I joined Angels because in it I can see the same core values as in myself. Within Angels I have found the true meaning of offering help and guidance with absolute focus on the patient’s life.
On my first day with Angels I met leading healthcare professionals who informed me about the situation regarding stroke care in Greece and some of the challenges that Greek hospitals are facing. We talked about ways in which the Angels Initiative could support their effort.
The most rewarding moment of my journey so far was that finding people willing to improve stroke care in Greece. Starting as a consultant in a new country is challenging, but the welcome the I have received so far is making those challenges less demanding.
It took a lot of courage to put myself out in the field. As a people person, I always knew that my destiny would be to work and be in close contact with people. But I found that I had to overcome barriers that were keeping me back from letting myself out in the world.
The most important thing I have learnt so far is to listen. When I am in a new hospital, I always try to listen to the needs of the people working there and to understand how I can be helpful.
One skill I have found unexpectedly useful is patience. Changing habits and motivating people takes a lot of commitment from both parties.
The past three months would have been much harder without the support of the Angels Initiative team! From day one I felt the sense of belonging in the team. It is a great privilege to know that I have colleagues with whom I can share my thoughts, exchange ideas and receive guidance.
What I hope to accomplish next is improve the DTN time within the whole country. Saving even 15 minutes will have a tremendous impact in patient outcomes. Therefore it is important to create strong stroke teams that are confident, communicate and work together to save lives.
The opportunity to leave my legacy is to spread the Angels wings all over Greece. My goal is to improve the stroke pathway even on the smallest island so that patients will receive the same care wherever they live.
Eleni’s 3-month milestones
- Meeting Prof Georgios Tsivgoulis and Dr Demetrois Pyrros and learning about the stroke situation in Greece
- Visiting hospitals and discussing how Angels can support their hard work
- Planning hospital activities, workshops and training
- Improving my listening skills and sense of empathy and recognising the value of communication and teamwork