If You Can’t Say Something Nice, Don’t Say Anything At All

Open letter

Over the weekend I was shocked to hear a Healthcare Assistant say that my job is just “copying and pasting” and that she does my job as well as her own on a daily basis. I have been working in healthcare for nearly 3 years now, in this time I have been promoted twice. Regardless of this, I am ashamed to say that this is not the first time my career has been insulted by someone working on the clinical side of healthcare.

I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion; however, opinions are different to facts. This brings me to why I am writing this. Consider this, if you will, an open letter to all clinical members of staff (both private and NHS) who believe administration staff are pointless.

I have never been one to care what people think of me, especially these short sighted people. However, this time it isn’t me that is getting backlash, it is every healthcare administration worker who spends their career working their ass off so the NHS and healthcare services run smoothly – and I love working my ass off and knowing that I am making a difference, even if I’m not providing ‘hands on’ care.

I have worked closely with Nurses, Healthcare Assistants, Ward Managers, Doctors, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Business Managers, Consultants, Secretaries, Receptionists, Ward Clerks and Hotel Services, all of which I have treated as equals and who I have respected whole heartedly – and I believe this is one example of why I have ‘climbed’ as far as I have in my career. Equality is a problem across the world; but it’s becoming clear to me that it’s also right on our doorsteps, even if in this instance, it is a lack of education and knowledge. I can talk about what an amazing job all the above listed employees do (because they do); however, that is not why I am here today. I am here to promote respect and coherence for administrative staff in healthcare settings.

Administrative staff provide essential support to Doctors, Scientists, Nurses and other Healthcare Professionals; however, it is not our job to write your care plans or patient’s notes for you  – we are not clinically trained and therefor, it is not our job, nor our responsibility to write your patients care plans. Why would someone record legal documentation that someone else administered? This is not done on hospital wards, in outpatient clinics, GP surgeries or in care, nursing and residential homes, so you are not doing my job “on a daily basis” by doing your own paperwork.

In a nutshell, we have the responsibility and are expected to use our own initiative, make decisions and deal with patients and their relative who are worried or upset. We have significant contact with patients, GP’s and other healthcare staff. We are responsible for maintaining detail of budgets, all orders and team workloads; ensuring they have all materials and equipment that they need to do their work. We schedule, attend and participate in and minute meetings. We have excellent secretarial and administration skills, holding an RSA or similar qualification at an appropriate level. We have good knowledge of medical terminology and always have a professional approach to our work while carrying out all other admin duties and our workload.

If You Can’t Say Something Nice, Don’t Say Anything At All You obviously don’t understand what we do in our role, so there is no need to insult our intelligence or act like you are better than us. You are not better than us, you are just embarrassing yourself and your intelligence.

If you think we just copy and paste and you do my job, as well as your own on a daily basis, then you clearly don’t understand my job, and therefor, you wouldn’t be any good at it.

Besides, didn’t your mother ever tell you that if you can’t say something nice you don’t say anything at all?

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