A Day In The Life of….. Mark O’Toole

General Porter, CHI at Crumlin

I get up at 7.30 and either walk or drive to work. When I get to work I attend the Porters Communication Hub and pick up my bleep. Then I check my emails and go and get changed into my uniform. Finally, I link in with the other porters and our supervisor to see what work has to be done.

The routine and tasks at work every day are generally the same up until 5pm. However, after that I carry a bleep and depending on the number and nature of requests it can be challenging, but manageable. There is always the possibility of an unusual request that needs to be worked out. I usually learn from those situations and am prepared in the future should that type of request arise again.

The thing I like most about my job is assisting in a task that is unusual or unforeseen and knowing that I can help to complete it. I also feel really privileged when allowed to do other hospital work that is outside the Porter remit from time to time. For example when I helped to organise the Annual Book of Remembrance Day and when I was Santa Clause for annual HO HO day.

It is really great when you can bring a little light to the patient’s day especially at Christmas time and other holidays. Also the recognition I receive after those events from parents, and staff alike is invaluable to me. I am also motivated by moving forward and learning more. It is exciting to wonder what lies ahead for not only our Department but our entire organisation at Crumlin along with our colleagues at Tallaght and Temple Street hospitals under the CHI umbrella. The next number of years presents a brand new chapter in my working life. I believe that this new chapter will create opportunities for my colleagues and will be based on the collaborative strengths that already exist. These building blocks in my opinion will help our transition to be a lot smoother and a new culture will be created.

My proudest achievement since I joined Crumlin would have to be receiving the hospital Bursary Fund back in 2014, so that I could go to college. It was a difficult process and I was one of the ten chosen out of over a hundred applicants from all hospital grades. I was also the first ever from the support grades to receive the fund. Since then I have completed courses in Emergency Management, Leadership and Entrepreneurship. Following that I was also given the opportunity to research and evaluate our hospital’s Internal Incident Management programme and present my findings to a multi-disciplinary group.

In order to relax and unwind, I enjoy five-a-side football. I also love going to the beach with my family and swimming in the sea. I have always felt that if I can get at least ‘one dip in the sea’ a year then I am refreshed and ready for what the rest of the year has in store for me. I am also a ‘movie buff’ and more recently have become accustomed to ‘bingeing’ on TV Series when I have the time.

I love it when one of my colleagues makes a joke or does something funny especially during break time. And some time passes, whether it is a few days or weeks, and we all turn around and say, “Do you remember when so and so did that”.

The thing I treasure most in Crumlin is our Front Desk and main reception area. I spend the majority of my working life at Crumlin based there. The people you meet, whether they are patients, visitors, colleagues or even celebrities can be very memorable. Also it brings me a great sense of pride when someone recognises you and says, “Ah you’re the fella that works at reception”.  Sometimes a person would say thank you for an impact you made during their visit or stay at Crumlin, even if was something small. A little can mean a lot for someone.