Real-life story - Isma Khatoon

Isma Khatoon Clerical officer, health records
Employer or university Rochdale Infirmary
Salary range £10k-£20k

A typical day

It’s my job to get the medical notes to the outpatient clinics in advance. My responsibility is the ear, nose and throat department and orthoptics department. The clinics request notes from me and I have got to find them, make sure they are complete and get them ready a week in advance.

Sometimes when you pull the file you’ll find the notes are booked out to someone else, so you have to go to the secretary’s office of that ward or clinic to get them. It’s important to be pleasant and polite but if there is an urgent request from A&E, you have to drop what you are doing and get those records immediately.

Challenges and rewards

We always have a supervisor on hand, and if you are stuck, she comes and helps out. There are four of us clerical officers; we are quite a little team. I like the fact that we’re a small team – if anyone gets too busy, we help one another out until we are through it.

Getting started

I did a computer course at a youth project after doing my GCSEs, got an NVQ in IT and joined this team. This has been great as a first job, because everyone is very helpful and supportive and it’s a well-organised place.

Next steps

I wouldn’t want to move yet. It’s just right for me now. Later, though, I could progress to a supervisor’s job in the NHS when I’m ready.

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