Nikki Kahler works in the call center at East Coast Ambulance as a member of the billing department. Nikki calls all private pay customers to make payment arrangement for their upcoming transport. Always conscientious and appreciative, she is an extremely diligent worker who takes pride in her work and loves coming to work each day.
So we chatted with Nikki to find out more about her time at East Coast Ambulance.
When did you start at East Coast? What was your role when you arrived at the company?
I’ve been in the private ambulance business since 1972. I started out with American Ambulance as their PR person. The job required me to go out into the field and work with all the nursing homes and hospitals. I did the in-services to educate staff in the facilities on how to call for ambulances and what was going to be paid for and what wasn’t. That sort of thing.
I started here on April 25th 2010. I was 62 years old when Mike hired me. I had just turned 62 and everybody said, “oh you’ll never get a job, you’ll never get a job.”
Well, Mike gave me an opportunity and I’m still here. I’ll be 70 next week.
Today is Nikki's 70th birthday! Happy Birthday Nikki. And thank you for all the hard work that you do.
When I first walked into the building, I was not computer literate. I didn’t even know how to turn one on. But Mike was kind enough to allow me to take the time to learn as I went along. And so, eight years later, I have a little niche here.
I started in the patient transportation (PTC) department but I found within a few weeks that it wasn’t for me. Mike then created a position for me, one which he never had before, and that was to be the person that secures payment at time of service. The new position took some of the burden off of the patient transportation department as well as billing. I love it and I enjoy it every day.
How has your job evolved and your role expanded?It's my primary responsibility to secure payment and as we’ve grown, my job volume has as well. When I first started, I would always have questions but over the years I’ve learned so much and I can handle things on my own.
I’m trusted to review the call, handle the call, call the patient or facility, secure the payment, or cancel the call if necessary. I am happy with the confidence everyone has in me.
What was your most memorable moment of your time working at East Coast?There are a lot of memorable moments. One thing I do want to say about our company, though, is that we have the greatest group of people and we all get along. Everybody really cares about each other and works together. Even though we’re good sized company, I feel like we’re like a family.
We’ve all developed great relationships here in this building --- working with each other every day. We’re together more than we’re with our spouses and our families. To be able to get up every day and enjoy the people you work with --- I love it. It’s wonderful.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
My favorite part about my job? To be honest with you, it’s knowing that my board is cleared and that I’ve secured payment for everything I’m supposed to. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment. That’s the best part of my day. When I walk out of here I’ve done a good job and given them a good day’s work.
What’s your advice to someone looking to become an EMT or get into medical billing?
Private ambulance has been in business for longer than I’ve been around and it’s definitely a good field to get into. There is always a need for good EMTs, billing personnel or other support positions. The opportunities are there if you have the desire and qualifications.
How is Mike Rossellini as a boss?
Like I said, I’ve been in this business since 1972. I have never worked for an individual like him in my entire life. He is the kindest person and he gives you an opportunity to learn what you need to learn and stay with it --- as long as you have the "stick-to-it-iveness" and desire to succeed.
What’s one thing that you know now that you wish you knew earlier in your career?
I probably wish that I would have had more education and on-the-job knowledge from a company such as this one. Not everyone is a teacher, and not everyone takes the time to teach like they do here.
If you have a question or unfamiliar situation and you’re not sure what to do, somebody is always ready to help you, and be there for you. Previously, I didn’t have that. I didn’t have those kinds of relationships in the other companies that I worked for.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
You know, I don’t have much of that. I have a husband, so I don’t have spare time. :)
On Friday and Saturday I volunteer at the VA and help out with feeding the retired veterans. I’ve also been known to enjoy shopping.
Other than that, I like spending quality time with my husband and my grandkids and that sort of thing.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Not that I can think of. I just want to say thanks for giving me the opportunity to talk to you. I had asked Mike if I could be one of your candidates for this and I hope that something I’ve said was useful.