Former Patient Escort at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
almost 2 years ago
I would consider these to be the top qualities to highlight in an interview for a Patient Escort position at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center:
a. High emotional intelligence. Though MSKCC offers countless learning opportunities for students, it can be an emotionally challenging environment. It is vital for students to be mindful that MSKCC is a place that handles extremely serious and real issues. Patient Escorts may encounter uncomfortable, overwhelming situations throughout his/her duties. One must be able to manage his/her own emotions and reactions in order to establish a sense of security for patients and their families. Furthermore, one’s empathy is vital in patient interactions. It allows the Patient Escort to understand patients’ feelings or moods and determine to which extent conversations should be held with a patient.
b. Accepting and respectful of different cultures. People travel from all over the globe for appointments or treatments at MSKCC, making it an extremely diverse environment. As a part of his/her duties, a Patient Escort interacts with many patients and their families each day. The Patient Escort must be respectful of other cultures in order to create a safe, welcoming environment in which patients feel comfortable. Though patients may speak different languages or look and act differently than the Patient Escort, he/she must be accepting of the differences and conduct him or herself with the utmost respect and professionalism.
c. Ability to adapt quickly. MSKCC has a fast-paced environment that allows new Patient Escorts to shadow existing Patient Escorts for a few days. After training, the new Patient Escorts will cover pick-ups and drop-offs by themselves. The Patient Escort must learn the layout of the hospital, in addition to the different types of patients that stay on each floor. Furthermore, each patient is different from each other. A Patient Escort must be prepared to enter patients’ rooms one after another and adapt to the new patient’s differing needs or culture.
d. Positive attitude. Appointments can be a nerve-wracking experience for patients. It helps to greet people with a smile upon pick-up. Engaging in light conversation with the patients is a great way to make them feel comfortable. From my experience, patients enjoyed speaking with young adults and asking about their schooling/ career aspirations. It is important to note, though, that not all patients wish to talk. It is vital to utilize one’s emotional intelligence to identify these instances and remain respectful throughout the interaction.