8 Jan 2012

Appreciation of a very important job

For a majority of last year I worked as a Medical Receptionist. It was something I'd never done prior to then and despite taking the role as a 'bill payer' I actually came to absolutely love it. Before March last year, I was someone who was nervous on the phone and had no medical knowledge. By the time I left in October (to start a new career in Pharmacy would you believe) , I knew bag loads more than I ever thought I would. It's the same with everything though I guess...if you get chucked in at the deep end you sink or swim and thankfully I swam.

Medical testing, medication knowledge and major multi-tasking skills were the results of my 7 month stint and it was only due to an employee working from long-term sick that I ended up having to leave.The thing that surprised me most was how much was involved with the job. On a daily basis you needed to not only have a basic medical knowledge just to get you by but you also needed to be able to make decisions about urgency of patients wanting emergency appointments and how to deal with very unreasonable people. Of course I don't excuse the blatantly miserable people who I myself have had to deal with as a customer but no matter what the previous patient had been like, I never took it out on the next person at my window. These people are mostly vulnerable, sick people who probably want a smile and a bit of kindness when they're not feeling their best.
My most favourite part  of the job was the people. In some ways I maybe became harder just to cope with the sadness that the job involved. Of course there are time wasters as is true with anything but I was lucky enough to get to know some very lovely people. Some of these people still come and speak to me in the pharmacy and in the street now and I'm always gutted to hear of bad news or deaths of those people I've come to know.
I was really pleased to see an article by Dr Jenna Ward in the Daily Mail (Tues 3rd Jan 2012) painting a more accurate picture of life behind  the desk of a Medical Receptionist. It's definitely worth a read and might change your perspective a bit. I know the experience certainly changed mine.

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