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Doctor's receptionist.....

(36 Posts)
VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Wed 21-Jun-17 17:20:06

.... was just so lovely and understanding about the pain I'm in (migraine) that she nearly made me cry.

I used to work in a GP surgery as a pharmacy dispenser (rural practice before anyone asks) / receptionist and we weren't all dragons either!

AIBU to think that a lot of the stories about dragon-like or overbearing receptionists comes down to perception and on occasion, people not getting their own way?

Yes, some are brusque, unwelcoming or unsympathetic, but so are people in all walks of life, no?

AlmostAJillSandwich Wed 21-Jun-17 17:23:26

There are some lovely ones in my doctors. My dad stands chatting to them and knows them all because he's in regular for checks because of his diabetes. One lives across the road from us, and brought an emergency prescription for me for UTI antibiotics on her way home from work so my dad wouldn't have to wait til next day to pick it up and could got to a late opening pharmacy to get them for me because i have OCD about using toilets and UTI's cause me a lot of distress. My sister doesn't like her because she was a bully to her in highschool and she's not forgiven her for that, but she also doesn't live here anymore so shes not under the same practice so it's not an issue.

lalalalyra Wed 21-Jun-17 17:24:52

The problem with the rude/brusque ones is that it sticks in people's minds because they can encounter the rudeness at tough times.

So when I phoned because I needed referred to the epu as I was miscarryibg my midwife was on holiday so I didn't know who to call the rude cow on reception made a shitty day a million times worse. Same when my DD needs an appointment. She has multiple health issues. She makes a distinct noise when she has a chest infection and I've been told to get her an appointment asap. The fact the receptionist has to deal with other people wanting antibiotics for colds doesn't give her the right to be patronisingly rude.

It's a lottery at our health centre. If you get the two nice ones it's great. Get Agnes and your bad day just got a whole lot worse.

Sirzy Wed 21-Jun-17 17:26:09

Some of the stick I have heard the receptionists at our practise get I don't blame them for being grumpy sometimes!

Aquamarine1029 Wed 21-Jun-17 17:35:45

You should write a letter to her boss letting them know how wonderfully she treated you.

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Wed 21-Jun-17 17:41:48

I think I will, Aqua. I've had doctors less understanding of the exhaustion and excruciating pain of a migraine. I guess she suffers them herself.

Ollivander84 Wed 21-Jun-17 17:45:02

I had a very bad (understatement of the year) day and didn't know what to do and went to the doctors. Stood at reception doing those silent sobs and reception looked up and went "let's find you a doctor"
Seen within 10 minutes

AwaywiththePixies27 Wed 21-Jun-17 17:55:16

AIBU to think that a lot of the stories about dragon-like or overbearing receptionists comes down to perception and on occasion, people not getting their own way?

YABabitU yes. I understand completely what you mean but it's not always about people 'not getting their own way', its about not being listened too.

My consultant recently out me on some new painkillers and I had a right time trying to get a repeat prescription. Ended up having to essentially waste an appointment just to get it sorted. Turns out we have a new receptionist who had she listened to me in the first place. Could have sorted it with a quick chat with the doc who'd have checked my notes and sanctioned the prescription, but she had me down as a nuisance.

The others are all lovely and adorable. Always very helpful and polite to both me and the DCs.
There's the time my Dad had a really bad flareup of gout and I had to telephone to sort his prescription out for him. Told receptionist he couldn't drive. She rang back and told him to walk to the surgery (gout was in his foot!). Couple of phone calls from me and a telephone consultation with the GP to my Dad and the meds he needs is being arranged and dropped off.

bastardlyandmutley Thu 22-Jun-17 10:10:39

I've moved around a bit and been registered at a few different GP surgeries. I can honestly say that no receptionist has been rude or unpleasant. I have found them all to be helpful and very pleasant.

A similar situation to you op, I have had a receptionist organise me a repeat prescription of my migraine meds on the spot because I had a monster migraine and had stupidly run out of drugs. This was late on a Friday afternoon and she (and the GP) really did not have to do that. So appreciated at the time!

WhooooAmI24601 Thu 22-Jun-17 10:12:30

Ours are all lovely. We live in a little village and someone once told me that village Doctors receptionists are all mini Hitlers. Ours are incredible and will move mountains to make sure the DCs are seen when they're ill.

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Thu 22-Jun-17 10:31:35

So I'm off to the docs this morning. Still have the migraine. Expecting to cry in the appointment! Will say something about the lovely receptionist.

AmenacingWhistle Thu 22-Jun-17 10:33:49

Hope you feel better soon flowers

Lovestonap Thu 22-Jun-17 10:36:43

Yes definitely feedback your good experience, I hope your docs Appointment goes well.

How we perceive people is definitely related to how well (or otherwise) we are feeling at the time.

Last week I had awful customer service from 3, Scottish power, talktalk and my husband all in one day. On reflection there's the teensiest chance I had a touch of PMT that day....blush

CigarsofthePharoahs Thu 22-Jun-17 10:48:43

I've only ever met one grumpy Drs receptionist. I suspect she was having a bad day.
I have met plenty of efficient, pleasant and compassionate ones. Such as the lady who comforted my mum after a drs appointment with what turned out to be a misogynistic twat of a Dr. Even helped her make a complaint about it.
I also have massive amounts of respect for the receptionist at my drs surgery who I once saw taking mouthfuls of abuse from someone who'd missed their appointment and was very angry they couldn't just go straight in and see the Dr anyway.

workingtowards Thu 22-Jun-17 11:02:23

I had a horrible receptionist experience. I was in a situation where my mum had had a heart attack 5 weeks previously and then my dad was knocked down on the central reservation of a crossing. We were stuck at the hospital with my dad in critical care. It wasn't looking good (he later died). My mum was in pieces and started looking unwell, so I called her doctors (of 30 years) to try ask for advice (bearing in mind her heart attack) and whether they could prescribe anything for her (she was so distraught we were worried that she would have another one). It was an awful, awful situation.

