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To not want to have to tell the receptionist what is wrong with me before seeing the doctor?

(123 Posts)
Dogchewsonlimbsanpumpkins Tue 20-Oct-09 20:53:52

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beaniesinthebucketagain Tue 20-Oct-09 20:56:43


do we share a doctors surgery, i have the same snooty cows at mine!

And then there was the one who asked me at my 6wk check after having ds if i was his mum hmm as we had different surnames!!!

wonderingwondering Tue 20-Oct-09 20:56:45

I think they like to act as a filter, as I suppose there are a lot of time wasters and non-urgent appt requests. But it is really intrusive, I think. And if they ask once and you say no, they should leave it at that.

MagNacarta Tue 20-Oct-09 20:57:05

Not unreasonable, ours does this too and we live in a place where everyone knows everyone. I never say what it is, unless it's something mundane like dc with ear infection.

Do they have a suggestion box? I'd mention it tbh.

crazylizzy Tue 20-Oct-09 20:57:28

YANBU at all, I also hate this angry Hope everything's ok with you.

PrettyCandles Tue 20-Oct-09 20:58:01


It is reasonable for them to ask, because, as she said, it might be appropriate for you to see the nurse instead of the dr. If, however, you are reluctant to say, then she should definitely not pressure you.

(And, yes, of course you understand that you are taking up an appointment - that's what the appointment is there for!)

Mamazonabroomstick Tue 20-Oct-09 20:59:39


I hate hate hate this.

I have been known to respond to "can i ask why you want the appointment" with a "well im perfectly fit and healthy and just figured i'd waste both our time"

really irritating.

MrsJiggle86 Tue 20-Oct-09 20:59:40

YANBU, i said this to my nurse and she said just say its for a routine appointment, i dont know if its an emergency tho smile

angelbymoonlight Tue 20-Oct-09 21:01:42


Totally agree with you there.

Also hate it when you ring up for an appointment to see the nurse and they say:

oh we have no appointments ring back at 1pm

then you spend 20 mins trying to get through and when you do they say:

oh there is nothing available but we have appointments for tomorrow

can i book one then

no you will have to ring at 8.30 in the morning and it starts all over again because by the time you get through they have all gone angry

Dragonfly73 Tue 20-Oct-09 21:03:44

YANBU. As i understand it they ask so they can hopefully try and shunt you off to the nurse rather than see the GP, at least according to my GP who i complained to about this practice the last time i saw him.

He said the nurse can see the majority of patients and then refer only the truly needy on to the doctors. He has obviously not looked very closely at the practice nurse lately. She changed a surgical dressing for me once and got stroppy cause i made her wash her hands before she touched me.

When i make an appointment i am usually doing it from work in an open plan office. Aside from it not being any of the receptionists business, it is none of my big earred collegues business either.

TheHeadlessWombat Tue 20-Oct-09 21:03:49

When I worked as a medical receptionist we were told to ask by the doctors and our practice manager.
It was to act as a filter and to ensure that a doctor's appointment wasn't taken up by something that could be dealt with by the nurse or the pharmacist e.g we had people trying to make appointments to get a headlice treatment when the nurse was able to recommend something.

We didn't need great detail just a basic idea and if someone didn't want to say then I wouldn't have pushed them.

I can't say that it bothers me being asked. They do file and have access to my medical records after all.

Dogchewsonlimbsanpumpkins Tue 20-Oct-09 21:07:43

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InSync Tue 20-Oct-09 21:07:52


You are under no obligation to tell the receptionist what's wrong with you. And receptionists often don't usually have to the medical knowledge to know whether it qualifies as an emergency / whether you need to see the Dr or nurse anyway.

hormonstersnomore Tue 20-Oct-09 21:08:04

I hate the interrogation too & my least favourite question is 'is it urgent?' to which I usually reply 'I'm not medically qualified so I don't know'.

And I have the same problem trying to get an appointment as you angelbymoonlight.

I try not to go to the doctor at all these days, it's just too stressful getting to see someone, getting time off work, travelling to the surgery (I don't work in my home town), and then trying to find a space in the very small car park - it's all too much to cope with!

