Connect Health is celebrating International Week of Deaf People on 19-25 September 2022. The World Federation of the Deaf is a global organisation working to ensure equal rights for 70 million deaf people around the globe and this year’s theme is “Building Inclusive Communities for All”.
My name is Senna Bhatti and I joined Connect Health in February 2022 as a Patient Care Advisor.
Tell us about your hearing impairment
My hearing loss started around 4 or 5 years ago and I got the courage to go to the doctors to get tested in 2021, whereby I found out that I needed hearing aids. Professionals say it is genetic as my mum was hearing impaired due to a condition called Alport’s syndrome, a kidney disease which causes deafness. My sister and cousins are also affected.
How did it affect you?
I just dealt with it and put my hearing loss down to wearing headphones a lot. Prior to being tested, I found it hard to hear relatives who spoke very low and I noticed when sleeping on my left side I couldn’t hear anything. So I thought I need to get checked. I’ve worn my hearing aids since June 2022. At first I could hear everything, every rustle, even a bee going past and it was really overwhelming.
They are bluetooth and are amazing as you can programme them to your ear and adjust via the computer. Wearing them now is like second nature. I forget I have them on sometimes except when the batteries die!
Describe your education and career before joining Connect
I have a degree in health and social care and prior to my role here, I was working part time as an Independent Living Adviser and prior to that a careers adviser. Most of my career background has been in a call centre environment which I believe may have impacted my hearing loss too however I have always managed.
What prompted the move to Connect Health?
Personal life changes however this job has been a lifeline for me, and it is connected to my degree which I wanted to implement.
What do you do, explain your role?
I answer inbound and make outbound calls liaising with patients and clinicians, booking, rearranging and offering appointments for patients.
What challenges do you face in your role?
Finding the right headset at the moment which suits me and my Bluetooth hearing aids is a challenge, however I have amazing support from managers especially Vanessa here.
There’s not enough support within the access to work DWP scheme and I feel there should be a specialist person in the workforce trained to advise on equipment and adjustments for people with impairments, because we’re having to do the research ourselves. The IT department are great, but they are not experts in this field. So whilst I’m experiencing some barriers, I’m managing. I love this job and want to be on the phones and I have the option to work from home.
What is life like for you at Connect Health?
It is a safe haven for me personally. The support and friendship I have with my colleagues is amazing, especially the managers. I believe having the right support manager-wise makes a difference to any role.
What do you like about Connect / what drives you?
I like the people and what drives me is patients’ health. It is really satisfying being able to help patients and hearing their gratitude makes me feel like I am making an important difference to people’s lives.
I used to be a carer for my grandparents since the age of 13 so I have a caring nature.
I just love the interaction and knowing you’ve helped someone find an appointment is so important. Recently a patient was going through a very difficult time, and I rang him as soon as an appointment became available and, in the end, the physiotherapist emailed me to update about the patients care and thanked me for my work in regards to this complex situation and getting him an appropriate appointment, which was very rewarding.
I know personally how it feels to get an important appointment booked in so to be frontline of that for patients in this company really makes me feel important.
Any hobbies or interests
I love papercraft called quilling and I make frames and cards.
What does the future hold for you?
I do want to progress within my role and I know there are opportunities at Connect Health to do so, maybe moving to a tier 2 role one day or even Team Leader, however I quite enjoy my current role.
What advice would you give others in your situation?
Be patient and speak to your manager and communicate if you have any issues. Persevere and don’t be too hard on yourself, there are ways around anything, and hearing impairment does not mean that you are different.
How would you sum up working at Connect?
It is a lively place to work, with amazing management. Colleagues are very friendly and helpful to work with.
I have met some wonderful people who support me in terms of my hearing loss.
If you’d like to find out more about working at Connect Health, contact email@example.com
Click here to download Senna Bhatti’s Story