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British Lung Foundation
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Which type of Doctors receptionist do you prefer?

My recent post got me thinking about doctors' receptionists.

At my surgery we do have a small number of lovely ones. There are mainly 2 types of others - the battleaxe ones who have been there forever or the youngsters with no clue who stick their pert little noses in the air and treat you like an idiot. I think I prefer the battleaxes.

I remember some months ago when feeling a bit dodgy I went out to the park with my sister and the dog. I then felt 100 times worse and could barely walk and couldn't breathe. I felt really ill.

Although I didn't have an appointment I struggled up the doctors and asked to see someone urgently. The response? Do you have an appointment? Me - No. Well you need an appointment. Well I haven't got one and I feel ill. I was told by 2 very young receptionists whilst sticking their pert little noses in the air - well you will have to wait for the emergency one but she is out and we don't know how long she will be.

Me - well I have copd and I need to see someone urgently and I will have to wait for her won't I? They then said - oh she has just come back. Good I said.

If they had still been funny with me I was going to say - fine I will go to the hospital instead and tell them I couldn't get seen here urgently and I have COPD!

Ill though I felt I had to stop myself from smacking them both in their pert little noses! Grhhh.

Who do you prefer? the battleaxes or the pert noses?

coughalot x

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24 Replies

We don't actually have either at our Health Centre but there is one I am not so fond of. Pete gets on with everyone as he is quite a chatty person but this one woman just seems to look down her nose at people which I object to. On the whole though, they are all very nice and caring really and will do all they can for you. xxxx

I do feel for you but I was one of those dreaded receptionists but at the surgery I worked at, which catered for just under 17,000 patients if someone had come in looking and feeling like you did, we would have at least offered you a nurse who could have triaged you and then put you in with the emergency doctor. The receptionists at some places are appalling, at my own surgery I always say that I wouldn't pay them in washers. They certainly wouldn't have lasted at the one I worked for as the training was intense and we were always told that no matter how we felt we had to put a smile on our faces for the patients. But there again we also had a protocol which we had to follow and sometimes even we felt it was harsh on the patients but we were the ones stuck in the middle. So please remember, not all receptionists have to be one or the other, some of us do care and do our best for the patients who come in.

:) I do know that love - my post was fairly tongue in cheek more than anything else. There are some very nice receptionists at my place.

I have worked at several jobs on the front line so have taken my share of .... over the years so totally understand where you are coming from. I used to get people having a go at me over rules I couldn't change. I am always very nice and polite and reasonable when dealing with front line

staff as a result. x

Ps it is harder to get in to see a nurse than a doctor at my surgery!

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I hate both coughalot, I hate the ones that think their doctors, rude ones, I love it when u phone at 8 like they state u can't get through for 49 mins when I finally do get answered and say I need an appointment today the response is we have no appointments left for today u need to phone at 8, after explaining u had but it has been engaged for 40 mins they then say I can put u on the triage list and a doctor will call you if U feel it needs sorting today can I ask what ur problem is erm yeah I have alpha 1, severe emphasema and I can't breath, ohhhh wait a minute let's see if we can squeeze u in........

I know there are some patients who visit regular that really don't need to, so why don't they have alerts on us so it isn't a drama everytime we need to be seen, I only go my docs when I really need to :) ;)

Take care coughalot. X Sonia x

I agree totally Sonia! There are only certain doctors I will see at my surgery - usually women. I avoid middle aged males ones as experience has taught me that too many of them think a middle aged woman is neurotic and seeking attention :)

I only go when absolutely necessary as well. I once had a large lump in my bum (ha ha) and waited 6 weeks thinking it would go away! When I finally went I was told it was an abcess and I should have gone much sooner. :d x

Haha, I had an abcess too but on the front, and my hubby has had several on his bum ending up with surgery and huge holes to heal, they're not nice had to have it operated on after a year of antibiotics although it did keep bursting it then just refilled and to this day it still does so i take my emergency antibiotics either that makes it go down or it bursts I then phone for more antibiotics to which I get why didn't u come in and I explain can't be bothered with the rigmarole so just replace my anti's and I'll take care of myself till I really feel I need to come in lol I hate being rude but I hate being questioned and dismissed. x Sonia x

Ah I wonder if your hubby has HS? This is short for - take a deep breath - Hidradunitis Suppouritiva. This is a skin disease which causes boils and abcesses which is hugely undiagnosed. If he only had a spell of getting them and now doesn't it probably isn't but if he gets lots it might well be.

I was diagnosed with it around 7 years ago though have had it for a long time. Antibiotics are needed if they become infected and if they are incised then they should be packed daily from the inside (by a nurse) so tissue grows back from the inside and not just on the outside. They need to be taken seriously because they can cause blood poisoning!

