Santex, the company, and its people: Carmen Mihaela Tista, nursing consultant - Santex S.p.A.

Every company has its own history, identity, and vision. What about Santex? We asked the people that contribute every day, with their work, to make it possible.

We interviewed Carmen Mihaela Tistea, a nursing consultant at Santex. She spoke about the people and the operators she interacts with. She told us more about the coordinated and organized method that Santex different departments adopt to operate and contribute improving patients’ lives.

Could you please describe your professional career?

I have been working as a nursing consultant in Friuli, since 2013, mainly in the city of Pordenone.  I work in different health districts.  Before coming to Italy, I was working in a hospital, in Romania. Once I arrived here, I sent my resume to Santex, the company that manages the supply of incontinence aids in Friuli Venezia Giulia.

What training have you received at Santex?

First, I visited the production plant in Veneto where I understood, not only how an incontinence diaper is made, but also the variety of the existing incontinence diapers. There, I had the chance to closely observe the incredible technology and quality material behind Santex pads.  Furthermore, as far as my work as a nursing consultant is concerned, I deepened my knowledge of the health aspects of incontinence, the possible solutions, and products that can be offered to the end user.

Could you please briefly describe your job?

On specific days and times of the week, I go to various health care districts and take care of patients who have a GP referral, declaring their incontinence (we are often dealing with urinary incontinence). If patients are certified with a permanent condition, they have the right to receive a provision for life; if they do not have a permanent condition, they will receive a temporary supply for a maximum of a year.

In some health care districts, patients are previously approached by the authorized prosthetic office, while in other districts the first approach is directly with me.

My job consists, through a series of questions, to understand what the situation, with respect to the patient’s incontinence, is and which are their social-assistance requirements. More specifically, what I try to understand is the type of incontinence, if they are physically and/or psychologically autonomous. I try to understand if they live on their own, if they are helped by their relatives or carers, or if they live in a rest home.  Once I have understood what the situation is, I propose them the most suitable incontinence aid.

Very often patients are not aware of all the possibilities that encourage the rehabilitation or avoid the aggravation of incontinence, and this is something I need to tell them.

Once we have chosen together with the patient, the product that suits them the most, I explain them the main features of the aid so that they can use it at its best. Sometimes we may choose different products, depending on their type or absorbency, products that can be used to respond to the different needs of the patient.

I always explain how our services are carried out and provide information on the functioning of the services offered by our call centre.

In real time, I enter on the system, through my company laptop, the patient’s data and the therapeutic plan we established.

Finally, I print two copies: one of the two copies is signed for acceptance by the patient or by their family and is part of the file I leave to the staff of the health care district, to be accepted by the Health Care Director.

Sometimes I leave a sample to the patient too, to evaluate the product that suits them the best or I send some samples directly to their home through the Home Delivery Office of the company.

This procedure activates a home delivery service of the products for a quarterly provision.  If patients require some changes, they come back to the health care district or call for a change of the supply.

How the approach to incontinent patients has changed over the years?

Some patients improve their incontinence condition, by using less invasive aids. Unfortunately, there is still little training and attention in the management and rehabilitation of incontinence: as a matter of fact, Santex offers updated advice, bringing benefits to the industry as a whole.

Incontinence may not be lived as a pathology, but as a condition that can be accepted and improved. To achieve this, it is necessary to know the matter, to listen and exchange with patients, their relatives, carers or whoever follows them. It is important to always do it while respecting the patient privacy and being welcoming. We are very often dealing with lonely elderly people who need to be listened to.  Sometimes, when necessary, I recommend them to contact a specialist.

What does working for Santex mean to you?

First of all, it means working with a very organized method and structure.  At Santex, many departments are involved in the fulfilment of the needs of incontinent patients. I am referring to:

–              the Home Delivery department;

–              the IT department;

–              the employees of the Call-Center;

–              the Sales department;

–              the Health consultant;

–              the Logistics department.

Since the beginning, I’ve immediately appreciated all these professional characters that interact with my work, for their seriousness and professionalism. That is why I’d not change working with this company ever.

My work is very dynamic. It allowed me to expand my knowledge of this specific “pathology” that has many implications I did not know before. Moreover, I feel I am part of the Health Care System of my area: thanks to Santex professionalism and organization, I have a positive business relationship with the administration, the health operators, the doctors, the nurses of the Health Care districts I collaborate with.  In the same way, when I gain the trust of patients, relatives, and carers, I understand even better the uses and the culture of this territory, and this, for me, is a fascinating human experience.

What was the project or the challenge that has fascinated you the most?

The biggest challenge is to improve, with my work, people’s lives, is to live and do my work not only from a technical point of view but also as a human being.

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