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are doctors receptionist trained to be rude

(30 Posts)
natharley11 Mon 28-Jul-14 08:39:50

I wonder if they are told to be like this. I rang for an appt on advice of midwife. To be told by rude receptionist that I don't need an app . Eventually put a call back for a doc when insisted that being 14 weeks and suffering hyperemisis and no food staying down and severe headaches

Ok finished ranting now x

JennyBlueWren Mon 28-Jul-14 21:11:25

Why did they tell you you didn't need the appointment? Whenever I've phoned I've just said an appointment or an urgent appointment. Never been asked why.

mrsnlw Mon 28-Jul-14 16:02:48

We have one particular receptionist who I have clashed with on several occasions. I asked could I have an appointment to be told there were none left. Okay, fine, could she book me one the following day - I was asked was it an emergency. I explained I have a pre-existing medical condition and suspected I had some kind of infection in my mouth/throat and as such would need to be seen asap to get antibiotics. She proceeded to ask me what the problem was - I explained my throat was sore and swollen, my face had swollen and my gum at the back was sore too. She insisted it was a dental issue and said I couldnt see my GP. Cue my insistence that I see a GP and her refusal to make an appointment insisting I needed to see a dentist and that my GP wouldnt 1. see me and 2. wouldnt prescribe me any medication as it was dental. Long story short, I got my appointment, saw my GP, had a saliva gland infection, was prescribed high dose antibiotics and could happily have rammed the prescription up her arse as I left. I have also clashed with this receptionist when she gave me blood results over the phone and said initially Oh yes they were fine then said oh no, hang on a minute, the Dr wants to see you about them. I asked why and was promptly told I don't know. I said well is it to do with my results - Cue the line of "I'm only a receptionist, I'm not medically trained" Fine - but dont tell me my results are fine then say oh no sorry theyre not lol.

The others at my surgery are lovely and have reguarly helped me out with appointments whilst pregnant/prescriptions for gaviscon when I've run out. Just this one hag who I think works mornings so I just avoid calling in the morning

SassehMonsta Mon 28-Jul-14 12:18:40

we have that too squitz, shame the system broke today!! They lost my phonecalls, and no-one seemed to care. >_<

squizita Mon 28-Jul-14 11:56:11

Our surgery has a system where they just take your details and a nurse/1st aid trained person/Dr (depending on severity) rings you back.

Used to hate it as so much hassle, now find it very useful as it means the receptionists have time to deal with people on the desk and appointments are given with logic re their urgency.

natharley11 Mon 28-Jul-14 11:33:37

And I completely appreciate that some people are awfulto rereceptionist I was not I was dismissed and made to feel like I was causing her drama and as it turns out I did need a doctor as prescribed anti biotics.
However I would the doctor was lovely and very understanding

Idontseeanyicegiants Mon 28-Jul-14 10:23:32

You're absolutely right and the majority of staff are. But slagging off all receptionists based on one bad experience isn't really fair. It's not a good job, but it's a necessary one.
I've said this on a previous thread but I had threats made against by a patient because I couldn't (not wouldn't) process a repeat prescription there and then. Would you like to be told that an angry patient knew where you lived and where your children went to school? Happened to me twice. The day I decided to quit was the day that a patient told me they would 'have my job'. My reply was that they were welcome to it...

vickibee Mon 28-Jul-14 10:19:02

I find going in face to face works better than phoning, it is much harder for them to be rude/obstructive and you usually get a convenient appointment. I smile at them and grin and that normally works. Also some surgeries use 0845 numbers that cost a fortune if you are on hold for ages

natharley11 Mon 28-Jul-14 10:14:35

I just feel in a doctor surgery dealing with sick people some compassion can go a long way x

Staywithme Mon 28-Jul-14 10:07:16

Clinic NOT client confused

Staywithme Mon 28-Jul-14 10:06:39

I must add, I'm not long off the phone from my client and the young receptionist was lovely, which is the usual.

The doctor called me back, took time to discuss my husband's needs and couldn't have been more caring. This is the fourth time in two weeks and I'm constantly apologising for bothering them, but they always tell me not to worry and phone again if I need them.

For the 90 percent of receptionists that are professional, patient and kind.
thanks and for after a day off putting up with awkward patients wine

ToffeeMoon Mon 28-Jul-14 09:54:31

Most people who ring the doctors, I guess, want their query handled instantly and it's just rarely possible.

