I was asked recently to help with some Receptionists Training at a GP Surgery.
The surgery was holding an away day for the whole Practice and they closed the surgery for the afternoon. Everyone was involved from the Partners, Business Manager Assistant Practice Manager, nursing staff and all the Receptionists and Administrators. It was really impressive to see so many staff there. There had been a lot of work put into the away day from the Partners and the Business Manager.
When I go into any surgery I never know what I am going to be met with or what I am going to witness in regards to the Receptionists and how well they understand their role especially new Receptionists that perhaps have never worked in this environment before.
Let me share with you my experience on the day…
I arrived at the Surgery at 8.30 – I was going to sit with the Reception team for the morning and see how they worked as a team – and if there was any input or support that I could give.
When I walked into the Reception area I was really impressed. The Surgery was very impressive and the waiting room bright spotless and very welcoming.
There were good signs for everyone to see and the Reception desk was most impressive.
I was met by the Business Manager who made me very welcome and was very friendly and extremely easy to chat to.
I was introduced to the team of Receptionists who were going about their tasks for the day.
I was impressed with what I seen, everything that I would expect from a good reception team. They were all polite to the patients both face to face and over the telephone, well-informed and very calm whilst doing their jobs. There were a few minor things that could be improved on but nothing that could not be rectified.
What did really impress me was the lovely working area that they staff had to work to work in – the reception desk was big and spacious as was the administration office just at the back of reception. They had good quality furniture and the office was love and bright. The team was really lucky to be working in such lovely conditions.
All phone calls were made in the back office, no telephone calls was taken at the front desk. The Receptionist was just dealing with patients.
Patient confidentiality was excellent and this was achieved by the Receptionists accessing patient information by Date of Birth – a much quicker way of accessing patients details.
The surgery closed at 1.00 and the calls were put through to the out of hours service.
The afternoon began with lunch for all the staff – everyone interacting with one another – it was obvious that this was a surgery that valued their staff.
The Partners started the session off with an ice breaking game – it brought a good laugh and really did start the afternoon off well. The feedback from the Reception team was really positive about the interaction from the Partners.
Everyone then broke away into 3 groups, The Partners, the Nursing Team and the Receptionists and Administrators and myself.
We went over Receptionist Skills, Telephone Skills, and Dealing with difficult people and patient confidentiality.
On the whole the staff were very well informed on most of these subjects. But what was really impressive was the way everyone chatted about his or her experiences, sharing good ideas and finding ways forward with different situations that could help them in the future. We all had something that we took away from the training.
It was good to go over, discuss and learn from them and perhaps remind ourselves why we have to do these things (ie patient confidentiality) and perhaps how we could improve on things we are doing.
The most important thing for me was that I could see how much their were valued as a team, and how supported they were from the Management and Partners.
Why? Because their Practice wanted to invest in them – to support them and to ensure that the patients get the best care possible.
The communication between Partners, Management and staff was excellent.
This was achieved in their working surroundings and the fact that their practice was prepared to invest in their training needs and support them for future training.
Good trained staff are confident staff and confident staff are able to deal with every day events that they are faced with. This is vital for your organisation and for your patients.
I for one would not only be happy to be a part of this team I would also feel extremely happy to be a patient there.
Can you say the same for your organisation?