With 13 years of experience in respiratory therapy, Ramona is celebrating her 1-year anniversary with Snore MD Maple Ridge sleep clinic! So, we took 9 minutes and caught up with her over the phone.
What attracted you to join Snore MD sleep clinic in Maple Ridge?
They are very patient-forward and I really was impressed with their care for life program. It is always a person that contacts patients - not an automated call service. We reach out to them at the 1, 2, 4, and 6-month marks, and every 6 months after that! We’re constantly in contact with patients and that was a pull for me.
Doing the job now, I know patients enjoy this level of service! I was sending out our 4-month mark emails and for one patient I decided “Oh, I’ll call him instead of emailing him”. I phoned his wife and her response was, “Oh no, no, you have to send him the email with all the sleep data in it!” So, I asked why and she explained, “Well he shows all his friends. He tells them, ‘Look at this! Look! They send me all my data!’” referring to his sleeping pattern data. In the end, I had to send him the email, which I thought was really sweet!
What are some of your common complaints a new patient walks in with?
“I snore!” or, “My wife says she’ll divorce me if I don’t come in and get tested.” And we get the other side of it, too, where the husband says things like, “My wife snores and you know, I’ve moved into another bedroom.” We also get walk-ins that have previously been with other sleep apnea clinics and just by how they are greeted here with a “Hi, how are you?” or “Welcome to Snore MD!” and talking with our knowledgeable staff, they feel very comfortable.
Who do you get to help in the community you work in?
Everybody! We help people from all walks of life. All ages, young, old, men and women. We get a lot of couples coming in and we test them both. We also get a lot of people that have been on CPAP for a number of years and are looking for a company that will be there to take care of them.
What sets Snore MD Maple Ridge sleep clinic apart from its competitors?
The amazing experience you get when you come in! Everybody who has come in has been very happy with how they are treated. They are not just a number. And because the company is so patient-forward, they come first, every time.
What's the greatest reward you get working with Snore MD patients?
We treat patients that are mild, moderate, and severe. Mild is 5 – 15 events in a night, moderate is 15- 30, and severe is over 30. So, we have the whole spectrum. But I think the biggest reward is when you have somebody come in and you know they have severe sleep apnea, but of course people who have had obstructive sleep apnea for many years don’t realise how tired they are. Then once we get them on CPAP for a week or two, it’s the difference – the difference in their face; they are more awake; how much better they feel; they start having a spring in their step – that’s why I do this!
I’ve been hugged. I get hugged a lot! People are so grateful and so happy, saying, “Oh I didn’t realise how tired I was!” and “I didn’t realise what I was missing out of in life!”
I love hearing their stories! The reward is how much better they feel and hearing how much it has impacted their life.
Do you have any remarkable stories to share?
Oh, lots! One patient that came in, his sleep tests showed that he was very severe. We sent off a quote to his extended health benefits (insurance coverage)*, which we do as a courtesy for all patients, and he was really scared! It can be very daunting when you get into all the insurances and how to apply. He wasn’t sure how much it was going to cost him, how much his extended health benefits would cover, and at one point he was going to stop the process. But once we got the quote back we sat down and discussed it and he was just so relieved that he didn’t have to deal with the extended health quote by himself. He cried and gave me a big hug, saying, “I’ve never been treated with such respect and such kindness anywhere I’ve ever gone.” To me, that’s how everybody should be treated. He was very impressed with how far we went and how far we helped him. That sticks with me. I have lots of stories but that one really hit home.
*When you have sleep apnea, your extended health benefits will cover a portion, if not all, of your CPAP equipment. We will submit a quote on your behalf so you know how much of your sleep equipment cost is covered by insurance. There is no mystery! When looking at costing medical equipment, many patients get very scared and are very unsure. In my experience, helping the patient through this process makes them feel more comfortable.
If you suspect you or a loved one may be suffering from sleep apnea, come on down to our Maple Ridge Snore MD clinic! Our staff will take the time to listen to your issues, and advice you on suitable solutions.