Hello and WELCOME to PsychAssist. In this week’s article we talk about a crucial topic that could make or break your career. Within services, admin staff are widely underrated and quite frankly undervalued by services. This is also something that Graduates really take for granted which could be detrimental to your progress within your chosen discipline. This week, we explore Why Admin Staff Will Make or Break Your Career.
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Hub Of The Service
Ok, so this goes without saying. The admin staffs within any team are the heartbeat of the service as everyone essentially goes to them for any non-clinical difficulties they may be having (which is a lot!) We have personally seen service leads completely break down in floods of tears and needed members of the admin team to console them for the stresses of work. Nevertheless, we still see some fresh-faced graduates completely disregarding the admin staff and almost treating them like second class citizens which are totally unacceptable. The admin staffs essentially have the power to make or break your career as in most services they hold the ears of the clinicians and if you don’t get along with them, then you never know where their opinions may end up.
PsychAssist Tip: Try to make a good impression on the admin staff even before you start a new role. I still say to this day that I got my very first Assistant Psychologist role by returning a pen to the admin lady on my way out of the interview. In fact, the consultant actually commented on this and said how “kind and honest” I was.
“To my shock, I had accidentally written another patients name on a number of occasions that I hadn’t noticed”
Knowledge Of Processes
This second point is super crucial especially in high pressured mental health roles where mistakes could be very dangerous. Admin staffs usually know the up to date processes of a service because they’re ultimately the ones that follow them every day. They are also usually the ones who correct the mistakes of the clinicians and will often go the extra mile for those who they like. I’ll give you an example of a report that I had written for a client. I remember I wrote the report pretty quickly as it was a time sensitive case and I had sent it to admin to be formatted correctly (with the correct banner and contact details etc.) To my shock, I had accidentally written another patients name on a number of occasions that I hadn’t noticed. This could have been disastrous however it was the admin staff that had noticed and corrected this for me. Upon reflection, if I didn’t have such a good relationship with the admin staff, I fear they would have just formatted the report and sent it off without double checking the content (which technically isn’t there job but they went above and beyond!).
PsychAssist Tip: Mistakes will happen but it’s good to have a strong relationship with the admin staff as they can help minimise mistakes which could lead to trouble. It’s also a good idea to be super thankful to admin when they help you which is what I had done in the example above.
“Never underestimate the power of admin staff as they hold more influence and status than you may think”
They Calm Agitated Patients
This has to be one of the main reasons why admin staff will make or break your career. I have seen admin completely de-escalate situations that could have led to complaints and ultimately disciplinary actions. This is an inevitable part of our career path, however having a good relationship with admin could be the difference between them stepping in and calming the situation and leaving you to take the full wrath of the patients. Don’t forget, admin are the ones that greet your patients at the door and may sometimes speak with them over the phone to book them in which gives ample opportunity for them to build relationships with the client. This could prove crucial if anything was to occur during sessions that the patient doesn’t like.
PsychAssist Tip: Never underestimate the power of admin staff as they hold more influence and status than you may think. Now, we are not saying for you to be nice to admin just for the reasons highlighted above, but to show them and everyone the respect that they deserve. Nevertheless, it wouldn’t hurt to bring the admin staff some cakes from time to time just to keep them sweet.
THANKS FOR READING THIS WEEKS PSYCHASSIST ARTICLE! TUNE IN NEXT WEEK FOR MORE GREAT CONTENT!!