Irritated about making an appt. - page 3

Hi I wasnt sure where to post this! I have just about had it with the receptionist at the clinic. Whenever I call for an appt. she insists on knowing EXACTLY what I am coming in for. I feel that... Read More

  1. by   hogan4736
    Originally posted by kittyw
    Let them blow off some steam.
    Look...

    When a doctor even so much as looks at a nurse wrong, this board is filled w/ energetic posts taking up for nursing...

    Kitty (and KRVRN), are you and others just going to be complacent and (possibly) hypocritical, and think that fab4fan and myself are just "blowing off steam?"

    Have you (all) no more respect for a fellow worker than to call her "a window peon?"

    Is it just me, or, again, doesn't that label bother ANYONE else?

    Or, are doctors just "blowing off steam" when they call nursing unimportant, or just plane lame, and not worth their time?????

    And by the way...no one seems to disagree w/ the fact that the "window peon" (as KRVRN so eloquently put it) could use more tact and professionalism when scheduling an appointment...

    sean
    Last edit by hogan4736 on Feb 25, '03
  2. by   kittyw
    Oh come on.... let's keep this friendly. People come here to blow off steam... let them do that without having to be politically correct. It's not like we are really like this is REAL life... just when we're stressed or irritated (which by the way is WHY the thread was written).
  3. by   hogan4736
    a couple of things:

    I'll argue that many opinions expressed here ARE INDEED like those expressed" in their real lives"

    OK, a different spin on this subject...Let's talk reality...In a hospital/ward/clinic/office, the "window peon", ward clerk, dietary, medical records, residents, med students, nursing students, and oftentimes (in the ED especially) janitorial will know your cheif complaint/reason for being seen. You tell me to relax, then you relax...

    A tight unit/ward will have EVERYONE involved...I work in a walk in urgent care, and several times, my "window peon" has alerted me a a very sick patient, that the TRIAGE RN missed...I'm grateful for her keen powers of observation (and can you believe, she's only a high school grad...of all the nerve, for her to speak when not being spoke to by the almighty RN...)

    I am an RN w/ 7 years critical care experience, and have had (are you sitting down people...) a security guard in the ED, help me assist w/ patients; So ALL help is appreciated...

    stepping down off my soapbox...

    sean
  4. by   kittyw
    hogan4736 - I PM'd you.
  5. by   Lausana
    No hurt feelings-I'm a window peon making less than the janitors :chuckle but I also know my place in "the team" I do what I do and no more.

    hehe actually it's pretty good To each his own though.
  6. by   kittyw
    Originally posted by hogan4736
    janitorial will know your cheif complaint/reason for being seen.
    A tight unit/ward will have EVERYONE involved...
    Yeah, I actually had a janitor ask what was wrong with a patient - apparently he was a "friend". I certainly think telling him about his medical history / reason for hospitalization / etc. would certainly be a *breach of confidentiality*. He doesn't need to know why the patient is here in order to do his job - only needs to know if he is on isolation & what precautions to take. And we have police officers 24/7 on the unit (boy is it nice!!), but when I ask them for assistance in removing family that are in the way of me being able to provide medical care - I don't tell the police what his diagnosis is. They don't need to know - they just need to know that the family is interferring and refuses to leave. Just examples of how you can be a wonderful part of a team, but don't need to know a patient's history.
  7. by   hogan4736
    nice out of context/choose which part to quote, reference...

    my point is that I'm tired of nurses w/ snotty, higher than thou attitudes...

    10 years ago I was a nursing student, and received shiiitty treatment from some nurses in hospitals in the Phoenix area.

    I vowed to treat all people w/ respect, to cherish nursing students, and to always know that everyone is part of the health care team...

    Calling an employed person who likely makes 1/3 of what I do, a "peon" is disgusting, and offensive to me (and should be to all).

    You can spin it any way you want, saying that we're just blowing off steam on this board...

    But my experience w/ this board is that people are passionate about their beliefs in and out of the nursing field, and they say (post) what they feel.

    The "peon" comment reminds me of so many nurses who think that they are near the top of the "caste system" to which I referred earlier, and of which you seem to be a charter member...

    I never said that the janitor (I like how you used the lowest paying/least respected job of all that I cited...I know nurses who won't even acknowledge janitors) should be privvy to medical history...My point was twofold...

    1) you are kidding yourself if you think your chief complaint is "top secret" The medical records person will know more than you will ever know, the janitor often translates ALL of the history in EVERY ER in Phoenix, and I'll wager that many of your peers have "shared" intimate stories about patients' histories. Is this right...of course not, but it's reality...

    2) your ward clerk, the lab tech, and other "underlings" (as I'll wager you and those like you see them as) know all kiddo...The janitor mopping up the charcoal doesn't have to be a brain surgeon to figure out the chief complaint of the patient (while also dumping the haz trash which contains a lavage tube, and pill fragments) that's in the room...My point embrace all that come in contact w/ the patient, do your best to keep the patients' privacy and dignity, and treat all w/ respect, and know that they are a part of the health care team, without whose help, the patient's care would undoubtedly suffer.

