Never Presume Anything (and other tales)

I've just come back from a visit to a radiology clinic in Sydney. This time my appointment was for personal rather than for business reasons.  

It was my first X-ray and so the experience was all new to me. Before having my scan, I was shown to a cubicle where the radiographer told me to "get undressed." Did this mean that I had to go for the scan without clothes? Thankfully not - I only needed to remove my shirt and replace it with a trendy paper gown to cover my modesty. Once finished, I was asked to wait back in the cubicle but keep my shirt off. I waited for a few minutes before I was passed a sticky note with my name on.

Sitting for a while longer in the cubicle sporting my paper gown, I wondered whether I could get dressed again. A peep through the curtain revealed an empty room; the radiographer looking after me had vanished. I got dressed. Back at reception, I deduced that the sticker with my name on should be handed over. I was good to go. What about payment? Nothing for me to pay for, apparently – great! What about my results? They’d be emailed to my doctor, of course.

I left the clinic feeling glad that I had finally got around to having the scan done (it’d been on my “to do” list for weeks) but the whole experience made me feel a bit lost and puzzled. I realised something about good service and the way that we communicate with people.

The clinic staff were unquestionably friendly and efficient but by presuming that I knew what was going on throughout the process, I ended up feeling confused and a bit of an idiot at times - especially when waiting for no reason in my paper couture. 

This short interaction has made me reflect on the service that I provide to my clients and candidates. One of the things that I've learnt during my time in medical recruitment is to never presume anything and to explain and clarify each step of the process, no matter how obvious it might seem.

I once arranged a locum for a doctor in a rural Queensland town that she had never been to before. She told me that she would arrive at 4 o’clock the day before she started work. I made the necessary arrangements and emailed her the details of her hotel booking. Waking up that Sunday morning, my phone was lit up with missed calls and voicemails from the doctor asking why she had no hotel booking. As planned, she had arrived at 4 o’clock… in the morning!

I had assumed that she knew that her hotel would only be ready the night before her job started. She thought that it was obvious that she was driving through the night and would arrive early morning. I was so used to sending doctors to work in that particular country town that I had missed important details. 

If I’d spent more time explaining things and asking the right questions, it would have saved her from being left outside in the cold.
— Ian Ormesher

This was definitely an important lesson for me. Working in recruitment, it’s so important to be articulate about the way we do things and why. I send doctors to work in rural locations all the time but for each assignment I make sure that they understand where they need to be and what they should expect when they arrive. I never underestimate how nerve-racking travelling to a strange part of the country to work in an unknown clinic can be.

In offering a tailored and highly personalised service, it’s vital that I anticipate every bump in the road along the way. I’m proud to be able to provide this as part of the Prescript team. So far, our doctors have been pleasantly surprised by the level of detail that we go into and I’m yet to hear of one being left out in the cold - figuratively or otherwise.

Why not give us a try for your next locum or permanent job search?

For more information on Prescript, who we are and what we do, go to www.prescript.com.au