Doctors Receptionist

(78 Posts)
RainbowsAndUnicorns5 Fri 13-May-16 10:15:13

Apparently it's well known that doctors receptionists are rude and grumpy but why?
I've just returned from yet another example, I can take it but I feel so sorry for old & vulnerable people, why be so abrasive it probably ruins their day??

MrsJoeyMaynard Fri 13-May-16 10:20:55

They're not all rude and grumpy. The ones at my GP surgery are generally polite and cheerful.

EponasWildDaughter Fri 13-May-16 10:21:09

One of my DDs is a doc's receptionist. She's not rude or grumpy, but does have to be ultra quick and efficient in the face of a great deal of people ringing up with terrible attitudes and a frankly ridiculous expectation of what she can do for them. Plus the fact that the surgery is understaffed.

That said there are good and bad in every job.

bumpingalong9386 Fri 13-May-16 10:22:40

Not all of them are bad!

I really feel for them having to deal with the brunt of the grumpy public. The ones at my surgery are all lovely.

Laura280315 Fri 13-May-16 10:22:57

The ones at my surgery take it upon themselves to decide if you need an appointment or not and how quick you need to be seen!

AerithEarling Fri 13-May-16 10:26:25

Yesterday i went into the doctors surgery to pick up medication. I went in at 12.50pm. In front of me was a man who was flirting with the receptionist and another woman who worked behind the counter.
The other woman then put up signs to say they are closed at 1.
I said i have been waiting here and all i need is my medication and she said "sorry close at 1"
Mean while they were still flirting with the man.
Absolutly disgusting and unprofessional, i am moving doctors because of the receptionist at my current and I only put up with their attitude so long because the surgery is on my road.

MajesticSeaFlapFlap Fri 13-May-16 10:27:16

Oooh I used to rant about my docs Dragon of a receptionist...until I went there with a small gastro issue, I got to the desk and just cried, could even tell her my name. She made me a cuppa and sat me in the isolation room and bumped me up the list. I bought her some m and s chocolates

Went back a few months later to book my smear and she was back to Disney evil villain

grannytomine Fri 13-May-16 10:28:17

They are normally nice at our surgery but I think they often think they know more than they do. When my DD was a teenager she was cleaning up at her Saturday job and got a needle stick injury. Had to wait months for HIV test, they are quicker now but I think back then it was six months but I might be wrong. Anyway by this time she was away at uni so in the Christmas hols she had a test and also had a blood test for something else, medical problem she has. She phoned up and receptionist told her the tests were and clear. Uni doctor knew what was going on, she was obviously a bit stressed about it all, and she needed a copy of results to take back to uni so I called in a doctors to pick them up. The receptionist messed about, gave me a result sheet and I said it wasn't the right test. She asked what the test was and I didn't really want to announce it to the queue behind me but eventually had to. She then said the result wasn't back. I went mad at them, she had been so happy she was in the clear and I had to go home and tell her she still didn't have a result. They rushed the result through after I spoke to practice manager but the excuse was the receptionists aren't medically trained so don't understand the results. My reply was they shouldn't be giving out the results then. Look well if it wasn't negative and she had been celebrating with boyfriend and passed it on.

RainbowsAndUnicorns5 Fri 13-May-16 10:29:43

But loads of professions have to deal with the public confused

This morning a lady in her 80s I think dropped off a sample and got shouted at across the waiting room for not clearly enough writing her DOB on it. There's many a way to deal with that more sensitively, she looked like she was going to cry.

Dm was a GP and has told me for as long as I can remember stories of rude & grumpy receptionists that the gps have to tread on egg shells round

Why though? Is the job extremely stressful? Or being in power??

RainbowsAndUnicorns5 Fri 13-May-16 10:31:38

Absolutly disgusting and unprofessional, i am moving doctors

I fear moving won't help...

Onlyicanclean10 Fri 13-May-16 10:36:37

Got so say ours are all lovely.

Cheby Fri 13-May-16 10:39:44

I've had some awful ones in the past but I have to say my current ones are nothing short of lovely. They've really gone the extra mile for us. I make a point to thank them every time I go in, they are honestly brilliant and it's a breath of fresh air from past experiences.

I do wonder if the job can attract a certain type of person, maybe a bit power hungry and nosy?!

plantsitter Fri 13-May-16 10:42:18

Ours are generally fine.

I think it is a very stressful job as you're like a go-between for patients and doctors. everyone knows there aren't enough appointments. Everyone thinks they're in the most need. Ill people are often grumpy and aggressive. I bet there's a massive 'class' divide between the receptionists and the doctors who swan about like VIPs. There'll be patients who can't write their name and patients with multiple degrees who think that makes them better than you.

There must be the odd one who is power-crazed but I bet the majority of it is just a way of dealing with a difficult job.

Madlizzy Fri 13-May-16 10:44:06

The ones at my surgery are lovely, can't do enough for you.

