the families or the patients tell us they’re really happy about something we did or even something another staffing coordinator did, it’s so rewarding. They really make a point of letting us know they appreciate our work — they’ll phone or send us a note to thank us personally.
Q: What does your best day at work look like for you?
A: When I feel like I’ve met the needs of the client and the health care worker. Just knowing that I’m a vital link between the health care workers and the units and I’m helping both of them is so rewarding. I have a lot of days like that — a lot of best days.