Sandra P: Reaching Out to Remove Barriers
“Sincerity, compassion, and honesty can be discerned very well over the phone.”
For Sandra P., working as an agent for Conduent melds two of her passions: nursing and helping people take charge of their personal healthcare journey. Earlier in her career, she served as a registered nurse in elder care, then moved into roles in healthcare administration, which expanded her view of the U.S. healthcare system and its complexity.
“Whether you’re a healthcare provider or insurer or patient, access to care is that fundamental thing everybody wants, and it’s just so important to collaborate and partner in that process,” she says. Sandra sees her voice as a powerful tool in removing barriers that prevent members of a large health plan from accessing life-saving screenings, such as colonoscopies and mammograms. And her regard for each person she calls is easy to detect in her calm, respectful, and reassuring voice.
Approach to calls
“What I often do is visualize myself knocking on the member’s door, like a neighbor. I think sincerity, compassion, and honesty can be discerned very well over the phone, and I ask myself, ‘Who would I open the door for?’ I focus directly on one member at a time, but also represent the client, who is concerned about their members’ access to care — that’s my default setting.” Sandra says agents seek to make each member engagement a positive experience that helps nudge or guide them toward personal responsibility. “One call at a time may sound miniscule, but it’s call after call, day after day, and it adds up. It’s the perfect mix for me. I love my job and the opportunity to contribute to healthcare at large.”
Most memorable call
“Before making calls about mammograms, I make sure my feet are planted firmly on the ground with each call. I relax my shoulders and take a deep breath, because the call can go either way. You never know what the view or understanding of a mammogram is,” Sandra says.
“I had a call with a woman that was, I’d say she was probably about 58 years old, and she asked me an awful lot of questions,” she says. “I was able to quickly interact. The call is short, right? So not whole a lot of time to think about other things. So toward the end, I sat up straight in my chair, reaffirmed my feet on the ground, and I said — gently, I said, ‘May I schedule your mammogram?’ And she said, ‘Yeah.’
“She said, ‘In all my years, no one has ever explained to me, dialogued with me about the importance of a mammogram.’ I’m like, ‘OK!’ And then she said, ‘I’ve never had one.’ So I had the honor of ‘escorting’ this woman to her first mammogram,” Sandra says. “That particular call was a turning point for me. And I found that there were more women like her and I could help them.”