AlmaMartyr Fri 13-May-16 10:45:38

Ours are fab and so helpful smile People can be absolutely vile to them though! I saw a man reduce one of them to tears, on her first day, because he couldn't have a follow up appointment at the time he wanted. Luckily people rallied around her a bit on that occasion but it was horrible.

KnitsBakesAndReads Fri 13-May-16 10:47:08

Ours are mixed - some lovely and helpful, others rude and grumpy. I'm sure they are very busy and understaffed so I try to be understanding. I can put up with the odd rude comment but I did get quite cross (not to her face) when a receptionist told me it would be fine to skip two doses of medication because they'd messed up my prescription. Fortunately I know not to do that but had they given that advice to someone taking the same medication who wasn't aware of the importance of not missing doses it could have had serious consequences.

Grumpiness I can understand but giving medical advice without appropriate knowledge? Not so much.

Boomingmarvellous Fri 13-May-16 10:49:10

Never, ever come across one yet who has been anything other than lovely.

CountessOfStrathearn Fri 13-May-16 10:49:30

The ones at my local surgery are always polite and helpful.

"I bet there's a massive 'class' divide between the receptionists and the doctors who swan about like VIPs."

This is a very odd statement from plantsitter. As a hospital doctor, I certainly don't swan around like a VIP or see very many of my colleagues doing so. We can't get by with good receptionists/secretaries etc and really appreciate them. Several receptionists and secretaries came to my wedding!

fanjoforthemammaries Fri 13-May-16 10:49:32

People are always blaming receptionists for being power crazed and withholding appointments.

They will be following a strict practice policy set by GPs and practice manager.

Also people say they are nosy of they ask what is wrong. I'm sure this will be because they have been asked to triage, but people then talk to them in a high handed manner saying where did they get their medical degree etc.

Someone actually said the job attracts nosy people on this thread.

I am a dental receptionist and some people refuse to tell me details of their toothache. WTF, I don't care about their toothache but I get into trouble for not recording details.

Interestingly the only people who have complained about me being rude,.2 in 10 years..were people who kicked off because I wouldn't give them what they wanted, as I was not allowed to. They want emergency appt at end of day..not allowed to book this..big tantrum.

People are always advising people on here to scream and shout and go and sit in until they get an appointment, then moaned about GP receptionist's being rude.

I can guarantee that if you find them ALL rude your own manner is probably less than delightful to them, especially if you talk of them bring power crazed and nosy.

There are dour ones like all professions and it's not an easy job but the general public can be rude bastard..

LateToThis Fri 13-May-16 10:49:41

Ours are lovely, thankfully. I think they must get a lot of grief from the public who come in who, let's face it, aren't usually at their best as they are probably sick/scared/worried and therefore probably ruder than your average customer in a shop for example. So I feel for Dr receptionists even though I do agree that sometimes a little more patience or understanding could help.

fanjoforthemammaries Fri 13-May-16 10:50:23

Sorry about typos here. My tablet likes to autocorrect, I do have basic grammar.

Cheby Fri 13-May-16 10:51:00

Thinking about it I once had an argument on the phone with a GP receptionist who swore blind that pharmacists had exactly the same training as doctors and so i could just ask a pharmacist about the horrendous rash (that failed the glass test!) that had just appeared on my 9mo baby who was unwell and had gone downhill quickly. I was also berated for not calling at 8am when they had appointments available. Given DD didn't have a rash or fever at 8am presumably she wanted me to be able to predict the future.

I just drove her to another GP practice who did walk ins, explained the situation and they saw us straight away (luckily she was fine but GP agreed we definitely needed to get her checked).

On our way out our own GP called to apologise and ask me to bring DD in, apparently they have a duty to see all babies the same day m. She apologised for the receptionist at least.

fanjoforthemammaries Fri 13-May-16 10:51:03

I'm sure they often understand every well..but still can't give people what they want /demand.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Fri 13-May-16 10:52:33

I used to be a Doctors Receptionist. I was a friendly one grin.

That said, I do understand what you are talking about. We go to a large practice - so there are about 20 Receptionists in all (not all on the desk at once obviously). I would say about 17 and nice, polite & helpful. The other 3 are prime examples of people for whom even a little power is way too much.

One called me a liar for saying that DS1's GP had asked me to let him know whether he needed more of a particular medication or not (he'd tried a few, none had worked before that one)! "No, he would only ever have asked you to make another routine appointment. You can't just come in and demand more medication." (I was definitely asking - not demanding). Incredibly luckily, said GP happened to overhear & came over to speak to me before popping back to his room to print a prescription.

I always try to avoid her now if at all possible.

fanjoforthemammaries Fri 13-May-16 10:52:34

'Class divide' between GPS and receptionists is so patronising.

I am just as educated as the dentists I work for, my life has just taken another path.

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