Staywithme Mon 28-Jul-14 09:54:30

Most of the receptionists at my clinic are very professional and some of them are wonderful. There's only one that I have had issues with. She's the oldest and is very patronising, condescending and bossy, or at least she was. grin I had to order some medication and she was huffing and puffing because she didn't recognise one of them then started complaining about how difficult I was making her job! How she had enough to do and could I not order through the prescription line? I explained that I usually order when collecting my husband's fit line. More big sighs and I swear she was enjoying trying to loudly embarrass me in front of the younger staff and patients.

Finally I looked her straight in the eye and asked, loudly enough to be heard, but very controlled manner "would you like to swap places with me?"
Her, looking taken aback - "pardon?"
Me - "If you think it's tough looking up the tablets my husband needs! I'll sit there and you can go home and look after my husband."
She was about to bite, but saw the look in my eyes, stopped herself and quietly said, "no, no, you're alright".

On the way out, one of the other staff, was putting posters up, coughed, smiled at me and winked! grin Since found out she has a reputation for being arrogant, but has been totally professional with me since. grin

ToffeeMoon Mon 28-Jul-14 09:53:41

I have sat in amazement at the doctors observing people arguing the toss with receptionists about getting an appointment the same day, or getting a repeat prescription (that they forgot to hand in) printed and signed for them instantly or demanding test results that the surgery simply hasn't had back yet...etc I think they must deal with so many people like that that it's hard to switch out of defensive mode when dealing with the other 50 percent of patients who are probably quite polite and normal.

Most people who r

Idontseeanyicegiants Mon 28-Jul-14 09:49:32

I bet her colleagues don't like her either, I know that sort well thanks

natharley11 Mon 28-Jul-14 09:47:07

I completely appreciate that not everyone is that way but she seemed intentionally rude and interrupting when I was speaking . I am just glad that I got an appointment

Idontseeanyicegiants Mon 28-Jul-14 09:32:34

Have to say though that the pregnancy test conversation sounds weird! She must have been worried about saying the wrong thing and upsetting you, I hated giving test results out over the phone, much preferred it face to face.

weebarra Mon 28-Jul-14 09:27:07

I used to do this job during uni holidays. You get stuck in the middle between the medical staff and patients and it can be very stressful. Most of the receptionists I know would not intentionally be rude - some patients can be downright abusive.

thenightsky Mon 28-Jul-14 09:26:29

What Idontseeanyicegiants says. I'm a medical PA to a Consultant and I often get thank you notes from patients for my kind and caring attitude on the phone. However, some colleagues leave me open mouthed when I hear them on the phone to patients shock. Invariably they are the ones that are bitches to work with too.

Idontseeanyicegiants Mon 28-Jul-14 09:21:51

No, no they're not.
Can't be arsed to go into the whole thing yet again but for some reason I get drawn to threads slagging off a whole group of people trying to do their jobs while dealing with being the middle man between arsey doctors and patients...
You got a bad one today by the sound of it I worked with one who would have been similar, she was a cow to her colleagues as well but most are just following the rules as set down by the practice manager or senior partners (should put that as a sticky at the top of each topic..)

ohthegoats Mon 28-Jul-14 09:16:17

They are trained to be obstructional it appears. Asking you what's wrong etc... well, I don't really want to tell you, I don't think being a part time worker with a background in local council admin gives you the qualifications to diagnose whether or not what I have is serious, please can I see the person who spent 7 years at medical school?

natharley11 Mon 28-Jul-14 09:14:39

Maybe just this woman she was horrid x

Lalalax3 Mon 28-Jul-14 09:13:25

My mum certainly wasn't.

natharley11 Mon 28-Jul-14 09:09:00

Thats wierd I don't think they meant to do that.
I got call of doc to go back in at half ten anyhow
But was soo annoyed she not a midwife doesn't know what hyperemisis is like and was just sighing like thought was a drama queen x

TheTravellingLemon Mon 28-Jul-14 08:52:33

I once had the most bizarre conversation with a GP receptionist, it went something like this:

'Good afternoon Mrs Lemon, I'm calling with the results of your pregnancy test. '

'Oh, ok thank you. Was it positive or negative? '

'What were you hoping for?'

'Err, sorry, am I pregnant or not?'

'Do you want to be? '


'Do you want to be pregnant? '

'Can you just tell me?'

'Not until you tell me what you are hoping for'

'Really? You won't just say positive or negative? '

'Not until you tell me what you are hoping for'

'Ok. Negative'

'Congratulations Mrs. Lemon, you're not pregnant'

<hangs up>


Madamecastafiore Mon 28-Jul-14 08:52:32

No they aren't, our ones are lovely.

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