I called on my mobile and told the receptionist all of the above, but she completely blocked me. No, a doctor couldn't speak to me. No, she couldn't tell me when a doctor might be able to call me back. No, she wouldn't speak to mum's doctor. Mum would need to come in (despite my explaining that this would mean her leaving her dying husband).

It was like talking to some sort of horrible robot - she just didn't get how desperate the situation was. I begged and begged and in the end she said in a very snotty tone she would ask for a doctor to call me back, but it wasn't normal practice. I explained that I was going to have to wait outside, as at the time, mobiles weren't allowed in hospitals. I waited for 3 hours, on my own, with a gale blowing around me before a call came back from a very apologetic doctor who had only just got the message that we had called.

With hindsight now, I can see that what I was asking for maybe didn't fit in with their system, but surely to god, any decent human being would offer help to someone in that situation.

MatildaTheCat Thu 22-Jun-17 11:23:04

Ours are both lovely and HELPFUL. As in, 'you need X letter looking up? Yes, I see it. Shall I print it for you and leave it at reception now?'

GPS are great, too. I believe that a happy workplace which is well managed fosters a positive outlook which is reflected in all the staff from top to bottom. Obviously people have off days but that should never translate into rudeness.

My very elderly aunt cares for her son with MH problems. Recently she was worried because he wouldn't get out of bed so left a message for his GP. Said GP got onto his bike and cycled round to see him in less than half an hour. We were seriously impressed by that.

FinallyThroughTheRoof Thu 22-Jun-17 11:25:50

A lot of it comes from people not understanding that she is doing a job and not being nosey or on a power trip if she asks questions.

And that if she cant give them an appointment its because there are none or she isnt allowed.

I bet the doctors would love it if people were squeezed in where they werent meant to be.

Shes trying to serve them as well as patients.

FinallyThroughTheRoof Thu 22-Jun-17 11:27:11

There is the odd horrible.one but generally its just people doing a job with stretched resources.

NavyandWhite Thu 22-Jun-17 11:43:41

Ours are really lovely. Been at the surgery for 19 years and have only ever had positive treatment from them.

Yokohamajojo Thu 22-Jun-17 11:48:26

Our ones are now nice, seems like the one who wasn't has left smile

MyPatronusIsAUnicorn Thu 22-Jun-17 11:54:31

That's great you had a good one, unfortunately the ones (and there are a lot) at my surgery seem to want to be as unhelpful as they can be. Never a smile, always made to feel like you are an inconvenience, I am nothing but polite.

Recently I have been having palpitations, I left it then decided I should make an appointment. I was told none had been released, try later in the week. Told the same thing twice later in the week (and heard them say it to other patients when I have been sat in the surgery, seems to be their go to statement now) so I asked for a telephone consultation. Told lists were full. Said what it was for and that I could really do with speaking to someone, magically list wasn't full and the added me on, got a call back and appointment made for the following Monday. Had appointment and was told to book a follow up to discuss results and that the doctor had requested this, went to reception, same story, no appointments released, try later in the week. Did that, told same thing, said the doctor had told me I needed an appointment to discuss the results, she looked on the system 'in case they had a cancellation', appointment found that I couldn't make (I had a job interview so it was important) and another one was found that I could make. So every time I'm told phone lists are full, no appointments are available, once I (politely explain) they magically become available.

Thankfully the doctors and nurses are fab, it's what keeps me at the practice because it sure as hell isn't the unhelpful admin staff.

LittleWitch Thu 22-Jun-17 11:59:49

I'm recovering from bronchitis at the moment. I called in to the surgery last week as I was passing rather than ring up to book an appointment. I was expecting to get an appointment for later in the week, but when I was barely able to speak for coughing the receptionist said that I should sit down and she would find a doctor to see me there and then- this was outside of normal surgery hours.

She made the right call as my chest was very noisy and I was given a course of ABs and an inhaler. She was sympathetic and professional- just right. She was quite chuffed to see me emerge with my prescription as it proved she had acted correctly.

CreamCrackerundertheSettee Thu 22-Jun-17 12:04:22

They are a mixed bag. Before our house move we had a great surgery with fantastic receptionists. Unfortunately our new surgery is awful. Half the problem is their inability to understand that people have jobs and lives.

They run flu clincs every Tuesday pm - no you can't have one at another time. You can't make appointments more than 2 weeks in advance so trying to book something like a smear is impossible if your periods aren't clockwork.

My GP is really good which is the only reason I don't change surgery.

FinallyThroughTheRoof Thu 22-Jun-17 12:07:06

Cream crackers why do you think that is down to the receptionists lack of understanding, rather than that it's an inflexible practice policy which they are told to implement?

FinallyThroughTheRoof Thu 22-Jun-17 12:08:16

I'd imagine they'd get told off for booking appts within ,
2 weeks or booking jabs in outwith clinic times.

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