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Medical receptionists--any advice?

(10 Posts)
Westendgal Sat 15-Nov-14 19:06:39

I've applied for a part-time medical receptionist job. Near home, great hours, big new practice. However, I keep reading that it is horrifically stressful. Is it? Posters on MN are often really negative about doctors' receptionists. I do have healthcare experience, having worked in a busy hospital (not on reception, though).

I'm really hoping I get an interview. Any words of wisdom would be much appreciated. BTW, it's not the pracitce I am registered with myself!

confusedandemployed Sat 15-Nov-14 19:12:30

I'm a practice manager and yes, my staff can get stressed. You'd be amazed and the entitled nature and general rudeness of some people. However, most of my staff love it and the majority of our patients are lovely and usually hugely grateful to the receptionists. In the main I will not stand for rudeness towards my staff and, where appropriate, back them up. I have sent countless warning letters and even off-listed some patients for being aggressive and / or verbally abusive.
Go for it! If you get invited to interview you will find out more about the practice so will be better placed to make a decision if you do get a job offer.

HugeFurryKnittingBalls Sat 15-Nov-14 19:13:06

I'm not a receptionist but I do work in a GP surgery. I think you need a thick skin, don't take the insults & anger of some patients personally and depending on the type of surgery learn to duck in the case of launched missiles! Try to remember that this sort of behaviour often comes from the stress of a person's illness, not that it makes it any better but you're not to blame.

I've worked in two types of surgeries - one in a rough area when all kinds of shenanigans happened in the waiting room (think drunk people dropping their trousers) and also in a very smart area, the biggest problem in the latter are patients who feel very entitled (when they're not) and their ability to argue well.

You're not allowed to work at the practice you're registered at and i wouldn't want to.

Westendgal Sat 15-Nov-14 19:20:40

Thanks for the quick replies. The practice is in a very "naice" area, although I realise that probably brings its own issues. I hope to at least get to interview stage and then get a better picture of the job. Fingers crossed.

HugeFurryKnittingBalls Sat 15-Nov-14 20:15:18

It certainly does bring it's own issues, my experience has been that in a less naice area the patients were pretty darned grateful for what the services they were offered. In the naice area where I work now they often want more and more and more. Not all of them, some of them are lovely and the christmas boxes we get are better wink

JuniperTisane Sat 15-Nov-14 20:24:58

Having done the job previously, the most stressful part is walking the fine line between what the doctors and nurses can offer and what the patients want - its often two different things.

It takes a certain kind of person to stick to practice policy without offending people sometimes and you do develop a certain hardness with regard to bending the rules. Often there's a way to solve a patient's problem by thinking laterally, often there isn't and you have to be able to convey that without putting people's backs up.

The right person for the job is kind and compassionate, willing to go the extra mile to sort a problem out and able to hold firm to what the professionals need.

And thick skin. You need thick skin.

Westendgal Fri 05-Dec-14 14:00:43

Me again! Right--put in an application 3 weeks ago and have heard nothing. Job ad says give it six weeks and then assume you are not successful if still nothing. I am not optimistic.

However--I'm really tempted to phone and ask for some feedback. Bad idea? I matched the person specs exactly. Original ad did give a name and number (practice manager) as a contact for "informal enquiries". Don't want to sound like a stalker--but do want to move on and look for something else if this one's not for me (sob).

YonicScrewdriver Fri 05-Dec-14 21:59:25

Apply for other things anyway?

TooMuchCantBreathe Fri 05-Dec-14 22:13:10

Give it the 6 weeks then ask although standard is only to give feedback to those who interviewed - it can't hurt to ask. Don't ask before 6 weeks though, you may shoot yourself in the foot.

The job - great if it weren't for the patients wink how stressful kind of depends on you. Some people cope better than others. I'm not gp based but medical and I tend to get stressed by the ones we can't help, eg those in pain but we haven't had the necessary info from the gp so have to turn them away. Colleagues find the rude ones stressful, others find the entitled ones stressful (and yes we have had "do you know who I am? " grin) we all find the cancer clinics stressful.

Being naice sadly just means a different accent to the abuse. It amazes me how badly well educated and quite privileged people can behave. Having said all of that, I love it. Every day is different, we get to meet some really lovely people.

Good luck, keeping my fingers crossed for you smile

Westendgal Sat 06-Dec-14 08:26:48

Thanks. Will be patient. Nothing to be gained by phoning, really. Cerrtainly I am looking for other jobs, but this one just ticks all the boxes.

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