I’ve been ‘umming and ahhing’ about publishing this for a little while because I am 99.9% positive this will piss someone off but I’m getting bored of not being able to get my point across on subjects in the blogging world for fear of pissing someone off. So here it is, things that will probably piss off a GP receptionist!
If this does generally upset you, for whatever reason, please just give me a quick message and let me know, I’m all for hearing what other people have to say and I can explain anything you may be upset/confused by.
1; Patients who don’t attend appointments
I will openly admit that I have a few missed appointments in my life (most recently an optician’s appointment only a few weeks ago-oops), life happens and sometimes you generally just forget- that’s cool, we get that. What we don’t get is when you miss every appointment you make.
All of your appointments are recorded on the system, that includes any appointment’s you’ve missed so we’re made aware if you’re a regular ‘non-attender!’. A huge amount of nurse and GP time is wasted because of missed appointments and it also means we have fewer appointments to give to people who really need them.
2; People who play the system
Nothing frustrates me more than people who ring 999 or attend A&E for things that really no not class as a life-threatening emergency. I’m no Doctor and have absolutely no medical training but some things are common sense…do you need to attend A&E for a common cold or a backache that you’ve had for 6 months?
3; Patients that don’t listen or try and understand when we make mistakes
Your health is one of the most important things in your life, if not the most important, so we understand it can be frustrating when mistakes are made which left you feeling anxious or upset. We are human and sometimes human error happens so please try and understand when we try and explain and if you give us a chance we will try and fix it as best we can. Shouting at us doesn’t help.
4. When we get shouted at for having no appointments
Believe me when I say our job is much nicer when we have appointments to give patients! We have no control over how many GP’s we have and we just have to make do with what we have- as I’m writing this my surgery are 3 GP’s down due to sickness, leave and a GP who we just can’t currently replace (this means we are currently missing up to 60 appointments a day). Getting new GP’s isn’t quite as simple as it seems, there are simply not as many GP’s out there as you’d think and having the money to recruit one can be a totally different thing.
Not getting an appointment can be frustrating and we do understand but if you let us help we may be able to point you in the right direction. There are sometimes other options like seeing a nurse, speaking to a pharmacist or getting a telephone from a doctor but again- shouting at us doesn’t help!
5. When people brandish all GP receptionists under the same ‘grumpy, miserable and unhelpful’ persona
If all you’ve ever had to deal with is grumpy and sarcastic receptionists then that sucks but I promise that we aren’t all like that! I love my job and I’m passionate about giving patients the best possible experience that I can.
Now I’ll be the first to admit that the job can take its toll some days and some days can be so busy the day is gone before you know it, (if you want an idea as to what I mean this article is a great read) so apologies if sometimes we might not flash you a smile or spend time chatting with you but it doesn’t mean we all think our job is a chore.
6; When we are branded ‘just a receptionist’
Quite frankly this is just insulting and there is no need for it- we’re well aware of our jobs and our restrictions so you really don’t need to remind us.
Unless a GP receptionist has triage training, they should not be triaging you in any way, but we are told by the GP’s what are emergencies and what are not emergencies (if we’re ever unsure we will double check with the GP or nurse). If we are booking emergency appointments and we booked every sore throat and bad back in, we’d probably lose our jobs.
So we know that you might not be willing to tell us the problem but sometimes we have to ask, and we are aware what our job title is- if you feel we’re trying to butt in then I apologise but honestly we’re probably just trying to help.
If you haven’t read my previous post on working in a GP Reception you can take a look at that here and let me know what you think of these kinds of posts.