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Outside SHS: An interview with Meghan Retzlaff

posted Mar 17, 2017, 4:53 AM by Jeffrey Wolf

By: Abbie Schmidt, Co Editor-in-Chief

Posted March 17th, 2017

This is the first installment of a new Nite Crier series titled “Outside SHS”. We will be exploring the students’ lives outside the school to see what makes Slinger students so unique. Below is my interview with SHS Junior Meghan Retzlaff.

  1. Define your job.

I'm a receptionist at the Pavilion at Glacier Valley but I also assist in the billing office so basically I answer the phones as a part of the receptionist duty and then I go outside to get the mail and deliver the mail to the residents and then I forward the mail and do things like that and then I just make sure that everyone at the door is greeted and welcomed properly and has a proper goodbye and in the billing office I do co-insurance billing and room and board billing and I sometimes help call insurance companies

  1. How did you learn about this job?

They had no evening receptionist at night time there and my aunt is the human resources person for the Pavilion at Glacier Valley and she was just saying how it was troublesome to the nurses because they didn’t have anyone there at nights and I decided if it was a part-time job, I’d just be there at night time, I’d be interested and that’s how I learned

  1. Describe a typical day at your job.

My most typical day is on a Saturday and basically what I do is, right when I come in, I unlock the door and then I come in and turn on all the lights and my computer and I take the welcome sign down. Then about 10:30 I take out the mail. While I'm doing this, I usually answer the phones and then oftentimes I’ll be doing co-insurance billing at this time or other times the medical records personnel, she has me do filing or alphabetizing for her and sometimes the admissions office or the HR department has me make packets for them and then at around noon I go outside and I pick up the mail and I sort it out and decide what goes to the office staff, what goes to the nurses, the residences, what goes out or gets forwarded because the people can’t receive their mail. And then after that I usually basically just answer phones for the rest of the day or finish projects that I’m working on. And then sometimes I volunteer and stay after and play cards with the residents for an hour or two.

  1. Do you feel you’ve learned any valuable lessons from your job? If so, describe.

I think working in the nursing home is actually really important because I think I’ve realized that it’s really important to live your life each day to its fullest extent and just seeing the people there and realizing how important it is to make memories because when you are older and when you are in a nursing home, that’s really what you cherish and you hold onto is the memories from your past. And to not regret not doing anything and to do everything that you possibly want to because you don’t want to look back and wish you’d done something that you hadn’t.

  1. Does this job have something connected to what you would like to do after HS?

Not really because what I want to do is be an elementary school teacher. But I’ve also thought about going into the medical field actually so being in a nursing home, even though I’m a receptionist, I do, a lot of times, get to see what the nurses do and what the physical therapists do and stuff and they’ve offered me the chance to job shadow any of them so that’s kind of helped me and I think it’s helped me with my social skills because answering the phones and greeting everyone who comes in, you need to be like a social and friendly person and I think that’s something that’s important being an elementary school teacher.

  1. Do you find this job satisfying?

Yeah, I do because I think the most satisfying feeling is just getting to become close with the residents, especially those who don’t really have family members who come because it really means the world when you talk to somebody who doesn’t really have anyone there for them.

  1. What is the greatest misconception about your job?

Sometimes when I say I’m a receptionist, people think like “oh that’s super easy ‘cause all you do is answer the phones” but in reality, even though you are just answering the phones, while you’re answering the phones, you’re usually doing a different project or at least me, like when I’m helping out in all the different departments, like HR and medical records, and in the billing office, when I’m doing stuff for each person, and then having to answer phones on top of that and then, still getting the mail, and still just remembering to greet everyone who comes in, it can be really overwhelming.

  1. Why should other people sign up to become a __receptionist__?

I think it’s just very rewarding. First of all, okay well if you sign up to become a receptionist at a nursing home, a lot of times you get to talk to the residents actually and especially the ones who smoke because you can take off their oxygen. They usually come into the front by you so you get to see them a lot and, like, delivering the mail and stuff, you get to visit with the residents and then too, I think it just, it really just helps you become a really friendly and open person because as you get to say, like, “hi” to a lot of the people and you oftentimes become someone that they can confide in, because I know a lot of people now like when they come to the nursing home and they’re having a bad day, they’ll tell me what’s going on or let me know stuff like that. And also, I just think it’s really fun because you get to answer the phones and I really enjoy it actually.

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