At Medibank, there are many different career pathways for employees – something Health Concierge Specialist Jessica Sordello can attest to. Health Concierge is a Medibank service supporting eligible Medibank customers before, during, and after a procedure or treatment.
Jessica says she always wanted to work in healthcare.
“I was always passionate about health and psychology. I’m interested in the working of the body, especially the mind. I think it’s extremely fascinating.”
With a background as an Occupational Therapist (OT), Jessica spent her early career focussing on community work, including providing support in people’s homes. She has always believed mental health plays an integral part in her work.
“Mental health covers everything in someone’s life, it’s very holistic. As an OT, I’d work with a patient once a week over a year or two, supporting them with different goals and understanding how their mental health might’ve impacted them,” explains Jessica.
“The impact could be on areas such as their employment or study. Whatever it is, it’s important to understand how their mental health has contributed to their current situation. From there, the focus then turns to setting goals based on their strengths, even if it’s just finding the motivation to have a shower every day.”
Being in a role with a strong focus on mental health can take a toll personally, something Jessica discovered after working as a group facilitator in a community mental health organisation, as well as in a one-on-one outreach role.
“When you’re giving all your energy to other people all the time, it can really empty your bucket.”
She took a year break to re-energise and refresh her health before starting work in community and disability aged care work.
“I worked in people’s homes providing assistance, including personal care, home care, and social care,” she says.
“Afterwards, I went back to a community mental health role, which enabled me to incorporate more OT assessments.”
Once again, Jessica found herself feeling burnt out, deciding she needed to be in a role where she’d have more headspace to look after herself.
“I needed to be in a role where I could still have contact with people and provide them with holistic support and conversation, but I also needed to be able to look after myself at the same time. That’s when I discovered Health Concierge.”
As a Health Concierge Specialist, Jessica only connects with Medibank customers over the phone – a very different approach to what she was doing as an allied health professional.
“In Health Concierge, we’re only using our voices as the main tools. This means over time we develop strong listening skills. It’s amazing how you can speak to a complete stranger for a brief period of time and they allow you to enter their world, understanding what a day is like for them,” explains Jessica.
“Even though I’m based either in the office or working from home, as opposed to face-to-face, I’m still able to carry out my role as a health professional just like before. Having empathy and providing care for somebody can be done whether you’re in front of them or over the phone.”
Health Concierge is a team built up of allied health professionals, all of whom share the common goal of providing support to Medibank hospital customers.
“I’m surrounded by nurses, dieticians, physios, exercise physiologists, and other specialists, which is amazing. We all approach the cause in the same way but with slightly different understandings of what our customers are going through. My colleagues and I have so much to offer regarding health promotion. It’s fantastic that Medibank is dedicated to utilising the skills we have to offer.”
Jessica says there is no limit to where she can go in her career, acknowledging every step is up to her.
“We can’t be afraid to reach out and jump at the opportunities in front of us. Our career development is completely up to us. We have to own it.”