Bryan Rexroad, Wilmer Eye Institute call center agent

170301 Bryan Rexroad_7849

Bryan Rexroad handles dozens of calls every day from patients or doctors seeking appointments and information.

I’ve always been a really open person. I can talk to anyone. Whenever I train somebody to be a patient access specialist, I always tell people: Just talk to patients as if they’re people. I think that’s the biggest key — to be open and treat everyone almost like they’re your friend.

When people find out I work in a call center, they usually ask me what kind. I’ll tell them “Johns Hopkins,” and that kind of explains most of it: making appointments for doctors, triaging calls, stuff like that. So it’s not something unimportant. You’re actually making a difference in people’s lives by doing it.

The call room I work in is pretty small. It’s located inside the Wilmer Eye Institute, and there are five of us in there, and I’m training someone, so six total. We have our own little fridge and microwave and our desks. That’s about it. We walk in there straight in the morning, and walk out straight at night.

I’d say the average person here does 70 to 100 calls a day. That’s just a guess. It probably takes about 10 seconds to figure out whether a call is going to be easy or challenging. We get anything from somebody who must have a routine eye exam, so they just want glasses, to someone having an urgent issue, like they’re seeing floating spots, flashing lights — all these symptoms that could lead to something.

It’s always nice to have someone in good spirits when they call. A lot of the elderly people like to tell really bad puns and jokes, which I do as well. Just small-talk jokes. I’ll ask them if they have a good callback number and they’ll say, “No, I just have a regular one.”

Every once in a while, people will hang up on you. They’ll be like: “Okay, bye.” And just hang up. You have to understand that patients can be upset and frustrated. You have to have empathy and understand where they’re coming from. I know if I was losing my sight, I’d probably be frustrated with many things.

My favorite types of calls are, honestly, providing the appropriate information. That’s usually a big stress relief. It’s always really nice when somebody starts off super grumpy, and then you help them out and they’re the most thankful people that you’ve helped.

Call centers are hard to describe. I had no idea what this work would be like. I certainly didn’t know much about the eyes, and now I train people. I’ve been here almost a year. I’m 23 years old. I feel like once you get past that six-month point, that’s when you stick around for a bit.

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Bryan Rexroad, Wilmer Eye Institute call center agent, 5.0 out of 5 based on 3 ratings


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }


Courtney L. March 13, 2017 at 4:11 pm

This is great! I enjoyed the article, you nailed what we do every day! Great work Bryan, you're an awesome team member.


Bryan Rex March 13, 2017 at 3:59 pm

You're a pretty cool guy


Megan March 13, 2017 at 3:58 pm

Wow this is great!


Emily March 13, 2017 at 3:27 pm

Great article! What you do has an impact on others. The ability to listen, kindness, empathy and willingness to help can really affect a person's life, especially if they are having a medical issue. How great that Wilmer has you!


erin March 13, 2017 at 2:39 pm

Great job Bryan! You are such a great agent and person all together 🙂


Joyce Cole March 10, 2017 at 9:48 am

I enjoyed this article. Johns Hopkins' Scheduling personnel and MOCs are wonderful at doing often-challenging work. Great job, Bryan!


Travissimo March 10, 2017 at 9:06 am

Ayyy, that's my boy


Keisha D March 10, 2017 at 8:19 am

This is great work Bryan! Your customer service skills, including appropriate 'small-talk jokes' makes a big difference in the lives of those you help!


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