BC Mainland Division



August 12th 2021

Introducing CPO1 Jack Wong, 47 Captain Vancouver -Vancouver Branch.  He has been making an impact at the Provincial Helath Services Authority.
What inspired you to work with this organization?

I have always liked helping people and when the opportunity came up to work at a hospital I thought there was no better way to make a difference in the community, especially during a pandemic.

What roles have you played within this organization?

I am a Switchboard Operator with the Provincial Health Services Authority. I primarily work out of St. Paul’s hospital in Vancouver but the department I work for covers other hospitals in the Lower Mainland like Vancouver General Hospital and BC Children's Hospital. As a Switchboard Operator, we are the central nervous system of the hospital. We interact over the phone with every single department in the hospital both Clinical and Non-Clinical. We answer all external and internal calls from the hospital 24/7 365 days a year. Whenever someone picks up a hospital phone and dials 0 we are there to assist them and anyone calling the hospital can speak to us and hopefully get the information they need or be transferred to the right department. We handle all different types of calls like Physicians or Clinical Teams looking to get in touch with other Physicians, staff members looking to speak to different parts of the hospital, family members, support housing, or law enforcement inquiring about whether someone is in the hospital, patients calling regarding appointments, or just general information about the hospital. We also answer the internal emergency code line and all the different alarms within the hospital. This is probably the most stressful part of the job as we are almost like a 911 operator. We have to be able to ascertain what help the staff member calling needs and be able to get the appropriate resources there as fast as possible or activate any one of the numerous code procedures we have.

Why do you continue to volunteer this organization?

I started working for PHSA in January of 2021 and I have been loving it ever since. It has been a great place to work while I am a Post-Secondary Student.

What is your favourite memory volunteering with this organization?

Being a Switchboard Operator has given me a lot of different experiences. Each shift presents different challenges and different types of calls. My favorite type of calls are when family members call looking to see if a loved one has been checked into the hospital. A majority of the time these family members are very distressed and those times when I am actually able to locate the patient in the hospital are the best type of calls. This is because I can go home at the end of my shift knowing that a family has been reunited and I was a part of that happening.

What else do you want us to know?

Working in a hospital is very different from anything I have ever experienced before. Unlike most places when people come to the hospital, it is usually not for a happy occasion. Being the calming and friendly voice on the other end of the line can make a big difference to both patients, families, and staff members.
Jack Wong


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