The start of something good……..


Hard to believe that only about 15 years ago I could just about turn on a computer. Honestly. I worked as a GP receptionist (and no I wasn’t one of those dragons!!).

Back  then – and remember I am talking just 15  years ago – we still did everything by books
and paper and pen (no not chalk!!).  Appointments were done in a big book and all the referral letters to hospitals  etc were done on a typewriter (remember
those things?).
The appointment book did have plenty of advantages then as
you could easily “fit” someone in – you pencilled them in between
another two patients – computers won’t let you do that. “The computer says
noooooo”.

I cannot begin to think how we could go back to that way of working now. I
enjoyed the work and worked my way to Reception Supervisor and then left for
another Practice who offered me a whole new career. I went from a Practice
where I was in charge of about 6 receptionists and 11,000 patients to a
Practice where I was in charge of over 55 staff and 30,000 patients. And all I
could do was just about turn a computer on!!! Ekkkk.

How naive was I. So in the matter of days I went for working in a Reception area
with other Receptionists to a Practice where I had my own office and secretary.
How on earth did I do it!!!

One thing for sure – my manager might not always have been the best – the most supportive and at times a bully. But she gave me a chance and for that I will always be grateful to her for.

Working with everyone was fine – but the computer – well I really didn’t know what I
was doing. Just as well in the early days I wasn’t too busy due to it being a
new post. But I keep going building up trust and a good relationship with everyone.
Bit by bit I learnt my way around the computer – even how to turn it on!!!

 I remember on one occasion trying to send an  e-mail to someone and was putting the website address instead of the email  address!!! I still cringe at the thought of it when I had to ask someone why it  wasn’t sending my message. It was months before I knew that you could cut and  paste – and didn’t even realise that there was a backward arrow. I often would  re type something because I didn’t know that these facilities were there. I
really don’t know how I managed to wag my way through the first few months.

 But I got there – in the end. The job went  from strength to strength and begun to use the computer more and more. I still  to this day think that the reason why I built up a good relationship with the team  was due to the fact it was easier for me to pop along and talk to them rather  than trying to send a e-mail. And from that day to this I would always do it
that way. It’s the only way you get to know your team.

I had never had any proper training on “managing” staff – but I do feel that my
experiences being a Receptionist was the best training I could have had. I
employed many receptionists over the years some were return to work mums – some
were not very good on the computer – and some like me couldn’t even use a
computer – but I gave them a chance and some of them turned out to be the best
receptionists the Practice had ever had.

Like me – some people need to be given that chance to shine. It’s amazing what
training can do. That is something that I am very passionate about – is good
training. Everyone deserves to be trained properly. Well trained staff are
confident staff.

I was fortunate to go on many training courses and in turn was able to bring
these back and share with the rest of the team.  The best course that I ever attended was a
Basic Counselling Course. That course taught me a lot about people and life
itself. The main ingredient is having “Listening Skills”.

We then progressed to getting a computer at home! Wow!! I remember trying to book
a holiday on it and had to give up as I really didn’t understand the website.
Stuck it out and struggled through.

Then I heard a lot about this site called “Friends Reunited” – think it cost 7.00
for a year’s subscription. Again struggled through and got in touch with a few
old school friends and a couple of work colleagues that I worked with some 20
years ago……………………..that got me started it gave me the bug.

I now use on different social networking sites  to keep in touch with
those special friends that don’t use the other applications.   I just love the freedom that they all bring  and have meet many lovely people some that I have never met or spoken to but  have come into my life as new friends.

My Career went on from strength to strength and I loved a challenge – perhaps a
patient that might want to complain – recruiting that “right person” or dealing
with unhappy staff – but for me I got a buzz out of turning a negative
situation around into a positive one – and all it took was to listen to what
the other person was saying. I Can’t say I always got it right – but I always
gave it my best shot.

Then we decided to move away – try something new – a new adventure. I went from
having a great job, a great career and earning a good wage to be unemployed.
The recession had hit – and there was nothing out there for me.

Som I picked myself up and have come  down the ladder and am now standing at the bottom  waiting on the opportunity for me to climb onto that first step again.

Yes, I am older, but wiser and have gained so much knowledge and experience along
the way – I am only too pleased that I was given that opportunity back 15 years
ago.

I hope you have enjoyed my blog and will bring you some more stories some funny and some sad from Beyond The Reception Desk.

© 2011-2017 Reception Training all rights reserved
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Hello world!


I started working in the NHS just over 15 years ago. I started as
a Receptionist and through the love for the job and hard work I worked my way
up to a Manager for a large GP Practice in the North.

I started in a GP Practice thinking like many that it would be
“a nice little job” – how very wrong was I. The hours were long and
at times antisocial, the work was never-ending, and the role of the
receptionist was not an easy one as I quickly found out.

Anyone that is a Doctors Receptionist will tell you that you don’t
do the job for the money – you do it because you love it. Many Receptionists
around the country are working for just over the minimum wage.

As a Receptionist you are always “piggy in the middle”
the Doctors on one side and the patients on the other – wanting different
things and pulling in different directions – but all wanting their own way. So
spare a thought for the poor Receptionist when you think she is being awkward –
quite often she is told that is what she has to do.

Oh don’t get me wrong – I know that there are some “Dragon
Receptionists” out there – I have come across them myself – but I think of it
this way – that is them – wherever they worked they would be the same – it’s
not being a Doctors Receptionist that has made them like it – it’s just them!.

I soon discovered that this was a job that I really enjoyed, I
finally had found a job that I got a great deal of satisfaction from I didn’t
realise it then, but this was the start to a great career – I would never in my
wildest dreams could have believe what I was about to achieve within the next 5
years.

I would like to share my life during this time, the ups and the
downs working within the NHS. Working for a GP Surgery and working in NHS and
Private hospitals the different personalities that I came across from Doctors
to Patients – the nicer side of people and the not so nicer side.

Some of my stories are funny and some are sad, plenty of ups and
downs and really to let you have some sort of insight on what happens on the
other side of the desk.

The events described in my blog are based on my experiences as a
Receptionist and Manager. For obvious reasons of privacy and confidentiality I
have made certain changes, altered identifying features and fictionalised some names
and aspects, but my blog remains an honest reflection of life as a Receptionist
and Manager working within the Healthcare Sector.

I hope you enjoy my blog.

© 2011-2017 Reception Training all rights reserved