Katrina has been in the medical field for about 12 years now. She started out as a medical office assistant quickly becoming a physicians assistant, and graduated into the management end of things. But she wanted a change, so when she came across Snore MD advertising the West Kelowna sleep clinic, she took a chance and jumped into the role as clinic coordinator with both feet.
With a lot of in-house and self training, Katrina is now the Sleep Clinician in West Kelowna, helping patients overcome sleep issues and along their better-sleep journey.
What is it about the Snore MD sleep clinics, the brand, the company, the business, that you think is great?
The management guys are great! To work with people you actually don’t mind working for is fabulous! There is a family dynamic, we all lean on each other. Even with all the other stores being in the Lower Mainland, I can lean on anyone down there. We’re a family.
Also, the level of care we provide is amazing. We share success stories between store teams, and on a daily basis, I see how our customer service can result in phenomenal health transformations.
When a new patient walks into your sleep apnea clinic, what are the first thoughts or comments that you hear from them?
There’s a reason why they are walking through our doors, and that primary reason is usually “my wife says I snore!”. So, for the main part, people are looking for snoring solutions.
Who visits your sleep clinic?
My patients come from Kelowna itself, from Peachland, Penticton, Summerland, and West Kelowna. We get everyone. Such a wide demographic. I’ve personally moved a dozen 35-year-old men back into their rooms with their wives. It’s becoming more and more known now. Even though the odds are that one in four people suffer from sleep apnea, I would say nine out of ten people who walk through our doors suffer from it. If you are walking through my doors, it is probably for a reason!
What is it that sets you apart from our sleep clinics in West Kelowna?
The biggest difference is our customer service and our patient care which shows that we really care! I’ve seen an 80-year-old woman who has been told that she will never adapt to CPAP equipment. She came to us in tears, but within three days I had her adapted to sleep therapy. She used to come in once a week just to give me a hug! It’s refreshing to come in here as a patient and actually feel like we really care. And, our customers who review us on Google are sharing the same thoughts!
I will always ask my new patients, “So, when is the last time you heard from your previous provider?” And all too often, the answer is “The day I purchased my unit”, which is where we differ. We provide our patients with Care For Life, a complimentary service that includes regular check-ups and ongoing remote monitoring.
What's the greatest reward you get with working with Snore MD patients?
I tell everybody, including the management team here at Snore MD, on a regular basis that I don’t feel like a have a job, I have a career. I actually like coming to work. I don’t see it as work. The reward of seeing the change in patients makes it all worth it.
Do you have any remarkable sleep apnea stories to share?
There are numerous. I have had some of the biggest skeptics in my office chair. I had one gentleman who insisted “No, no way! I don’t have anything wrong with me!”, and he tested severe for sleep apnea. And he resisted the results, and it was all witchcraft to him. It took a lot of explaining for him to realise what he was experiencing was not normal, and to try sleep therapy. When he came back after one week of CPAP therapy, he walked in the clinic without the CPAP machine in his hands. I smiled and laughed, joking “No, don’t worry! It doesn’t work. You just go back out to your vehicle and bring it in. I will take it back, happily! You won’t be offending me by giving it back to me.” With a serious look, he said, “I didn’t bring it in because you’re not taking it away from me!’.
You have to see the light-hearted side of things. A lot of people that come in here are younger people, and they’re concerned with what their partners are going to think of them, “Sleep equipment isn’t sexy”. But you know what is sexy? Healthy! So you have to be able to have those conversations and be light-hearted about the uncomfortable conversations, be open and honest, and make the patient more comfortable with something they never thought they would need to consider.
If you’re unsure about sleep therapy, we will be more than happy to sit down and discuss the symptoms, common problems, associated risks, and solutions. Stop the snoring today, and visit your nearest Snore MD sleep clinic!