Electrician Turned Hospital Support Specialist: Emily Skawski’s Stenberg Story

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Emily Skawski is a recent Hospital Support Specialist graduate from Stenberg College.

Before starting Stenberg’s Hospital Support Specialist program, Emily was an Electrician. She graduated from Fleetwood Park Secondary through a Pre-apprenticeship program and studied at BCIT. Emily decided to change her career and came to Stenberg to start her next chapter! Now that Emily has graduated, we were excited to hear about her new career, as well as about her time at Stenberg.

Why did you choose to study at Stenberg?

That is easy, Stenberg chose me. They had the best team and excellent customer service. They returned my calls and kept me up to date with what I would need for the program. I had support 100% of my time at Stenberg. They made me the graduate and the employee that I am today. I have a life-long career from them and  I will never forget their kindness and compassion in helping each student reach their goals.

Hospital Support Specialist graduate Emily Skawski

Emily (second from right) served as a Stenberg Student Ambassador during her time in the Hospital Support Specialist program.

What is your current position?

Registration Clerk IV and Clerk III Health Records.

What does a typical work day look like for you?

I show up and it is non-stop until the end of the day. People are coming and going, I’m answering telephones, scheduling, filing, there is plenty to do in a day. Depending on what desk and which area I am working in, I often see patients and plenty of other staff members. If I am working in Health Records for the day, it is mostly paper work, with a few tours around the hospital to do pick-ups and drop-offs for charts for patient visits and doctors in the OR. On the Ambulatory Care North Desk, which I was recently at, you are the centre of attention. The phone never stops ringing, the faxes never stop coming through, doctors show up and ask about their patients, and you are registering patients in for that day as well as booking ahead for the future. The ability to multitask definitely comes in handy!

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The people, the environment, and the non-stop work! I like to do as much as I can in a day. I like when the phone rings and I get the satisfaction of helping a patient reschedule or get booked in. I enjoy when the fax machine has something for me to look up and find in the system.

I like when someone has a question that I have an answer for. I love what I do and where I am; it is a thrill every single day!

What skills did you obtain at Stenberg that help you in you workplace?

Personal skills and adaptability. I learned mostly to be optimistic and be aware that not everyone is going to be cheerful or up for conversation. I know when to share a laugh with someone and I know to remain calm to help them when they need care the most. I embodied my inner helper and I strive to explore new ways to learn to complete my job quicker and more efficiently.

Hospital Support Specialist graduate Emily Swaski

Emily and her HSS0615 classmates at their end of program celebration.

Do you have any advice for other students?

Do not ever let anyone tell you that you cannot do something. Believe in yourself, trust in your support system and never give up. Give it everything you’ve got. Stenberg is a college that gives you what you put in, and the Hospital Support Specialist program teaches you everything you’ll need to know to succeed.

Attitude is everything. Being positive, working hard and doing your best is a great way to ensure you will be able to find employment after completing your program.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years I see myself working full-time, hopefully in a managerial or supervisory role at a hospital. I would also love to one day return to Stenberg as an instructor and share what I have learned with students.

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