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Dr receptionists

(64 Posts)
MaryP0p1 Sun 20-Mar-05 08:53:56

Does anyone else find Dr's receptionist unhelpful, inflexible, obstructive and act like I somehow am

1. wasting the dr time
2. trying to hurt the dr in some way

dramaqueen72 Sun 20-Mar-05 09:01:42

yes, totally, infact we changed Drs because of them.......

sweetmonkey Sun 20-Mar-05 09:05:32

agree with you totally!!
i feel bad every time i go there , even if i havent been for years, its like nothing ever changes in there and i feel like a child again

Catbert Sun 20-Mar-05 09:08:13

Our receptionists are less "portcullis" than some I have come across, but perhaps being a receptionist at an NHS surgery where there are at least 54 missed appointments (always a sign) every month, some very sought after doctors, limited appointment times, busy schedules to navigate and the fact that EVERYONE wants an appointment TODAY and some very rude people out there wears you down. That's what I've always thought...

I witnessed a rude man once DEMANDING to see the doctor, because he was English and it was his right - but in fact he was ex-pat on holiday from Spain. He just would NOT back down, and was SO rude, loud and intimidating. I wonder whether they get this so much (esp. from people on the phone) that they have their defences up before they even answer the phone...

Now the receptionist at our dentist surgery... Urgh.

jampots Sun 20-Mar-05 09:12:53

yes yes yes - but ours are also medically qualified so need to know all the symptoms before they can assess you a la triage nurses.

Actually one of our doc receptionists has retired but comes back to help out when they're short staffed and is absolutely wonderful now. She greets people by their preferred name, doesnt pry, and generally chats would definitely recommend her if there was an award for docs receptionists

MaryP0p1 Sun 20-Mar-05 09:14:54

I needed to find out weather my DS could have he pre school booster before we move abroad to save me trying to explain to Italian drs what he been vacinated against and what he's waiting for. I'm asking for the boosters to be done 6 weeks early. I asked the dr 3 months ago but she hasn't told me. I asked the HV and the parctice nurse and they both said I needed to speak to the Dr. I rang the surgery and they wouldn't pass on a message to the DR so I could ring back to get the answer. I have to book a telephone appointment to ask my question and then another telephone appointment to get the answer!!!

However because they only do telephone appointment in the morning and I work as a nursery nurse in the morning I can't do telephone appointments. Also because of the nature of the job I likely to and have miss the appointments and I am not able to walk out and leave the children to their own devices. I explained this and they said tough. I asked for an appointment with the DR. They wouldn't give me one because its not a medical issue!!!!

I tried speaking to the practice manager and she never available. Convienent hey.

I am spitting mad. In fact I told the receptionist if they were the most unhelpful obstructive dr recepionists I had ever had the misfortune to encounter and was getting so cross I ended the call by saying I going now because I going to shout at you.


MaryP0p1 Sun 20-Mar-05 09:18:45

PS I'm not proud of the way I behaved but I didn't shout I tried very hard not to be rude but when someone is basically telling you that you cannot find out information you NEED to know because of the system and will even try to help it is very frustrating. Also the woman I keep getting has a very squeaking irrating voice that on its own makes me violent I think I was very reasonable about it all......

MistressMary Sun 20-Mar-05 09:21:26

Oh gawd yes.

I had a Doctor appointment cancelled the other day, as the doctor was off sick.
The receptionist rang me back and instead of offering me another appointment, she informed that I would need to ring them back and make another appointment!
When I do ring I can wait and wait and wait for them to blooming answer and sometimes they don't answer. I'm on the phome minutes and it's ringing away and you know they are there as the first time you tried the surgery a minute back it was engaged.
I have to wait on average three weeks to see my Doc or the Midwife and you cannot make it more than four weeks in advance as the computer system doesn't allow it.

vict17 Sun 20-Mar-05 09:21:33

can't you just book an appointment for you and not tell them what it is about and therefore get to see the doctor that way?

MaryP0p1 Sun 20-Mar-05 09:31:17

I asked for an appointment and they asked what for so I'm a bit stuffed that was. Since when did they qualify medically I want to know.

I've asked the HV to have a word for me. Maybe that will work and if not I'll go in a shout until the practice manager speaks to me.

swiperfox Sun 20-Mar-05 09:32:15

I have to jump on the defensive here I'm afraid!! My mum was a docs receptionist for about 10 years and it's amazing how rude and obnoxious people can be to her when they are ill - imagine that all day every day - mind you my mums surgery has about 20,000 patients between about 12 docs so demand is very high!! Not just from the patients either - the docs can be just as rude and obnoxious to the receptionists when it suits them. My mum is now the practice secretary and is soooo glad to be 'upstairs'!! She's also gained a huge amount of meedical knowledge and is generally more useful to me than any docs!!!

bobbybob Sun 20-Mar-05 09:34:58

I've never found one in NZ to be like that. Perhaps it's because we have to pay.

