Coping as an oncology secretary
Coping as an oncology secretary I am a mature medical student and while waiting to take up my place at medical school I worked as a temporary medical secretary. For six months I worked in an oncology and palliative care department, and it was here that I learnt a great deal about the hassle that secretaries endure at the hands of consultants and patients.
While the consultants were sympathetic and approachable, the severity of the problems were such that any mistakes by the secretary were potentially hazardous, making my work in this department more stressful than in others.
This was apparent as soon as the phone started to ring on my first day - the phone quickly becoming an instrument to be feared and avoided. Relatives at the end of the line were desperate for comfort, reassurance, and threads of hope.
Because of the demand on the doctors the secretaries