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Phone Manners at Work

Luisa starts her new nursing assistant job next week at a local long-term care center and is a little nervous because she will have to answer the phone in her new job.  Luisa searched on the Internet for ideas on how to answer the phone correctly.

One website gave Luisa very basic and important information. She should answer telephone calls as quickly as possible. A phone should not ring more than three or four times before she answers.

Another website said that Luisa should practice answering the phone.  She should write down how she will answer the phone and practice saying the words. The website gave a suggestion:  “Good afternoon, (say name of nursing facility). This is (say your name). How may I help you?”  Luisa practiced answering the phone many times.

A different website said that she should smile when she answers the phone because smiling can improve the sound of her voice.  Luisa practiced smiling when she answered the phone. She thought that she sounded happier when she smiled and talked.

The same website gave Luisa another idea. She should ask permission to put a caller on hold. Asking permission makes callers feel they are in control of the situation. The recommendation the website gave was to say something like, “Good morning, I'm helping a patient on the other line. May I please place you on a brief hold? (wait for answer). Thank you. Please hold.”  Luisa practiced saying these words many times. She learned that if she does have to put a caller on hold, she should thank them for holding: “Thank you for holding, how may I help you?

Luisa also learned that she should end or finish the call in a friendly and professional way.  She could say, “Thank you. I will make sure the nurse gets your message.”  

Luisa was glad she took the time to do some research for her new job. She is also happy that she took the time to practice how she will answer the phone.  She now feels ready to start the new job!

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© 2015 by Southwest Adult Basic Education

Project made financially possible through grants from:

Southwest Initiative Foundation, Marshall Community Foundation, Southwest Regional Transition Partners, Southwest Adult Basic Education, Marshall Healthcare Partners