From a Patients Point of View #Guest Blog #Dr’s Receptionists #Empathy #Ireland


My guest posts are becoming very popular and it is nice to read how important patient care is to the patient from their point of view, and reading about their experiences in difference countries.

This post has come from Ireland and the experiences the writer has found when dealing with Dr’s Receptionists.

The most important thing we should remember that as a Dr’s Receptionist our actions do impact of people’s life, and we can leave lasting impressions – we what are in control of is that the patient is left with the right impression.

Some of the feedback from this post included:

–  intimated by the receptionists I have to deal with 

–  Seemed cold and hard

–   wishing for is someone to show a little bit of empathy 

–   one receptionist who was the most amazing woman I came across 

–  really cared about the patient’s 

–  All we ask is that someone understand our position too.

Thank you A for your contribution to my blog…….

Guest post………….

About 5 years ago I was diagnosed with Benign Intracranial Hypertension and chronic migraine. It was a long road to get diagnosed and then an even longer road to get treatment and eventually to be able to live a somewhat normal life. As you can imagine I dealt with many different doctors including neurologists, surgeons, migraine specialists, pain specialists, ophthalmologists and physiotherapists. That’s a lot of doctors and departments which in turn means a lot of doctors receptionists.

When I was first diagnosed I was if I am honest a little intimated by the receptionists I have to deal with. They all seemed so cold and hard and when you are in as much pain as I was all the time then the one thing you are wishing for is someone to show a little bit of empathy, a little bit of emotion and maybe even a little bit of care. It seems that all they do is try to block you from getting the treatment you need.

However there is one receptionist who to me was and still is the most amazing woman I came across through all this. She was the receptionist for the migraine specialist in Beaumont. From the outset it seemed she actually really cared about the patients and would ask you how you were if you called or would have a chat with you when you went for an appointment.

I had just been discharged from hospital a week when I began to have extreme pain. Now I was very good at managing my pain and would only really call the hospital if I really needed to. This was one of those times. I always tried to bypass the receptionists because I knew I would get nowhere with them. This day however I failed to do that and got transferred to the receptionist. I explained the situation and by the end of the explanation I was in tears. To my utter shock, she put me in for an appointment the following day. This was completely unheard of in Beaumont. It turned out the pressure in my head was really high and if she hadn’t given me that appointment, I could have been in serious trouble.

From a patient’s point of view, a doctor’s receptionist is like the gate-keeper. The problem is when you have been in so much pain for so long and all you want is someone to help you, it can be tough to understand the harshness with which some receptionist treat you.

I can also understand the receptionist’s position; it’s a tough job having that much responsibility put on you. All we ask is that you understand our position too. We need help and you are the first person who can give it to us


thank you and this just highlights what was said “from a patents point of view, a Doctor’s receptionist is like the gate keeper” how very true this is.

As a Receptionist how would you like to be remembered?

One thought on “From a Patients Point of View #Guest Blog #Dr’s Receptionists #Empathy #Ireland

  1. Bless her heart. An interesting account. I am a GP receptionist, and I felt a mixture of feelings as I read this through. One day I am going to draw a close up of a pair of tweezers not QUITE closed – and in the tiny gap between the two prongs will be a receptionist who is struggling to do two opposing things – give patients what they want AND carry out what medics and management demand. It is impossible. I will confess here that I like to give patients what they want when ever I can – and will at times be very ‘flexible’ if I can see the sense to be so – while on rarer occasions I steam-roller the rules totally!! As you grow to know your patients better, you have a pretty good idea of things and can usually sift out the time-wasters from those who are in genuine need. HOWEVER there is simply never an excuse to be ‘cold and hard.’ Or unkind. And now I look back on my six hours in reception today and realise what very different reactions I got out of various patients. Sometimes there was a long queue – sometimes the phone kept ringing and people waited, looking daggers at me! One told me I was ‘always kind.’ Another shouted loudly ‘WILL YOU LISTEN TO WHAT I AM SAYING!!!’ Another said, ‘Where would I be without you?’ And another accused me of ‘always losing things.’ So which one of these WAS I? I thought I was being consistent!! Perhaps someone, who I would not give an instant prescription to, went out telling people I was ‘cold and hard!’ But when all is said and done – don’t do this job if you are going to survive by hardening your heart. Because – as I remind myself on days when I wish they would all go away so I could deal with my ‘other work’ – I remember – it could be me. And one day in the future – it no doubt will be.

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