While applying for jobs today, I found a posting that called for a Customer Service Representative to an Abortion Clinic. Contrary to what I thought initially, the duties go well beyond simply answering a phone and providing rudimentary information. This occupation requires so much emotional strength from whomever works it, I decided to post the list of responsibilities below, cut and pasted directly from the job listing itself.
______________ResponsibilitiesResponds to inbound calls, provide caller responses to questions with unbiased and factual information, offers confidential and non-judgmental support and case management for women.
Refers callers to appropriate supervisor as necessary;
Performs data entry for setting abortion appointments for consultation/procedures;
Conducts patient registration, insurance registration, and fee scale assessment. Provides all information necessary to ensure that patient is prepared for the visit to a PPMW health center.
Conducts benefit verification and pre authorization for services with third party payers. Ensures detailed documentation of coverage.
Confirms abortion appointments with patients through outbound calling;
Answers post abortion patients queries.
Those of us who are pro-choice are, of course, eternally grateful for those who perform services such as these. Without them, reproductive rights could not be extended to women who make a conscious choice to terminate their pregnancies. Still, I have to admit I don't think I could handle the stress and the trauma of a job like this. I would wager that few people can. Those who have the stamina to do this sort of work have my supreme respect.
This is the ugly underbelly of abortion that we often sanitize away and don't like to think about much in depth. That we put extreme responsibilities like this on entry-level workers makes me very upset. It's not exactly fair, is it?
I used to work with practioners who serviced mainly gay patients. Knowing someone's diagnosis before them and seeing the aftermath was just too much. Watching patient's health get progressively worse in short time periods daily eventually led to ulcers. Kudos to those who can do it.
Yes, this must be a difficult position to be in. It must take a special kind of person who can handle it.
Believe it or not, I used to have that EXACT position at Planned Parenthood. I was also a clinic assistant (i.e., a tech) there for some time, did some work helping low-income women find funding for their procedures (Medicaid doesn't cover abortions in most states, because why provide free services to the people who need it the most?), and was even a clinic escort at a different local provider. What I can tell you is that after about 3 years of doing that kind of work, you eventually realize that women of every shape, color, size, etc. get pregnant in any circumstance that you can imagine, and most of them are "not pro-choice" except for themselves, for whom it is somehow different because their circumstances are REALLY extenuating. How frustrating. Okay, rant over...
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