    Oh, and sending me a PM only leads me to believe that you won't debate the issue in public...draw your own conclusions from that...My points, right or wrong are in this public forum, unlike one of your responses.

    oh, and kitty, again I'll remind you of your "cut and paste" quote of mine...God forbid you'd include the part OF THE SAME POST that referred to my "window peon" as the lone person that helped a patient (who turned out to be a 7 month old victim of child abuse) get quicker care...The triage nurse (ME!!!) sent the patient to the lobby (of our urgent care) to wait his turn...I was so busy dealing w/ a 3 hour wait to be seen by a doctor, I didn't triage the patient appropriately, and it took a 20 year old "registration chick" to see through the lies told to me in triage (my fault, all the way...I dropped the ball!!)

    But I value her input. Now, my counterpart charge nurse has chastised this same person (and others not worthy of knowing a patient's history) for speaking up..."I'm the nurse, I'll make the decision"

    I have witnessed this nurse make this comment, as we occasionally work together...

    Maybe I'm overstaing my point, but our desk clerk checks in all of our patients, and has to enter a note into the computer, regarding the chief complaint...it helps for tracking purposes. But referring to someone as a "window peon" UNDERSTATES that person's value, and should offend common decency...

    sean
    Last edit by hogan4736 on Feb 26, '03
  8. by   hogan4736
    Originally posted by Lausana
    No hurt feelings-I'm a window peon making less than the janitors :chuckle but I also know my place in "the team" I do what I do and no more.

    hehe actually it's pretty good To each his own though.
    Lausana,

    My wife loves "Gilmore Girls"

    Your sense of humor and candor about yourself are refreshing...I wish many nurses (and docs) could share in your gift...May you continue to be the hardest working person on the floor...

    I was a ward clerk, ER tech, CNA, pharmacy tech, psych tech, AND janitor, and will never forget from where I come in the health care field. Those w/ "less responsibility" on paper, are usually the hardest working on the ward...

    I've never worked so hard as I did as the lone CNA on a (full) tele floor...and taking off all those orders, answering phones, call lights (let's face it, the ward clerk is the first line answerer of call lights!!), and dealing w/ a**hole docs...

    rock on

    sean
    Last edit by hogan4736 on Feb 26, '03
  9. by   kids
    Originally posted by hogan4736
    ...Oh, and sending me a PM only leads me to believe that you won't debate the issue in public...draw your own conclusions from that...My points, right or wrong are in this public forum, unlike one of your responses...
    hogan4736:

    There are several current threads going right now regarding conduct on the board. One of them is the new terms of service. Posters are being repeatedly asked/reminded to take it off the board and into a PM when things become heated. Arguing and debating are not the same thing.
  10. by   RN2B2005
    Speaking from the perspective of five years' worth of medical reception experience (but, as you say, 'whoopdeedoo', right?) , I think the questions asked are perfectly legitimate. It might help if you understood exactly what goes on when you schedule a doctor's appointment.

    First, I need to gather your demographic information--so I'm going to ask for your name, your date of birth, and possibly your social security number. Most clinics cross-reference your chart using your DOB, SSN, or both. In our clinic, the last four numbers of your SSN are your chart number.

    I might also ask for insurance information--even if you saw me just last week, please try to be pleasant about it. Together, your name, SSN, and DOB are submitted to your insurance company BEFORE you arrive to verify coverage and to verify that no special pre-authoriztions for care are necessary. Insurance does change, and if we bill your insurance incorrectly because YOU provided incorrect or misleading information, we're going to send YOU the bill and let you sort it out with your insurance company.

    Second, I'm going to schedule the actual time of the appointment. It's not as easy as just filling in a box, as you seem to think. Even if all of a doctor's time is divided into 15-minute chunks, all procedures and exams have other, mitigating factors. Some exams can't be scheduled back-to-back with others; some exams need to be done early in the morning; some need more than 15 minutes; others need prior studies (like if you come in to review an MRI) or reports from other facilities obtained. And, as I said before, we usually need to contact your insurance provider to verify benefits for your specific exam.

    You don't have to go into details if you don't want to, but being abrasive and belittling won't help. Contrary to what you think, most medical receptionists are like me--college educated, intelligent people. When the receptionist asked you what was going on, she was likely looking for something--a definitive symptom, like chest or abdominal pain--that would allow her to override her schedule or reschedule another patient and get you in to see the doctor that day. She was trying to HELP you, and you were so busy being indignant you didn't even notice.

    So, give me a short answer. "I've been bleeding for 10 days" is adequate; even "I'm having some female problems" works fine. I might ask if you've had a recent Pap smear or bloodwork, so I know if I need to schedule additional time for that. The answer you give me determines several things, including the speed with which you are seen, so be honest. In addition, an initial ICD-9 code will be assigned based on your complaint; refusing to give me a complaint might mean that your insurance is billed for a routine physical, which many insurers do not cover.

