I started volunteering in a medical office when I was in middle school and eventually got hired as a front desk receptionist. Over the past six years, I can honestly say I have seen some hilarious situations in which of course you need to keep your professional "cool." I also seen some heart breaking events that make you be thankful for the life you have.
1. I was in a short dress, and I fell of the chair legs in the air in front of a whole waiting room of patients. Funniest part? I have never seen an ninety-five year old laugh so hard.
2. While filing out an initial visit form, a patient wrote "NO" next to sex. Of course in this situation sex meant gender.
3. Telling patients I need to take a photo for their electronic chart. Answer given: "No honey, not today I have to get my makeup done and look nice for the doctor."
4. Picture taking part 2. "Will you be able to print the picture for me?"
5. Elderly people do not always use walkers for help. They use them for stealing our toilet paper, candy, hand wipes, etc.
6. Patients without any family coming into the office just so they have someone to talk to. I have a patient who comes in every week just to sit in the waiting room and talk to the front desk staff because she is lonely.
7. Having patients request the physical therapist to "go harder on them." There is a patient who requests the physical therapist's gloves to be off when giving her a massage and refuses oil so that the massage will be more "hardcore."
8. Patients who argue with you that they have an appointment scheduled, meanwhile the appointment is scheduled for next week. These patients are my favorite-- they will stand arguing with you for thirty minutes before pulling out the schedule card and realizing their appointment is in a week. Uhm sir? I've been telling you that.
9. Patients locking themselves in the bathroom and calling the front desk staff to "unlock" them. Conversation goes a little like this "Yes hi.. I'm stuck in your bathroom. Please help."
10. Patients who think they can be sneaky around you. I had a lady call and ask me to read her son's blood work results over the phone (which is obviously illegal due to HIPPA regulation). I refused and told her it is illegal. The lady decided to hang up the phone and call back. Little did she realize I would be the person picking up the phone once again. The lady did not realize that it was me and started lying to me that she spoke to the doctor before and he confirmed that I can read the blood work results over the phone. Sneaky sneaky lady.
11. Canceling an appointment because the patient feels sick. Apparently, you visit the doctor when you are healthy.
Patients are interesting creatures who do a lot of weird things. Sometimes it makes me wonder if I am just like that? At the end of the day, the patients make my day filled with smiles, and what more can I ask for?