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To be tired of being looked down on, patronized and spoken to like an idiot.

(17 Posts)
SaltedCaramelAddict Sun 23-Mar-14 16:28:20

I am 20 and a university student and part-time receptionist at a GP near my university.

I work there 16-20 hours a week and 70% of the time it's fine; patients are usually respectful, courteous and try to understand that frequently the doctor is running late and their appointment will have to be pushed back.

It's the rest of the time that is just total shit. There seems to be two types of people who give me and the other receptionists so much grief. They speak to us like we are brain dead, say things like 'you're only the receptionist, where is the doctor?' when asking about the most mundane, routine non-medical things like parking/opening hours/doctors availability etc.

Or like just now, we were running late and this man, 6'6 and possible 20 stone starts shouting and effing and blinding at me because his appointment has been pushed forward by 30 minutes, I was quite intimidated tbh and I felt close to tears. I understand that it's an inconvenience, but why bully and scream at the receptionist? What exactly was he hoping I would do? Boot out the current patient with the doctor and tell him to go through??? The practice is severely short staffed and we have thousands and thousands of patients registered with us.

I keep telling myself, just another year till I graduate and hopefully I will find something better.

creampie Sun 23-Mar-14 16:32:16

Make a note of the details, report it to the practice manager and they will deal with it on this occasion. There is a process for having abusive patients removed from the list.

Your bosses should support you and give you somewhere to vent.

There are no excuses for people like this.

Sorry you've had such a horrible experience

TallyGrenshall Sun 23-Mar-14 16:32:59

Welcome to working with the general public.

Receptionist, retail, call centre, hospitality etc all get spoken to like dirt at some point because people often think they are better than them

spongebob13 Sun 23-Mar-14 16:34:13

yanbu to be sick of it ... but other than the abuse things like parking/opening hours/doctors availability I imagine are actually part of your job as a GP receptionist. getting abuse is not ok however as the front line like many other jobs it is part and parcel of it. in the nicest way possible you may suck it up and know protocol when it comes to abuse from the public.

NigellasDealer Sun 23-Mar-14 16:34:50

well as far as i know anyone who is abusive to GP staff can be removed from the list as creampie said.
make sure the practice manager knows about this, with names, times, dates.

ohfourfoxache Sun 23-Mar-14 16:35:22

Yanbu - I did 3.5 years in a GP surgery going through uni.

It's pretty crap, and it doesn't help that there are some brainless idiots employed by the NHS who give us all a bad name. And some patients feel entitled to treat some NHS workers like shit.

If it's any consolation it happens in secondary, tertiary and private care too. In fact the only place I've not been treated like crap by patients was working in palliative care - ie where patients and their families have so much to deal with that, frankly, a rude/off/wobbly day would be understandable.

Chottie Sun 23-Mar-14 16:35:22

Please ensure you speak to the practice manager. I work in a customer facing industry and manage front line staff. That behaviour would not be tolerated and I would personally to the offensive person.

30SecondsToVenus Sun 23-Mar-14 16:37:24

Yanbu I was a receptionist for years and I was regularly spoken to like shit and made to feel inferior.

Keep notes etc and report to the practice manager. Nobody has the right to make you feel like that when all you are doing is your job.

ohfourfoxache Sun 23-Mar-14 16:37:48

Removal is easier said than done.

I was in a very, very rough area (2 of our gps were shot at whilst doing separate home visits) and some patients were vile. Never once came across someone who was removed from the list

NurseyWursey Sun 23-Mar-14 16:38:34

YANBU and do not deserve the abuse, nor should you put up with it.

Document everything, including their names.

I have a problem with the receptionists at MY GP because they think they have the power to decide if I should see my GP and try to ask personal questions whilst being patronising, but I still wouldn't give them the abuse you have suffered.

Unfortunately these are the things you experience all to often when working with the public sad

Seminyak Sun 23-Mar-14 16:39:00

Oh that sounds awful. I despised the general public when I worked in a call centre - and that wasn't even directly customer facing! It's astounding people are actually that horrid to your face - in my job I hoped people felt more 'brave' as there was a phone line between us and them but clearly some people are just that horrid.

You have my sympathies!! Sounds like a good job to have as a student, well done!!

ohfourfoxache Sun 23-Mar-14 16:40:47

On the plus side (and it probably doesn't feel like it at he moment) it is some of the best possible training you can get at the beginning of your career thanks

SaltedCaramelAddict Sun 23-Mar-14 16:53:03

Thank you for the sympathy and understanding everyone thanks

I try to do the best job I can as efficiently as possible. I agree that it's good training for a career, although I chose my career/subject carefully as I'm quite introverted and am not 100% suited to public facing roles (as I've discovered haha!) I'm studying geophysics which from what I've read and experienced has minimal involvement with the public phew grin

Rauma Sun 23-Mar-14 18:28:07

If the GP and practice manager agree to removing a patient and give them enough warning and chances to apologise and they don't it's goodbye time. The only time a patient won't be removed is when someone blocks it internally in a practice from my experience. There are even lists of patients who have been removed from practices and who now have to get special appointments setup for them as nobody wants to touch them.

redexpat Sun 23-Mar-14 19:51:14

How is your relationship with your immediate boss? If you are sure they will back you up, and someone is getting snotty, just say would you like me to get my supervisor? Then watch them hear exactly what you've just told them.

Topaz25 Sun 23-Mar-14 20:03:39

spongebob13 The OP wasn't complaining about dealing with things like parking/opening hours/doctors availability, she was complaining that people would say things like 'you're only the receptionist, where is the doctor?' when asking about those issues, rather than deal with her.

sisterofmercy Sun 23-Mar-14 20:41:06

This is sadly a part of every public facing role. A small minority of the public are bullies, especially the younger and more female you are but customer service people will all tell you horror stories no matter who they are.

As you don't feel suited to this kind of work, you are wise to seek a back room role if you can find one, although you will always be fighting to prove your value for money of you are not 'frontline'. It's not impossible though. This will be a useful experience, as you say.

This blog is quite funny and occasionally sweet, you might recognise some of the attitudes:

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