So you guys know I got a job at a GP as a receptionist, right? Its pretty good and the pay is decent for my age, the only problem is that its like a (maximum) 2 hour journey to get there! But thats fine, I can live with that. I could do some reading or extra revision on the journey to and from work. But this is a post on things I've learnt whilst working there. This will be a majorly long post, sorry about that! :)
One of the first things I'll talk about is work one Saturday I did. Firstly, there were a few weeks where I'd be left on my own, running the GP with no one to help me. This was quite a scary few weeks as I hadn't received any formal training of any sort. So I had to go with my initiative on things, which of course is really good because this is the way (I believe) you'd learn on the job whilst you're doing your F1/F2 years. Someone isn't going to be there to constantly tell you what to do, so being able to learn how to take initiative during the job has really helped me. I've also learnt to be more of a independent learner as I had to learn certain things pretty quickly. For example, writing up blood test forms for the patients to do blood tests at the local hospital or learning how to use the Vision system (software on the computer) to book or cancel patients' appointments.
Anyway, that day I was working alone as I said earlier. On Saturdays, the clinic usually starts at 1 and ends at 3, so that is when the GP would come in and see all the patients booked in between then. On this particular day, the GP calls 20 minutes before he is due to come in to see the patients and tells me he is going to be late and will be there around 2pm. So it was left to me to call up the patients and try to reschedule their appointments. I used the system to find out who was booked in for that day and I called them up. I told them calmly and reasoned with them if it was possible for them to come in at a later time. But the GP eventually came in at 1:30 so it was kind of an inconvience but at least he wasn't really late. Surprisingly, there were no angry patients and everything went fine for that day.
But it reminds me of another time, when I had to call patients to tell them to reschedule their appointments as the GP for that day had cancelled her appointments due to prior engagements. That was the first time I had to deal with angry patients over the phone, but to be honest it is far easier than dealing with angry patients face to face (as seen in this post..). What had happened is that this patient had an appointment for a certain time, I asked her since the GP was engaged in other things, would it be possible for her to see the doctor at a later time but on the same day. She got really angry! She mentioned how this is not possible as she has kids (which is understandable) and she has to travel a long distance and stuff. I spoke to her in a calm tone and tried to reason with her but she wasn't having it! She eventually got so angry, she dropped the phone on me. I still wonder if she did have her appointment eventually. Through these experiences I learnt that I had to be able to deal with angry people often. In medicine, you will have to work and deal with people with a wide range of emotions. Through this process, you do have to keep a calm and poised exterior even if you are shaking inside (I know I was!) and try to speak in a calm voice. If one of you is calm and collected it makes the situation so much easier to deal with. Try to sympathise with them and see things from their point of view. Eventually this should work and you should be able to sort out everything.
I'll do more posts on what I've learnt and things I've experienced more often actually - well, when I have time to. I had to cut this post quite abruptly because I have a lesson in 5 minutes. I'm actually writing this post from school.
But thanks for reading this post. Comments will be appreciated!