MaryP0p1 Sun 20-Mar-05 09:39:20

While I appreciate that some drs receptionist are brilliant. The ones at my last surgery were great but this surgery they seem to be jobsworth. This isn't the first time they have made simply things far more complicated than they need to be. AND, when I rang them to say I missed the telephone appointment because I was getting 25 coats, hats, gloves and shoes on and dealing with a child with a bang on the head the conversation went something like this.

I really sorry I missed my telephone appt because I couldn't get out of work to ring.

Oh ok I just see what we can do what your name details etc.

gave details.


Sorry Mrs X you've missed your telephone appointment. The next appt not till next Tuesday do you want another one?

I think this illustrates the point.

Pinotmum Sun 20-Mar-05 09:44:23

I would agree that they have a difficult job and that there is a problem with people just not turning up for appointments. However, one particular receptionist at the surgery I attend causes these missed appointments by her own stupidity. I don't go to the Doctors very often but had an appointment for Friday and when I turned up the Surgery had moved. You would have thought she would have mentioned this when I made the appointment. I had to ring up to find where they were and make another appointment. On another occasion she changed my dd's appointment for us as we couldn't make the original time. She said there was no need to cancel as she could fit us in at 4.00 pm. When we turned up she said they were closed. I said that she had told us to come at that time and had cancelled our orignal time but she was adamant and said no they were closed and there was no-one to see us. Luckily, the surgery nurse saw us instead. I suppose I'm down as 2 missed appointments now though.

MaryP0p1 Sun 20-Mar-05 09:46:50

How annoying would that be.

Pinotmum Sun 20-Mar-05 09:49:26

Oh another time I rang up for a follow up and could hear them all talking about me as though I was a strange case. Oh this is the one that was bitten by a monkey. I was actually scratched by a monkey as just needed more antibiotics but I think they thought I had rabis {grin]

MaryP0p1 Sun 20-Mar-05 09:50:51

And to think when I spoke to them the other day and they said they didn't have access to medical records. What a joke.

hoxtonchick Sun 20-Mar-05 10:08:11

our receptionists are fab, know us by name, always have a chat with ds. i've worked hard to get them onside though!

fuzzywuzzy Sun 20-Mar-05 10:19:11

My Gp's receptionist is completely and utterly lovely!!! It feels like she'd move heaven and earth to get me an appointment when I need one. Although me being me, I dont go unless it's unavoidable, but it's lovely to know that I wouldn't be left waiting if I had something serious. She's never asked me why I want to see the doctor, just if it's an emergency. I'd be really annoyed if anyone apart from the doctor wanted a list of my symptoms.

Pinotmum Sun 20-Mar-05 10:22:49

I don't mind being asked why I need to make an appointment as sometimes the nurses can deal with it or sometimes a certain nurse deals with certain procedures e.g smear tests and contraception. On the whole I have had good dealings with Doctors' Receptionists and it is NOT a job I would do as I just wouldn't have the patience.

moschops Sun 20-Mar-05 10:26:44

i moved from my old surgery because of various problems with the receptionist, including failing to log me on the computer when i arrived for my appt three times, and reading out my test results for the whole waiting room to hear.......i had asked if they were there so i could make an appt to see my dr.

i do try so hard not to lose my temper with them but our surgery operates a policy that you cannot make appts in advance.

'please phone at 8am tomorrow to see what appts are free'

i understand they are busy but i am self employed.........i can't just drop everything to go to an appt. i need to plan for cover etc.

whats frustrating at the moment is my midwife tells me to book an appt for 4 weeks time and the receptionist insists i CANNOT do this. my midwife says i can. its a tough job and i couldn't do it, but the administration in surgeries leaves a lot to be desired.

moschops Sun 20-Mar-05 10:28:32

oh i should also add that the receptionist read out my results wrong, leading to a few days of panic until i saw the doctor who read them correctly.

SoupDragon Sun 20-Mar-05 10:30:10

The ones at our GP practice are fine.

TinyGang Sun 20-Mar-05 10:55:40

Well, if helpful receptionists at doctors surgeries exist - they don't live here. Ours have made it plain as day the whole place would run so much better without those irritating patients mucking up their precious computer system.

Patients (not just me, cos I have overheard other conversations) are all treated from the outset as potential timewasters. By this I mean the whole approach gives new meaning to the expression 'attitiude problem'.

Questioning people to the nth degree in front of other patients in the waiting area (no matter if it's a personal matter), deep sighs, abrupt and generally very unhelpful or sympathetic. Sure patients must not be rude or aggressive, I would never condone that, but some politeness and common civility on their part would not go amiss.

starlover Sun 20-Mar-05 11:09:01

I always refused to answer any questions from the receptionists at my surgery.
It's absolutely none of their business what my medical issues are and why I want to see the doctor. I have every right to see him, even if they don't agree.

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