MOST people usually hit the snooze button when their alarm goes off on a Monday morning – but not Pam Hinks.
The mother-of-two has worked as an NHS receptionist in Warwick for more than four decades and it is a job she loves with a passion.
First employed at Park Street and Emscote Road in April 1970, Pam’s only move came about when the two surgeries combined to become Avonside Health Centre on Portabello Way in 2009.
But it could have been a very different story for the 68-year-old, who also leads the 7th Woodloes cubs group in Warwick.
“I was always going to be a nurse but then I met my husband, John, and he asked me to marry him so my plans changed,” she joked.
“I don’t regret it at all – I’m very much a people person and I think that helps in this job.
“In such a busy practice, compassion is key and I always say: ‘If you haven’t got a smile, have one of mine!'”
One of the biggest challenges Pam has faced over the years has been getting used to the impact of modern technology.
“Things are a lot more up-to-date now with everything being put onto computers,” she admitted.
“Back in the old days, if you needed information about a patient, you would look for their file but now you can pull it up on the computer in a matter of seconds, which is great.”
And although the stresses and strains have taken their toll over the years, Pam – who will celebrate her 50th wedding anniversary in September – insists retirement is far from her mind.
She added: “I used to work Monday to Friday and although I’ve cut down my hours, I still do a lot of overtime and as long as I can work, I will.
“It’s very challenging and can be a stressful job at times, however I’ve been fortunate to work with some wonderful people and there’s a group of about 15 to 20 of us now who get on really well whether it’s a good day or a bad.
“The great thing is that no two days are ever the same and I suppose that’s what keeps me going!”