Patient Perspective – My typical week looks like this

In her latest blog, our resident patient blogger Vickie shares with us what a typical week looks like this #NationalWorkLifeWeek and what she does to take time out for her.

I work part time at a doctor’s surgery as a Medical Receptionist on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays. I love my job, but there are days that are hard and exhausting and I just want to go to bed.  

I start work at 8.30am, when the phones go on, and they don’t stop until 1:00pm when the phones are then turned off until the evening. Once the phones are on, it’s non-stop answering, listening to people and helping them. Some patients want to order prescriptions, so I make sure all the correct medication is selected and ordered. I also make appointments for patients to speak to the doctor on the phone. We are still being very careful about patients coming into the surgery with COVID-19 still around. We must make sure our patients are safe. 

There’s a lot involved working in the doctor’s surgery and as you can imagine, it gets really tiring. I also become exhausted and fatigued through having my leukaemia. That’s when it starts getting hard to concentrate. I always have a bottle of water with me to drink. If I am becoming really tired, I will take myself off into the bathroom and wash my face with cold water to wake myself up. I drink de-caffeinated coffee to keep me going as well. I also eat fruit and will have a treat like a chocolate bar to try and re-energise myself.  

However, it is hard when you are very fatigued and just want to sleep but you cannot. But somehow, I keep myself going. I don’t think I could ever work full time as I would never be able to get out of bed. I go to work to try and be normal and earn a little bit of spending money. I enjoy helping people, so this job is great, as that is what I do.  

I have a great working team with me, so that makes things so much better. Having support from others at the workplace makes a big difference. If I feel tired, I am able to have a break in the staff room, and if I don’t get my work completed then I can do it when I’m next in. 

There are days where I think I don’t want to go into work as I’m exhausted but I just do it. I go into work and cope with it because you have to. But we also must listen to our bodies and take time out for ourselves. 

On my days off, I go swimming to help me to stay healthy. It is the only exercise I can do without it causing too much pain. Then, when I have done my swimming, I relax with my dogs and watch films.  

 I have two children and want to show them you can work with a disability and an illness. I hope I am an inspiration to my children. 

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