Van? Check. Keys? Check. Schedule? Check. Deborah Broughton has all the things she needs to start her day transporting patients.
For the past 11 years, Broughton has provided transportation for senior patients at the Sharp Senior Health Centers in Clairemont and downtown. Seniors use the free service to get to and from their doctor appointments.
A typical day for Broughton begins with clocking in, checking her schedule, inspecting her vehicle and then getting on the road to pick up her first patient. She transports an average of six patients a day.
Broughton started her transportation career as a driver for Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) Access, a paratransit service for customers with disabilities. At MTS, Broughton received a special license that certifies she knows how to load and unload passengers with disabilities and respond to emergencies. Additionally, she is trained on how to strap down wheelchairs and properly maneuver them over curbs and ramps.
Meeting Broughton is the first experience that many senior patients have at Sharp HealthCare. She says she tries to bring The Sharp Experience to the doorstep of each patient she picks up.
“I like to greet patients at their door, assist them back to the van, put their seat belt on and make sure they are relaxed,” she says.
Complimentary patient transportation for non-emergency medical services is offered at most of Sharp’s locations. The safety of drivers and patients is a top priority. Before Broughton leaves in the morning, she inspects the tires, lights, and oil and gas levels.
“I think it is important that patients feel safe while they are going back and forth from their appointments,” says Broughton. “As long as they feel that way, I know I’m doing my job.”
Her co-workers at the Sharp Senior Health Centers value Broughton’s contribution to the senior community. They recently honored her with two Guardian Angel Awards for her ability to provide comfort and security to senior patients.
“I want to help people, and I enjoy driving, so this is the perfect job for me,” says Broughton.”