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Feeling deeply hurt by friends comment, AIBU?

73 replies

DreamInLavender · 15/03/2020 09:39

Friend is a GP surgery nurse. I am a PA, working for 4 consultants and managing the workload distribution of the clinic 2.5 days a week. I regularly give upsetting and devastating new to patients. I go above and beyond my job spec and I work really bloody hard. A lot of things just wouldn't work and would fall into chaos without my assistance.

I'm no front line doctor but I do my essential bit. Was having a chat to friend today about it all and I said something along the lines of 'worrying for us lot as NHS staff'. She giggled and said why me? I said because I work for the NHS too.. She said yes but you're not a vital team member and the system can cope without your job.

We quickly moved on the conversation but I still feel a bit cut up about what she said Sad I don't know why I'm being such a snowflake. But I have made sacrifices too and put patients first all the time. I have worked in private sector roles for double the cash and half the stress. But here I am, every time I think of leaving and go elsewhere, I just can't. I feel extremely needed and important. Maybe I'm just a fool. I lost my DD last year and returned to my job 3 weeks later - I had a message from some colleagues of support but also lots of reminders of them wondering when I'll return since they clinic needs me. I felt like I had to be there.

The job itself gives me flexibility to be with my DS and attend all of his bits and bobs, so there's that.

AIBU to think what she's said is really off and quite careless?

OP posts:

Letsdoanamechangeagain · 15/03/2020 13:37

Something a previous poster about the janitor helping put men on the moons reminded me of an advert I saw for indeed recently that a really like and apt.

All NHS staff are cogs in its wheel with their own important part to play whether you are an internationally renowned neurologist to someone who cleans the corridors. They all matter in one way or another, you friend is wrong.

OutOntheTilez · 15/03/2020 13:49

I'm so sorry for your loss, OP Flowers

Your "friend" was rude and toxic. Who needs that?


Gutterton · 15/03/2020 13:53

It’s v sad that your egotistical friend has tried to step on your neck to bathe herself in some sort of CV hero glory.

Quite vile. Some people need to push other people down to keep themselves afloat.

Each and every one of us has a lifesaving role to play over the next few months from washing our hands, to social distancing, to caring for our neighbours, to not clogging up 111 or the NHS to operating the ventilators in ITU 24/7.

All of these actions and responsibilities matter and contribute to saving lives.

I am so sorry you lost a child and I thank you for your efforts in the NHS.

Drop the “frenemy”.


MintyMabel · 15/03/2020 13:59

* distressing news isn't always given in person or by a doctor. I won't go into too much detail but it is the reality of some departments within the NHS*

Whilst I think your job is important, I wouldn't be happy at all getting life changing distressing news by a PA. I've had this a few times and it always comes from a consultant.


dottiedodah · 15/03/2020 14:15

I think some people are very rude and churlish TBH. Every cog in a wheel is important or that wheel stops turning! Some (not all) medical staff seem to think they are the only ones who are important .MonicaGellerBing .Consultants Secretaries need to have a reasonable knowledge of a certain section of medicine, i.e Heart Surgeons secretary :Cardiac medicine and so on.They would be unlikely to be over paid by the NHS really!


Gutterton · 15/03/2020 15:34

Just listening to Prof expert on BBC who says that the NHS is relying on the general public as much as the other way round.

If we all do our bit as well as we can in each interaction, each and every day and can sustain that for weeks and months to come the NHS will cope better and less lives will be lost.

So we all need to be humble heroes.


Bluntness100 · 15/03/2020 15:43

I think when you said you had to give devastating news, people assumed you meant you were telling people they had serious illnesses. If you mean you call them to move their surgery or appts. Then yes this would be within a normal, admin remit. I’d certainly not expect a consultant to phone and tell me if my surgery has moved unless there was significant health repurcussions to be discussed.

Op you don’t need to boost your role up to make it seem more important. What you do is important enough.


Hgtvaddict · 15/03/2020 15:46

I’m so very sorry on the loss of your DD. Life is so unfair. And your friend is rude and disrespectful.


DreamInLavender · 15/03/2020 16:49

Why are you a band 5 for being a medical secretary? The midwife was correct in being shocked you're a band 5 and nurses don't even start off on a band 5

Medical secreteries are usually Band 3 to 4. Pa's are usually band 4 to 5.