For the one that keeps recurring it is because a little pocket of pus remains. He needs to get himself referred to a surgeon to get it incised. It almost certainly won't

come back again then. You need to do the same with yours. x

His are pilosinuses, in growing hairs that then tracks causing them to have to dig deep to remove he had about 10 operations in all, went from being pack ed with gauze, liquid that tipped and became a sponge, all having to heal from the bottom up but after several months even years if it didn't heal completely he would then have to have it recut to start it growing again luckily he hasn't had another one for over ten years fingers crossed as they were awful for him , mine is the sac one that just keeps filling back up I had surgery but it still refills, bloody nuisance and painful but least of my worries to be fair. My eldest daughter suffers with them under her armpits she's had them lanced and packed, think we're just a lumpy bumpy family lmao. Hope ur ok coughalot and take care x Sonia x

Hi not doubting your hubby's diagnosis but the classic symptoms of HS are abcesses that start under the armpits. Has your daughter had a proper diagnosis? If not she should ask to see a dermatologist. If she does have HS it will probably start to spread to other areas and become more uncontrollable over time. unless she gets proper treatment for it. x

Yeah she's got an appointment in December she had lots of them and they leave unsightly for her purple blemishes were each one had been, and she gets then where u legs chaff, not nice for her but yes hopefully they can do something for her. Much appreciate ur advice coughalot, :) xxxxx

We should get one of the soap operas to include all of this in their soap......trouble is, the public would think it wouldn;'t be "real".....ha ha ha ha...:( :)

My surgery has a list of patients who are at a greater than normal risk of hospital admissions. This is kindly know by the reception staff as the VIP list. If someone is on that list then they are fast tracked to triage with either a nurse practitioner or a GP. This seems to work very well.

I hope that this will spread across England and the sooner the better. Rib

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Agree rib, that's how it should be. X Sonia x

As I have now been added to the Gold Standard Framework it would appear it is just like a Gold American Express card, or a Get out of Jail Free. It is supposed to fast track everything!

We have such a tiny surgery...just one Doctor and one nurse...the receptionist is lovely actually...she's a bit of a jack of all trades...we can just go in and wait...don't need an appointment...but if you'd like a bit longer with the Doc you can make an appointment for the afternoon...never ever have had to wait.

What happens when your doctor and nurse go on holiday vashti? x

WE have locums then and they are nice as well...lucky I suppose

I was very friendly with the receptionists where I lived before. Dont know much about the new ones - seem ok and helpful xx

Quit honestly coughalot, neither type bother me because I don't put up with their nonsense. As I told a very stroppy "battleaxe" (a long time ago now) when she insisted on knowing what was wrong with me, " You're not a Doctor, or even qualified to ask, so there's no point in telling you! You're just a receptionist and like every other shop assistant, I do not need to discus my private life with you." I got my appointment very quickly. I'm pleased to say that all the receptionists at my GP's surgery are very nice and I never have any problems getting an appointment.

Happy Christmas to you (in case I don't get to talk to you again before then!) XX

We had a youngish one who could only be described as awkward.

If she felt like it ....,you could wait three weeks for an apt, or mid day for a fasting blood.

My resp nurse told me recently there had been complaints and that this

Madam was about to get jumped on... .she was ......and the difference is amazing . ......

But my main complaint is with hospital apts..

My hubby had to see the Go as an urgent apt. He sorted the problem and wrote a letter to hospital surgeon for urgent treatment.

12 days later I rang hospital sec ...only to be told there were a pile of these

referrals waiting to be looked at by medics and she hoped it would be by the end of the week ( 4xdays later ) . Then details would be sent to OPD

who would issue apts all this could take another 2 weeks.

Then we would have to wait for the apt date to come round.

At that point I gave up with the NHS....

I rang around several private units. Ending up with our local one,

That very afternoon we saw the consultant the Gp wrote.

On this Saturday my husband has the surgery he needs. Exactly

a month since the emergency started.

We are lucky to have some savings, it was this or my 76 yr old husbands condition to deteriorate.

By the way...........I was a child bride. !!!!!!!

Am cross we had to go this way. Jim worked till he was 70 .

Paid in to the system .......when he needs help he's let down.

That's awful...when I feel I need an appointment with the consultant I just 'phone her secretary and she sends one for within a fortnight...

You are lucky my dear. Its not always as easy as we have found.

I just couldn't believe the wait could be so long for someone who needed urgent surgery .........and the couldn't care attitude of leaving a relatively fit active man to go down hill (health wise).

Still , fingers crossed after Saturday it won't take too long before

Jim is back to his old active self.


Most are okay at our GP's a couple I do not think they could crack a smile if you paid them?

I had a nose bleed that would not stop many years ago and my doctor told me to go to A&E the woman There was a a real battleaxe. While I was telling her why I was there it took a turn and really started to flow and my hankies were not stopping it. She said in a very loud voice "Don't get blood on the floor!" My small Mother in law who had driven me there and would not say boo to a goose retorted "If he could stop it he would not be here would he you stupid nasty woman!!!" She went off and came back with some wadding pads said "these should help" Someone clapped in the crowd :)

Hurrah for small feisty women!

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