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6 weeks as a gp receptionist. Should I stay or go?(26 Posts)
Just that really. 6 weeks in and struggling with the job. Split whether just to resign as I'm going home with a headache and chest pains. I really didn't think it would be as hard as it was and I'm making little mistakes that are knocking my confidence. Should I ride it out? Does it get better?
Very hard to answer without knowing what issues you're having or indeed what your financial and employment situation is generally. I'd say 6 weeks is still quite early days in a new job if there is a lot to learn and master.
What part of the role are you struggling with - the IT, talking to people on the phone, dealing with ill people at the desk? It’s still early days. You need to ask for support.
I think it's everything. I've had basic training but so much you pick up on the job. It's extremely busy and I'm often on my own and unable to ask for help. I'm making silly mistakes (won't be specific as might out me) that is knocking my confidence. I'm really not sure whether it's worth it as the money is low paid.
Did you find the job easy to get? If you could afford to give notice, and are likely to get another job fairly easily I would chuck it in.
No point sticking with a job you hate out of a kind of 'duty'.
(And I speak as someone who once stayed in a job for 18 months even though I hated it on the first day).
Me too, @topcat2014. I knew as soon as I arrived at reception that I’d made a huge mistake. Pride made me stick it out for 18 months. Worst 18 months of my life.
I'm worried I won't get another job as it might put other employers off. You are so right though, 18 months is too long to be un happy
I wouldn't worry yet. I have done this job and it is so much more nuanced and complex than I had ever imagined. Mistakes are normal and you learn as you go for probably the first two years, though of course it gets easier much more quickly than that.
I understand OP. I started my GP Receptionist/Admin job 3 months ago and have been absolutely staggered at how busy/demanding it is. Have been coming home from 10 hour days and just passing out with mental exhaustion.
I do love it though which is the crucial difference.
6 weeks is not very long to familiarise yourself with all the processes. It does get easier with time. Could you give it another 6 weeks to see if things click into place for you?
Of course if you have a strong feeling that it isn't the right job for you and it's genuinely making you miserable/unwell then you should resign. Gut feeling counts for a lot. I say this as someone who once quit a job after half a day!
and for you.
A medical reception job is the hardest in the practice 💐- and I am a GP. 6 weeks is so early to give up. If it is a happy practice and the clinical staff and reception staff are happy there and they are supportive of you and other staff then keep giving it a go. .
If the a majority are a miserable. bunch of sods , no one smiles or is helpful then run for the hills!
The practice culture is very very important.
I think your supposed to morph into some kind of fire breathing dragon for that job!
I left an office admin job after 6 weeks as I hated it so much. It was a struggle to last that long. I would cry on the way home every single day. Ironically, the next job I got was as a GP receptionist. I knew after the first day that I'd be happy there. Despite it being a very difficult job with low pay, I love it. It took 9 months to really get the hang of it and some days the stress is overwhelming, however the other staff are what makes it a job I love. None are dragons lol.
I was called up for a tiny mistake in my first week by a gp and that has knocked my confidence (prescription related). It's something I've always wanted to do as worked in hotels before. I just don't feel as though I'm good enough
The role of a GP receptionist is very hard, the way of doing things change nearly every month. Do you have a good relationship with the practice manager is she/he the type you could ask for help. Personally I think if you were dealing with prescriptions in your first week to me seems like poor management. When I first started over 15 years ago I was shadowing for a couple of weeks, never left on my own until I'd been there for 6 weeks. And then if I had a problem I could ask the others and even the gps if I was on my own. This is the norm for all new staff at my practice.(I have retired recently).
Only you know if you enjoy your job. Take time to think about everything and talk to your colleagues, they have been in your place, if they don't want to help then talk to your manager. Good luck x
Sorry I don’t have any direct advice OP, but am in a similar situation. I’ve been in my current job working for an exam board for 9 months now, and still very much feel like I’m learning the job. The office environment is incredibly complex, and the job almost entirely consists of many very detailed processes. I think I would need to do the job for 18 months to really feel confident and like I fully knew what I was doing. It’s a very steep learning curve, and I say this as someone who has had lots of office jobs. Good luck with whatever you decide!
I’m a gp receptionist now and have worked as one several times in the past as well. If you don’t like it you should leave it. It’s too stressful and low paid a job to be in if you don’t enjoy it. I work with a receptionist that sounds fairly similar to you and I can never understand why she doesn’t look for something different- it’s really a job that isn’t for everyone! I do think the fact that it is a hard job and that you get such little thanks and such a lot of abuse doesn’t help things either! I hope you do what’s right for you!
Also, don’t think that if you quit then you aren’t good enough. It’s definitely not a matter of intelligence or ability. It’s about being suited to the environment of general practice.
I'm one I did it full time for 5 years ( don't know how I did it ) I now do part time and have for 2 years I knew when I went back it won't be forever and I would never want to increase my hours. It can be brutal , super busy , stressful , you get the blame for lots of stuff that you can't control like no appointments, doctor refusing a medication, doctor running late and it's a much more complex job with do much to do I think most people don't think that. There are aspects I like I like helping people , and customer service but it often feels like everyone pulls you in a different direction e.g. doctors want one thing , managers want one thing, 0atiejrscwant one thing so how can we keep everyone happy. 6 weeks in mistakes are very normal so pleasd dont worry about that but if you really don't like it I would start looking for something else,
I love the reception part but it's the expectation to know everything that I'm finding hardest. I'm really worried it will ruin my chance of being employed again too!
I find it really interesting and enjoy the variety. I just don't feel I am getting to grips with it as quickly as I should and that's adding to the pressure.
I've been a medical secretary for 30 odd years and retired a couple of years ago. I went back on bank staff a few months ago and, my god, I'd forgotten the horrific stress of NHS work! I'm ringing them tomorrow to resign.
My best friend has been a GP receptionist all her working life. She broke down with stress last year and had to give it up. The front desk was always referred to as 'The Trenches' for a reason.
Its not you OP.
Thank you so much nightsky, your post has made feels much better. I am so sorry you have had to go through the stress. I really didn't realise what I was taking on and I have a proven track record of coping well in stressful environments. Good luck with everything xx
I think a lot depends on the culture of your practice. At mine, a GP would have mentioned a mistake, but kindly, and no one would expect you to have a full knowledge base at this stage, you'd still be expected to be asking questions constantly.
In that kind of culture, it does get easier quickly and you can progress.
So it really depends what your place is like as to whether you'll want to continue. But t if they are nice people, it may well be worth sticking it out, because one day suddenly you'll have a day where you think 'oh, I can do this'.
If not, look for something else, because no amount of knowledge makes up for shitty colleagues.
Hi, I have been doing go receptionist/admin job for just over two years now and you sound just like me 6 weeks in. I thought I would never get the hang of it. You are very new to this and things change all the time in primary care so you are always learning. Don't be too hard on yourself. I work with some really nice people. I think just try and listen to what the GPS are asking of you and don't take anything personally or get crushed by mistakes. It's the only way you learn. It took me 6 months before I felt I was any good at the job. Don't give up, it's not you, it's a really challenging environment to work in and there is such a lot to remember.