OP posts:

BlueJava · 15/03/2020 16:51

Ignore her - sounds like she's up her own arse with self-importance.


Crackerofdoom · 15/03/2020 16:54

I am in a totally different and fairly ignoble sector. I have the same problem with sales people. Because they make the sale and their name is on the contract they feel that what they do is the most important, regardless that we are all working our butts off to fulfil the contract.

There are assholes in every workplace who think it is ok to belittle the viral contribution others make to making the organisation work.


DontBiteTheBoobThatFeedsYou · 15/03/2020 19:09

Eh? Nurses do start at band 5, so that's a load of bollocks all by itself.


Sunshinedelight1287 · 15/03/2020 19:13

I can understand you feeling hurt but your friend is kind of correct.

You're PA. You're not saving lives but you are supporting those that are.

I'm quite concerned that a PA is giving patients critical information. You're bit medically trained or in a role that requires you to give medical advice.

I know I probably haven't made you feel better sorry but I have to be honest.


moita · 15/03/2020 19:26

When I was pregnant we found out my daughter had serious health problems. I had an amnio which thankfully came back clear. It was the consultant's PA who delivered the all clear for the results and she was so, so, so lovely and professional. She would have had to have told me if the results had come back positive. I couldn't do that job.

Your friend is an idiot.


sucha · 15/03/2020 19:31

There are some real knobs in the NHS with attitudes from clinical staff towards admin.

Never mind what jobs we may have had before, admin are sooo beneath them apparently.

I'm sure you are a vital team member and thank you for doing your bit.


GrumpyHoonMain · 15/03/2020 19:36

While yes your role is important, if push came to shove and your hospital needed all staff to potentially be able to see patients, it could quite easily be passed onto a retired / agency nurse. My GP surgery has already replaced all but one admin staff with locum or trainee nurses.


DontBiteTheBoobThatFeedsYou · 15/03/2020 19:48

She would have had to have told me if the results had come back positive. I couldn't do that job.

No she wouldn't have.


Levi18 · 15/03/2020 20:24

Firstly I am so sorry for your loss and the pressure you felt to return back to work.

Secondly I’m a nurse on a busy assessment unit and I value all our staff, especially our admin staff although I consider myself front line and a first point of contact, the admin staff are the first point of contact, they work at the front desk, they’re the first staff to come into contact with patients, we get admissions from GP’s (who often sit in the reception to wait for a bed) and many times they have come to get one of us to say a patient has come from a GP and don’t look very well can we go check them out, they have saved their lives coming to get us. When relatives arrive either after finding out their loved one has died or is critically unwell, they’ll bring them in to a quiet room, offer them a drink, even the smallest gesture means a lot and it takes the pressure off my work load too.

I think your friend was rude and probably ignorant, I have met staff who have the belief that admin are non-essential, which is absolutely ridiculous and I think they forget if they weren’t there doing that job it would probably fall to us nurses to do it adding to our workload!

We are a team, we work together for the patients for the NHS.

Maybe gently remind your friend of everything you do in your job role, she might not fully understand your role or what you do day to day, I would be horrified to find out that I’d made a friend feel unimportant!


DownstairsMixUp · 15/03/2020 20:30

She was rude. There's a lot of snobbery hierarchy type rubbish working in the nhs, one of the many reasons I left!


LadyTiredWinterBottom2 · 15/03/2020 20:47



Lucked · 15/03/2020 20:49

If my secretary is t in I have to spend ages on the phone trying to traacm people down


OhCaptain · 15/03/2020 20:59

Your version of devastating news is thankfully very different to mine!

I was imagine awful news!!

Your friend is so rude. Even if it’s true (to her) why say it?

Unless she gets annoyed with you lumping yourself in with actual medical staff? Which seems an odd thing to get het up about!


Lucked · 15/03/2020 21:00

Sorry dropped phone.

The secretaries in our department mean we can do our jobs and not get bogged down relaying urgent results. If you have ever had to phone a hospital ward and just have it ring out you can imagine how time consuming it can be. They also stop my phone ringing off the hook. We can not work for long efficiently without them - I know this from doing these things in evenings and weekends.

However I hope we can move to them being at home - many are resistant to this but I think 85% of what they do can be done from home with a laptop and call divert.

We will need some of the admin team on site though or we will have to divert clinical support workers to do their job.

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