A helping hand in the event of an alarm, for those who need it

Careium’s monitoring centres in Malmö and Kalix answer around 15,000 calls every day, from more than 100 Swedish municipalities. For home care services and users who raise the alarm, it is a security that is available every day of the year, 24 hours a day. But for many people the monitoring centres are an important function that they know very little about.

Isabelle Sjöberg is the operations manager and an alarm operator for a team at the monitoring centre in Malmö and has worked at Careium for three years. She describes the work as very variable, so it’s important to be on your toes, because at any time there may be an alarm where a care recipient needs help.

"If I were to describe our monitoring centres and the work as an alarm operator, it would be like a large, extended hand for those who need it. We help those who raise the alarm, which can vary in terms of age, conditions or needs and we are there to provide security in their everyday lives. For us, there are actually no typical days, but there are always new alarms coming in and there is always something to do, so that time goes by very quickly."

What is understood in the world of monitoring centres is that the alarm chain begins when a care recipient presses the alarm and sends notification that they need help. An operator in the monitoring centre is assigned the alarm and investigates what help the care recipient needs. During the conversation, home care services in the care recipient’s municipality are also contacted to inform them that the need exists. To assist with support during the call, the operator has direct access to relevant information entered by the municipality about the care recipient.

The most common calls that come in concern everyday things such as going to the toilet or needing help to go to bed. However, there are also alarms of a more serious nature, these are 'emergency alarms'. It could be that a care recipient has fallen or that a fire alarm has gone off. In the event of an emergency alarm, the call is forwarded to SOS. For Isabelle, these calls are a compelling reason why it feels meaningful to go to work every day.

"When you answer a call and make sure that the caller gets help, it is very rewarding. Whether it’s something of a simpler nature or something urgent, both are equally important, and when you make sure that they get the help they need from home care services, my work feels very important."

To cope with the often high pace, the key is good cooperation. The alarm operators are divided into teams of team leaders who manage and distribute the work within the groups. Many people at the monitoring centre have a background in healthcare and are trained assistant nurses, which Isabelle highlights as an important experience. She also maintains that as an alarm operator you grow as a person.

Good cooperation is incredibly important and something we work on a lot. The better we know each other, the better we can handle the situations that arise. I’ve grown as a person since I started at Careium, you get a greater understanding of your fellow human beings and learn to make quick decisions and take responsibility. If you have a good basic understanding of how healthcare works and also understand the digital world and want to grow as a person, I can recommend becoming an alarm operator with us.