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Former GP receptionist explains the real reason they ask you 'what's wrong?' on the phone

Jess Hardiman

| Last updated 

Former GP receptionist explains the real reason they ask you 'what's wrong?' on the phone

A former GP receptionist has revealed a few behind-the-scenes secrets – including the real reason why patients are often asked what’s wrong before they’re booked in for an appointment.

TikToker Regan Ellis (@reganellisx) explained she once worked as a receptionist in a doctors’ surgery, having been placed there as an agency worker while trying to make some cash at university.



In a video captioned ‘the secrets of a GP receptionist’, the 22-year-old explained: "I was a doctors’ receptionist.

"'But Reagan, you're not a mardy old cow?'

"And to that, I say yes, you're correct.

"But I need to talk to you about being a doctors’ receptionist and why they actually get a lot more stick than they deserve."


Ellis said she was on ‘about £9 an hour’ at the time, recalling: “I was working from in the morning until 6.30pm at night every day, and I was doing that five days a week while I was at uni."

Regan Ellis. Credit: TikTok/@reganellisx
Regan Ellis. Credit: TikTok/@reganellisx

The influencer went on to speak about why receptionists usually ask you what’s wrong before getting you in to the surgery, stressing it’s not just them being nosey.

"We do not care if you have got an itchy b****ck or whether you've got a rash coming up on your left t**ty,” she said bluntly.


"We just wanna send you to the best person to help you and get the job done.”

She explained that GPs tend to specialise in different areas, so receptionists want to send you to the right person in the surgery.

Ellis also hit back at the belief that the receptionists are 'gatekeepers of doctors'.

She continued: "GPs block off the appointments and basically if we put you in for an appointment the next day or a couple of days down the line, we get massively b****cked.”


Elsewhere in the video, she also called out the behaviour of some patients – remembering how people would often shout down the phone at her.

She called on others to be polite when phoning up. Credit: Pixabay
She called on others to be polite when phoning up. Credit: Pixabay

"When you've got Mister Blogs from down the road screaming at you because his Ramipril wasn't ready even though you ordered it 20 minutes ago, you're gonna get the hump honestly," she said, later adding that her best tip would be to ‘stop shouting at your GP receptionist’ as they’ll ‘do more for you’ if you do.

"Give yourself three days when you order a prescription to wait for it to be delivered, and just be genuinely nice,” she stressed.


In the comments, her video was met with much agreement from others who had found themselves in similar roles.

One wrote: “Totally agree!! Did that job for 5 years!!

Someone else said: “GP Receptionist here!! You are spot on!! The abuse we get is a whole new level especially when we say no appts left!!”

A third wrote: “This is my current job and I wouldn’t wish the abuse we receive on anyone.”

A fourth added: “Omggg you literally speak my mind! Have to repeat the same thing everyday and I’m the bad person all the time! Glad someone can relate.”

Featured Image Credit: TikTok/@reganellisx

Topics: Health, News, Viral, TikTok

Jess Hardiman
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