Employee Profiles: Lois Jacobsen, Health Referral Receptionist

Lois Jacobsen is a Health Referral Receptionist who works for UW Medical Foundation.


Lois Jacobsen, Health Referral Receptionist, UW Medical FoundationI am a Health Referral Receptionist at UW Healthline. This is the Nurse Triage Line that operates from 5-11pm, Monday-Friday and 7am-11pm on the weekends. We take calls from patients or their families, from nursing homes, pharmacies, hospitals and labs after the clinics have closed.


I take messages from patients who want to speak to a nurse. I page physicians, answer questions about the clinic hours, and give directions.


Our work environment is a team of three to five nurses and one HRR, depending on the shift. We can be very busy at times, with a call always in the queue, and we have evenings or weekends when the call flow is slower. We have to be efficient with our time but also meet the needs of the callers/patients. We get along well as a group and celebrate our successes together, and try to support each other through difficult times.


I have worked in several different types of environments so I have experience with all types of people. I have good communication skills and a positive attitude and I devote myself to the job at hand.


I chose to work at UW Medical Foundation because I have a background in community health and my sons were patients of many of the UW Medical Foundation physicians. I was impressed with the quality of care they received and felt it would be a great place to work. The schedule also works well with my daytime job at a school.


The calls that I view as most important are "intervention calls." We have worked with EMS and the police to get people the help they need and to prevent suicides. Some calls are from parents who are very tired and frustrated with a sick child and when I greet them with kindness and patience, I can hear a little relief in their voices. It is true that people can sense your smile over the phone.