Say hello to Niki O’Brien - our newest team member. On the reception desk full-time, her first day was Tuesday, 14 July 2020.
As the friendly face welcoming patients, Niki is keen to learn the ropes and step into the role of Kath Hermann, who, after 18 years at Hawthorne Clinic, retired on 24 July 2020.
“I have very big shoes to fill and I am so excited. Everyone here is so lovely,” Niki says.
The new role with Hawthorne Clinic is quite a change. After a long career in other customer service roles in hotels, cafes and insurance, Niki felt the need to use her experience and skills gained to make a difference in the lives of others.
“All of my working life has been in customer service, but it lacked meaning. I have always wanted to help people, so late last year I completed a highly recommended medical reception and terminology course at the Wesley Hospital Training Institute. I hoped to secure a role in medical reception … and now here we are!”
Niki says that at Hawthorne Clinic she will be able to work directly with patients and be a welcoming and friendly face when they come in. “This is totally my cup of tea.”
While the current pandemic might seem a challenging time to commence in the medical sector, that’s not quite the case. In fact, the temporary rules limiting walk-in consultations and increasing telehealth appointments means a slightly slower pace during which Niki can get up to speed.
Raised in Cairns, Niki later called London home. In fact, what was intended to be a 6-month stay in the UK turned into 6 years, a marriage and a baby! Now settled in Carina - just one suburb away from the clinic - Niki is keen to become more involved in the local community.
“I love that at family GPs you get to see generations come through and see them in their ups and downs - to see the children grow up. That is rewarding and meaningful to me,” she says.
“Here I feel I can be proud of what I get up to do each day. I can be proud of who I work for: Practice Manager Lucas Down and Principal GP Dr Carmen Main are so lovely and care about what they do.
“I want to bring my own kind of friendly, caring and approachable energy to the clinic. That is what I want to be known for.
“I am probably also going to be known for my loud laugh. My giggle. People often hear me before they see me!”