    If you think it's urgent, TELL ME; for some reason, lots of patients hang up the phone angry because I'm not psychic and I didn't realise that the earache your son has had since last Friday is keeping him up at night, so no-one is sleeping. But if you think you need to come in today, make sure that it's really an urgent thing, and make sure that you are as flexible with time as possible--I might cancel or reschedule another, less urgent patient in order to get you in. Accept the first time I offer; being picky about time makes me think that it's not really that urgent. If you absolutely can't take that time, tell me why--kids, whatever.

    I'm sorry you felt "fed up". I'm also sorry you think that non-nursing clinic staff aren't worthy of your respect or your time. I hope this post helps with this.

  11. by   RN2B2005
    I wonder where this falls under HIPPA? Does that receptionist really have a need to know for this info??
    Receptionists and other clerical personnel fall under the same HIPPA regulations as everyone else; we may actually be MORE responsible for protecting patient privacy than the licensed medical providers, since we are responsible for chart creation, destruction, and tracking. In addition, we abstract CPT codes and review charts for completeness prior to submitting insurance claims.

    To the person who has a PA that says your complaint is none of the receptionists' beeswax: Who do you think pulls your chart, files your chart, transcribes and proofreads the PA's dictation, does the insurance billing, etc.?

    Buy a clue. Your PA was just trying to make you happy; it was "our little secret", right? Ha, ha. I guarantee you that the receptionist knew EXACTLY why you were there.

    I don't understand the obsession with not telling the front-desk staff the reason for your exam. I've been a medical administrative assistant and receptionist since 1997, and I take your privacy as seriously as you do. I don't discuss patients in or out of the office, and believe me, nothing you say could shock me. On the other hand, I've heard nurses and physicians alike (not at my facility) make jokes and rude comments about patients--their clothing, their smell, whatever. And personally, the coworkers I have who are most cavalier about patient privacy are the doctors. :roll
  12. by   RN2B2005
    Speaking from the perspective of five years' worth of medical reception experience (but, as you say, 'whoopdeedoo', right?) , I think the questions asked are perfectly legitimate. It might help if you understood exactly what goes on when you schedule a doctor's appointment.

    First, I need to gather your demographic information--so I'm going to ask for your name, your date of birth, and possibly your social security number. Most clinics cross-reference your chart using your DOB, SSN, or both. In our clinic, the last four numbers of your SSN are your chart number.

    I might also ask for insurance information--even if you saw me just last week, please try to be pleasant about it. Together, your name, SSN, and DOB are submitted to your insurance company BEFORE you arrive to verify coverage and to verify that no special pre-authoriztions for care are necessary. Insurance does change, and if we bill your insurance incorrectly because YOU provided incorrect or misleading information, we're going to send YOU the bill and let you sort it out with your insurance company.

    Second, I'm going to schedule the actual time of the appointment. It's not as easy as just filling in a box, as you seem to think. Even if all of a doctor's time is divided into 15-minute chunks, all procedures and exams have other, mitigating factors. Some exams can't be scheduled back-to-back with others; some exams need to be done early in the morning; some need more than 15 minutes; others need prior studies (like if you come in to review an MRI) or reports from other facilities obtained. And, as I said before, we usually need to contact your insurance provider to verify benefits for your specific exam.

    You don't have to go into details if you don't want to, but being abrasive and belittling won't help. Contrary to what you think, most medical receptionists are like me--college educated, intelligent people. When the receptionist asked you what was going on, she was likely looking for something--a definitive symptom, like chest or abdominal pain--that would allow her to override her schedule or reschedule another patient and get you in to see the doctor that day. She was trying to HELP you, and you were so busy being indignant you didn't even notice.

    So, give me a short answer. "I've been bleeding for 10 days" is adequate; even "I'm having some female problems" works fine. I might ask if you've had a recent Pap smear or bloodwork, so I know if I need to schedule additional time for that. The answer you give me determines several things, including the speed with which you are seen, so be honest. In addition, an initial ICD-9 code will be assigned based on your complaint; refusing to give me a complaint might mean that your insurance is billed for a routine physical, which many insurers do not cover.

    If you think it's urgent, TELL ME; for some reason, lots of patients hang up the phone angry because I'm not psychic and I didn't realise that the earache your son has had since last Friday is keeping him up at night, so no-one is sleeping. But if you think you need to come in today, make sure that it's really an urgent thing, and make sure that you are as flexible with time as possible--I might cancel or reschedule another, less urgent patient in order to get you in. Accept the first time I offer; being picky about time makes me think that it's not really that urgent. If you absolutely can't take that time, tell me why--kids, whatever.

    I'm sorry you felt "fed up". I'm also sorry you think that non-nursing clinic staff aren't worthy of your respect or your time. I hope this post helps with this.

  13. by   itsme
    I did not know the receptionist determines how fast a patient is seen or is the one determining if a appt gets cancelled for someone else. The clinic we use is in a small town, we have no urgent care, those pts go directly to ER. As a nursing student you have more medical knowledge, here, the receptionist position is always in the paper, they just cant keep help. The qualifications are the ability to use a computer, and they give you a medical terminology class. No degree for medical secretary is needed. That is what bothers me. They do not require that specialty and just hire anyone off the street who can type. I think an actual medical secretary would be much better, just as a legal secretary would be better at a lawyers office. Oh well, just my opiniion!

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