TheHeadlessWombat Tue 20-Oct-09 21:08:53

I agree that she shouldn't have gone on like that. If someone said I'd rather not say I'd just give them the appointment anyway and ask no further questions.

dilemma456 Tue 20-Oct-09 21:09:18

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cakeywakey Tue 20-Oct-09 21:09:43

I don't think you're BU to be cross at how persistent the receptionist is at your surgery. I hate it when they ask - especially when it's at the reception desk so that every other bugger can hear what the problem is - but understand that some people who ask for a doctor don't really need to see one if it's a really minor thing.

Having said that, my MIL in a doctor's receptionist and she has to do this. She hates having to ask but you'd be amazed at what timewasters some people can be. She has a nice manner though and knows when to leave it alone.

The last time one of my doctor's receptionists was really snotty with me (took DD in for emergency appointment because she had bounced very hard off the bed), I told her that her attitude was very upsetting. I was all righteous indignance and all of the receptionists have been as nice as pie since wink Worth a go!

OrmIrian Tue 20-Oct-09 21:09:47

Well I think yabu. The receptionist is supposed to ask to see whether you are OK to see a nurse. They act as a sort of triage. IME they are pretty good at understanding whether a nurse will do or not. And practice nurses can do quite a bit. It's not always second best.

You can always say 'It's very personal and I don't want to say'. That has always worked for me.

LouIsAWeetbixKid Tue 20-Oct-09 21:12:38

Oh you must go to my doctors too. It drives me nuts when they want to know the ins and outs of everything. I will try some of your retorts next time the old biddies get on my nerves wink

cory Tue 20-Oct-09 21:13:22

I can understand that it must be hard if you are suffering from depression or something. Otoh I can understand why the receptionist might be asked to act as a filter in a busy practice: I would not be overjoyed to find that I had not been able to get the only emergency appointment for my pleurisy because it was taken up by somebody else's headlice. The truth is that some people are idiots. And it makes a big difference whether something can be seen by the nurse or needs the doctor.

ChunkyMonkeysMum Tue 20-Oct-09 21:13:32

I'm sorry, but I think YAB a little bit U. I worked as a receptionist in a surgery until I had DS2 last year, so here's why I think this.

Before I worked there, I also used to feel the same as you, but sadly it is part & parcel of the job.

If you are just booking a "normal" appointment, we still have to ask as it may be something (like blood test, holiday vaccinations etc) that the nurse would do, but in the case of emergency appointments, we really do have to ask as believe me, there are a lot of timewasters. Your idea of "emergency" is not necessarily someone elses (ie, the person with a cold, who feels like shit, but really doesn't need a doctors appointment at all, let alone an emergency appointment as there is nothing the Doctor can prescribe for a cold).

Most GP's actually insist that we ask as they will always ask us why Mrs X wanted that emergency appt, and if we can't tell them, it is us who gets it in the ear.

TBH, the conversation you had with the receptionist seems perfectly reasonable. She has to try to get you to tell her what the problem is a couple of times, then basically let you know that the if the GP thinks you have wasted his/her time, they will tell you as you may have stopped someone having that appointment when they actually need it.

Dogchewsonlimbsanpumpkins Tue 20-Oct-09 21:14:05

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Scorpette Tue 20-Oct-09 21:15:38

YANBU - I get this with my Drs and it's infuriating. And I know from experience that when you are sat in my Drs waiting room, you can hear everything the receptionists are saying. At mine, you have to ask for an appointment and THEN they get a Dr to ring you back (and you have no choice as to which one rings, either). I spoke to a Dr (got past receptionist's grilling with 'female problems') who said she needed to ask a colleague a quick question and would ring me straight back. After waiting 4 hours angry I rang and upon hearing my name, the receptionist said 'Oh yes, Ms Scorpette, you need an appointment for X, don't you?' and started discussing all the details I'd told the Dr! shock She was genuinely surprised when I was outraged and told her in no uncertain terms that it was unacceptable for the Dr to have discussed my details like that with her and that she was not medically qualified to talk with me about it either and would not discuss it further with her. She couldn't understand why I insisted the Dr rang me back, as promised, instead of just chatting about my most personal issues with her (and especially with a room full of people able to hear her) angry

Then the Dr told me off for not just talking about it with the receptionist! Erm, hello? angry

Sorry to hijack a bit, this just touched a nerve. Hope you get things sorted out

Dogchewsonlimbsanpumpkins Tue 20-Oct-09 21:15:43

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Dogchewsonlimbsanpumpkins Tue 20-Oct-09 21:17:27

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