Chanel Coelho – Circulating Patient Manager
Today we talked with Chanel Coelho, a Patient Manager at the Champalimaud Clinical Centre, who welcomed us with the same friendly smile that she offers on a daily basis to the patients who visit the Champalimaud Foundation.
Although a little nervous about having her photograph taken at first, Chanel was soon back to her natural self as she told us about her favourite aspects of her work, her motivation, and the empathy she has established with the patients that makes her feel like she’s making a real contribution to improving the patients’ days.
"I'm a Circulating Patient Manager, and I’ve been working in the Foundation for two years. The aspect of my work that I like best is, without doubt, the contact with patients. I can't stay behind a counter - I need interaction and feel responsible for everyone that comes through the door. I'm not a nurse, nor a doctor, but I feel like I'm part of the patients’ daily lives in a way that is inexplicable; they feel at home here. We try to project calmness, as well as a good disposition: even if they arrive feeling low or sad, with some cheerful words of encouragement, we can try to give them back their smiles to face the day.
Mornings are my favourite part of the day, although they can be quite busy. I organise my work for the day and stay positive by thinking: 'if we have so many patients, it is because we are able to help them one way or another '. Lunch time with colleagues, especially with the nurses, is also a very pleasant time. Between us there is real sharing. They help us with the more technical aspects that complement the personalised monitoring that we carry out. They help us to interpret and understand what the patients tell us about their state of health: the causes of their complaints, the next steps in their treatment, and their expectations. My day is like that, always built around the patient.
My colleagues and I, as Circulating Patient Managers, have a key role. As our Operational Director, Antonio Chumbinho, says; we are the first image that is transmitted and it is a non-clinical image. We're here for the patients, accompanying them at every stage, not only to greet them when they arrive. When a patient comes to the Clinical Centre, we are a part of their day from start to finish."