Last Modified: 8:57am 27/09/2023
Admin Appreciation Day – Maggie Parker
Maggie Parker has never been the sort of person to let age get in her way, so when she faced redundancy from her role as a technology group manager, she took the plunge and went to university to study nursing.
‘I had always wanted to be a nurse but with two small children, I just couldn’t make it work for me. So, I was in my fifties when I finally went to the University of Northampton. Back then it was unusual for someone to qualify at that age and I even had a piece in the local paper,’ says Maggie. ‘As I got closer to retirement age, I started to find the physical side of nursing harder. I didn’t want to stop work completely so I started to look around for something else I could do.’
The ideal role came up for Maggie – as a ward clerk.
‘I wasn’t ready to be at home all the time so I started to do bank shifts as a ward clerk. It meant I was still in the ward environment and I felt I had the right skills to be a supportive part of the ward team,’ says Maggie, who now works two permanent days a week on Ward 2A. ‘It is an incredibly busy ward as it’s a short stay medical ward which means the turnover of patients is very high. Coming from a nursing background helps as I understand the pressure on nurses so I try and cover many of the admin questions they are asked so they can focus on caring for the patients.
Good communication skills are a key asset in Maggie’s role.
‘Knowing what to say and how to say it is vital to ensuring you maintain positive relationships with everyone you deal with. I’m the first point of contact for relatives, and also for staff calling from other parts of the hospital,’ she explains. ‘Some people think we just answer the phone, but the role has grown since I took it on. When I get to work, I check through what has changed since I was last in, ensure that all notes are in the right place and familiarise myself with the names of any new patients. I also order items on SBS and make sure our noticeboards are kept up to date.’
MKUH ward clerks are a friendly and supportive group.
‘If you’re not sure of a process or approach, then it’s easy to check with a clerk on another ward. Each ward has its own distinct pressures but there are also considerable similarities and there is always someone who can offer support and advice. That’s why it’s such a great role to have.’
Outside of work, Maggie is a keen line dancer and until recently, she was a member of MK Community Choir. She is also a member of the Richard III Society and was thrilled when King Richard III’s remains were finally located and he was laid to rest in Leicester cathedral. But even with a busy social life she has no plans to hang up her MKUH lanyard.
‘I’ve been at MKUH over 15 years now, first as a nurse and now as a ward clerk and I certainly don’t have any plans for retirement yet,’ adds Maggie.