Tuesday, June 20, 2006

It's nice...

...to be nice.

One of the favourite sayings of Mark and Lard in their time on the Radio One lunchtime slot a while back (before I jumped ship and headed for Ambridge). I know they're not there any more, but the saying holds true, and there seems to have been an outbreak of niceness in these parts today.

That's niceness in the warm fuzzy just-been-dipped-in-chocolate way not any of the other frankly rather more unlovely interpretations.

Exemplar one: midway through morning surgery. A woman attended to renew a prescription for eczema. In closing the consultation she volunteered an observation on the professionalism and patience of our reception staff. This is so not the typical view of GPs receptionists that I felt compelled to feed it back to them. The reason for her admiration related to our previously mentioned "Touch Screen" registration that allows patients to check in without the need to queue just for one of the girls to "Arrive" them on the practice system.

To anyone under 60 and with reasonable eyesight this system is a boon as it frees up the staff for things that need face to face contact and reduces their time standing about waiting to check in. Sadly many of our regular attenders do not fit this demographic, so for the past few days there has been a line of shuffling bemused patients at the screen needing help adapting to the new arrangements. The team have borne this with their customary aplomb, and this morning they were recognized for their efforts. Cue warmth and fuzziness.

Exemplar two: Roy has been struggling to come to terms with the loss of a parent some while ago. By December last he was plainly clinically depressed and in need of chemistry as well as counseling. He dabbled with antidepressants on and off until last month. More off than on in reality. Last month we had "The Talk" and he was finally persuaded to stick with the Prozac for a while. He has managed it. Life still has very few cherries to offer in his personal bowl, especially since he "celebrated" a significant birthday during the month which only served to amplify his sense of loss. Still he acknowledges that he fared much better for having had the meds. He is even willing to continue the course and to return for review in a couple of months. Meantime his recovery is giving him the necessary momentum to actively seek to better his prospects by looking for an apprenticeship. Again at the end of the consultation he took his prescription and headed for the door. As he reached the threshold of the consulting room he looked back at me and said "Thanks very much for this" nodding towards his script. Something that hardly ever happens for ANY medication and least of all for antidepressants.

Doubtless my normal whinging tone will be restored in the fullness of time, but just for today I'm doing very nicely thank you for asking.

12 comments:

wendz said...

I guess in a busy practice that check-in system must be cool...but I like my small village GP (a one-man show) and he doesn't need a front office...I phone, he answers, no matter who he is busy with....he always slots me in no matter how busy he is...and still does the full 30-min consultation (with all the attendant chit-chat and laughing and joking etc etc)....he works til 8pm every day...and he is a love....nicest bedside manner I have ever encountered...I *heart* my Doc....not in THAT way, of course....he's just brilliant..born to care...actually maybe one day I should tell him how much I appreciate how good a doctor he is...

oh btw....didn't know anyone still used Prozac...isn't it a bit passe...I use Citalopram....very nice stuff indeed....go Roy go...poor chap...no good not being consistent with anti-D's...tends to muck one's brain up...

Doctor Jest said...

wendz-- do tell him. he will appreciate it. I still envy him his 30 min appointments, but maybe not the 20.00 finish I find I'm often quite done in by 18.30. Citalopram is gaining popularity here too but I find it more fiddly to use. Prozac may be "old hat" but is much more a one dose suits all (OK not really all, but most) kind of drug.

All in all though you're probably much better off with the fizz ;-)

Chairwoman of the bored said...

Dr. Jest - I am foaming at the mouth. Admittedly at the moment I have lymphodoema so my mobility is poor, but I am pretty nifty on my mobility scooter (Katy likens me to Jeremy Clarkson), my eyesight is reasonable, and I doubt if, at 60, I would have any real problem using your check-in system. Nor would any of my similarly aged friends. Come to think of it, I doubt that it would be beyond my globe trotting, computer using cousins in their 70s, nor my 85 year old uncle.

Ambridge must indeed be a backwater.

Doctor Jest said...

Madam chairwoman-- I know you can do such things, but it has sadly challenged a great many of my regulars, and the cut off does seem to be whether they were born before or after the last great european unpleasantness. Very sorry to have given offence, but there it is.

And after you were so nice to me the other day as well.

And now all the warm fuzziness is evaporating. Bum :-(

Chairwoman of the bored said...

You are forgiven Dr. J. It's a warm, fuzzy sort of afternoon.

wendz said...

Haaaaaaa ..*deep intake of breath*..you said "B*M" again...haaaaaa.......

oh - believe me..the fizz gets a good seeing to as well....I just find I tend not to think about my own death anymore..which is rather a good thing, I think..;-)..the fizz doesn't really do that very well on its own...

Z said...

Is Doctor's Bum anything like Builder's Bum?

Doctor Jest said...

Madam Chairwoman-- Thankyou. I hope you enjoyed the remains of the day.

Wendz-- Yeees. Not thinking about death, especially one's own is generally a good thing. Not always easy to manage though. Glad you have found a way. Keep on not doing it, that's my advice. The thinking that is. Dangerous things thoughts....

z-- definitely not. In this trade if you expose that much flesh nasty mean nursies put jabs in it so this boy remains well covered at all times. Pert, firm, but well covered ;-)

The Boy said...

I'm glad you've got good front of office staff. I love our local surgery, very well managed and effective. However... both my wife and our nanny are deathly afraid to call in fear of one of the receptionists. She has had both of them in tears (neither are in any way week willed women) after third degree grilling about whether the children really really do need to see the doctor. I can well imagine its a hard job, but there is a point.

Doctor Jest said...

boy-- "dragon" is the word most often applied to GP reception staff. It's true to say some of the "old guard" are still a little over protective of our precious time, but they are a vanishing breed, and rightly so. Hopefully our team now have more time to devote to sorting things out on the phone to everyone's satisfaction. That's certainly what we aim for.

Z said...

Pert, firm but well covered? Mm, nice bum.

Doctor Jest said...

z-- it's often been said that modesty is the only virtue I lack ;-)