Shawn was born and raised in Omaha with a brief one year stint in Florida at age 2, which fostered her love of alligators. Prior to her time with the Department of Psychiatry, she worked as an administrate assistant for ten years at Nebraska Medicine in Physical and Occupational Therapy, now Rehab Services. Before that, Shawn worked in the North Tower as the Medical Records Supervisor with Internal Medicine Associates for ten years. She’s currently attending classes at Metro Community College working towards her degree in Human Services and Healthcare Management.
1. What are your job duties in the Department of Psychiatry?
Is it too much or a little overboard to say everything? My primary responsibility is answering the never ending incoming clinic phone calls. The call consists of everything from scheduling new intakes and follow ups to triaging medication refills, patient questions, and patients in distress. Also, I’m involved with coordinating referrals/managing referral lists, assisting with front desk coverage, managing in basket messages, acting as a temporary sounding board and resource for patients, and everything in between.
2. When did you join the Department of Psychiatry?
I joined the psychiatry team about five years ago when the previous department I was with for 10 years did some reorganization and eliminated some of their positions, mine as the administrative assistant being one of them. That was a bit of an anxious time for me, but when I interviewed with Maggie Milner I instantly felt a sense of calm and admiration for the way she spoke of this department and her team. It ended up being a wonderful transition and one of the best things to happen to me. “Change is life giving. It helps us grow into someone greater than we already are.” I am very proud and honored to work with such an amazing group of people that truly care for their patients and coworkers. There has been so much innovation and growth in these past few years I can truly say this department strives for the “Serious Medicine, Extraordinary Care” motto.
3. How has your job changed since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak?
Let’s start with, “Hello, we can now work from home!” This definitely has its pros and cons.
I can say I now feel like one of my job titles should be tech support. With the massive and quick transition to telehealth we provide a lot of tech support to our patients in assisting them with everything from setting up their One Chart accounts, setting up Zoom, learning to navigate these new apps and video calls, troubleshooting when they are having difficulty to advising how to disable their pop-up blockers.
I am one of the very few people still coming into the office due to training our new phone staff. This has been a much different environment to say the least; it is like walking into a ghost town. It is also an odd concept to train someone while attempting to “social distance” and wearing masks has become our new normal. Under normal circumstances our new hires would be meeting everyone and doing training with multiple staff but with 97 percent of our staff now working from home, they get the benefit of my expertise and mine only, for now. Normally, we share the training responsibility to allow each person a different view and to allow us to stay on top of our day-to-day workings while sharing the responsibility of in-depth training. I am very grateful to our PCTs, BHC team, front desk staff, and everyone else for jumping in to help out during this time so our workload is maintained.
4. What has been the response from patients on switching in-person appointments to telehealth?
For the most part our patients have been really receptive and appreciative that we are offering telehealth appointments during this current climate. There have been just a few that are more resistant due to lack of availability or understating of technology like some of more challenging patients that benefit from in person treatment. Overall, it has been a pretty seamless transition that will offer all kinds of benefits and options moving forward.
5. What are some of your hobbies?
I best describe myself as a quiet person with a loud streak. Some of my hobbies and interests include photography, reading, writing, traveling, animals, family and friends. I thoroughly enjoy taking pictures and dabble in photography. I love reading, There is nothing quite like settling in and getting lost in a good book. I enjoy journaling and write poetry and song lyrics mostly for my own eyes. I absolutely love to travel and explore new places even if it’s just here in our good ole U.S.A., roads trips are a family favorite. I’ve been to Germany and Ireland and my next dream vacation is Greece. Most of all I enjoy time spent with my animals (and all animals really) and my family and friends. Family gatherings, fire pits and lazy days on the river are by far the things that fill my cup the most. Oh, and thunderstorms. I absolutely love thunderstorms!