This is a post about my first day of work experience. I got a placement through Target Medicine - an awesome scheme ran by UCL (my dream university, well one of them anyway) and it is at a medical centre all the way in North London even though I live in South East but an opportunity is an opportunity, you've got to grab it with both hands and run with it!
Firstly, I woke up around 4:45am to get ready, left the house at 6am and got to the area around 7:50 (so I'm writing this post kind of half dead, from the nap I just had) and I was really early - I was supposed to get there for 8:45, but after 30 minutes of aimlessly wondering around the place, I decided to go in and just start the day. So, nervously, I went in and met a lovely girl who works as one of the receptionists, she showed me around, got me to sign a confidentiality form and hey presto, I was ready to begin!
She showed me how to collect calls and book appointments for patients calling in. It was a really good experience because I get to communicate with the patients a lot, which is practice for the future. So doing this for most of the day, improved my confidence in speaking to strangers, I'm definitely a shy person which causes me to be quiet most of the time but doing this, I believe, helped my confidence and communication skills! Unfortunately, we were told that we won't be fortunate enough to shadow an actual doctor which to be honest, miffed me off. I was thinking isn't that the point of this but as we're working in reception, its still a way of learning how GP's are ran and to be honest, most of the work does rely on the reception. They are the port of call for the patients as we are the first and last thing they see when they leave the practice. So communication again is very important, there was an example shown to me today, two Romanian women and a young boy came in with a lack of english speaking skills so to be able to communicate with them would be quite difficult so you do have to speak slowly and clearly so they understand what you are saying. So I understand now the difficulties of having patients whom english is clearly not their first language.
Later, we were asked to file some documents under a specific patient. This is all done digitally now on the computer, the documents are scanned onto the computer and then filed and summarised. This does take a lot of time to do, so computers are pretty much very valuable as they contain most of our medical data, if anything goes wrong you have to rather back to the paper notes. Which we all know, is not fast and efficient like a computer.
Overall, today I learnt medicine isn't fast paced and there is so many aspects of teamwork and communication between the doctor and the receptionist staff. Literally if the doctor needed anything, they'll come to the receptionists will do it for them and so I believe GP's would be a shambles if they didn't have good receptionists!
So tomorrow day 2 of work experience, we have a list of patients to call to get them in and get their blood pressure to keep the system updated for the audit, which should be exciting. This is going to be a long week but I think I will definitely learn (or it will be reinforced) that medicine has also a lot of documents and paperwork that are really important, so you have to be capable of doing things correctly otherwise you run the risk of messing up the system which is something you definitely don't want to do!