I’m revelling at the moment, revelling in the praise and recognition.
Patients everywhere, so happy with the roll-out of vaccines. Sometimes crying with happiness.
Patients treating us like heroes. I think I should be feeling sickly about it; I should be being modest. I should be saying, “It’s nothing; you’re our patients. We’re here for you. It’s what we do.”
However, instead, I’m quietly bathing in this new adulation for practices and for us, practice managers. Suddenly we’ve become visible. We’re congratulated on our organisational skills. Patients email me and say, “I don’t know how you do it.” They email to thank me for arranging their parents’ vaccinations. They leave messages on social media saying how organised we are. How amazing we are!
We all know this doesn’t happen often. Also, you know and I know that it isn’t going to last – perhaps not even beyond the end of the week. As soon as the vaccination supply is delayed by even half an hour, our names will be muck all over again on every social-media site and every tweet.
So, make the most of it, I say! Enjoy the emails of gratitude, the letters of thanks, the biscuits, the chocolates, the praise.
It’s not going to last.
This wave of gratitude from our patients is often phrased in the strongest terms: “You’re saving our lives,” they say. “You’re our way back to living a normal life,” they say.
I find it strange. What I want to say (but I’m not going to spoil this moment) is, “What do you think we do every day?”
We save lives. It sounds heroic. Well, it is. It’s just not recognised very often.
The high blood pressure that’s kept under control.
The low heart rate that’s referred urgently to cardiology.
The breast lump taken seriously.
The depression that’s listened to.
The dizzy spells that aren’t ignored.
The sudden weight loss that’s investigated.
We save lives. Every day.
It’s been the hardest year of my working life, and the acknowledgment from the wider public that GP practices are in fact saving lives is something I’m going to savour.
It won’t last. We all know that. So, make the most of it!
As someone said to me the other day, “Stop being modest; take the compliment and pat yourself on the back. You’re doing a bloody good job!”
Practice managers, yes we are!