ASK AVERY: Who are we?
AVERY is the team. With a touch of ‘tongue in cheek,’ we call ourselves the A-Team, but there is a certain truth in that description. I am lucky to have an outstanding group of individuals working with me to provide the best patient care possible, from the first phone call or enquiry to our Practice through to the end of the post-operative phase.
There are no egos, no superstars, no one engaged in spotlight wrestling. We all work together with years of combined experience, professionalism, and understanding of the plastic surgery industry. Even more importantly, we share the same values about what patient care and the surgical journey should feel like.
We work every day to provide a safe and warm environment for all people, and we try to ensure that everyone we come into contact with is treated with respect and care regardless of whether they choose to have surgery with us. I think we are a bit like the characters out of Harry Potter. Individually all of our team members have something special, but working together - that’s when the real magic happens.
Alex Miguel is our Practice Manager, which means she oversees everything that happens at Avery from booking my operating lists through to supporting our patients throughout their surgical journey. Alex has ten years working within the plastic surgery industry, but I think one of the many things that makes her an outstanding Practice Manager is the extensive customer service experience she acquired within other industries, including television and hospitality. This means Alex is always thinking ‘how can we make it easier for our patients?’. Alex values the trust that our patients place in us, and this is reflected in every interaction she has with them. I have watched her ease people through the sometimes daunting experience of talking about aspects of themselves they want to change, journeys’ through cancer and mastectomy, and fears about undergoing surgery. She does this with compassion and professionalism, and she has a knack for simplifying the medical jargon that I often forget is not the day to day norm for most people.
Melissa Stevens is our Practice Nurse. Mel has been a Registered Nurse for over 20 years and has been working with me since I moved to Newcastle over six years ago. Mel originally studied nursing because she wanted to give back to the community and she hasn’t lost her sense of empathy and compassion over the years. She interacts with our patients pre-operatively and post-operatively, and I consistently get patients commenting to me about the exemplary care Mel provided to them throughout their surgical journey. Mel has a long history of specialist wound care, and her clinical skills are excellent. However, I think her commitment to client care is what really sets her apart. Mel understands every patient is different and has unique needs. Nothing is too much trouble, and she is completely unflappable.
Kim Budden is part of our welcoming front desk team. Kim has over five years’ experience in medical administration and knows all the ins and outs of the plastic surgery speciality from an administration perspective. When people telephone the Practice or come in with questions about what’s involved in the surgical journey with us, Kim can answer them knowledgeably and with patience. This is lucky because one of Kim’s pet dislikes is “not knowing everything”, along with bad coffee. Kim is a great mix of being a stickler for detail and precision, and also has a warm nature that comes through in her interactions with our patients. Having experienced front desk staff makes a big difference to the smooth running of the Practice. However, from the other side of the desk, it is the kindness and respect shown that matters. Kim has it covered from both angles.
Anne-Marie Molloy the other member of our front desk team. Annie, as we call her, is the newest part of the A-Team. Annie came to us with over ten years corporate experience and has taken to working within the medical world and Avery like she’s always been here. Along with Kim, Annie plays an integral role in how our patients feel when they telephone Avery or come into see us. Annie is genuinely interested in the answer to the question ‘how are you?’, and makes sure everyone feels welcomed and comfortable. She also has this odd ability to anticipate what needs to be done on the admin side of things, and just as you’re making the request presents the finished product - spooky.
That’s the A-Team. That’s AVERY.
Pictured top: Alex Miguel and Melissa Stevens