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PT on the Run

Role Reversal

Published July 24, 2014 12:46 PM by Michael Kelley

So this week, my dad had to have a GI surgery (I'll spare you the gory details) and he is currently in the hospital where he will stay for a few nights while he recovers. Due to his insurance, he had the surgery at one of my hospital system's biggest competitors, so while visiting him, I must admit I'm doing a bit of spying to see how things run there!

I should start off by saying all the staff I met at this hospital were professional, courteous and are taking great care of my dad. And remarkably, it seems that their workflow is pretty similar to ours. I haven't had a chance to see how their therapy staff operates, but from the nursing standpoint, it doesn't seem like there's a big difference compared to my hospital system in terms of their post-surgical care. (I suppose this is good considering I really like the way the nursing staff at my hospital handles post-surgical patients!)

It's also been interesting to see how my family has been reacting. I've had to tell my mom a few times, "Nobody likes the overbearing family member!" My family is obviously concerned about my dad, and they seem to look to me when they have questions. As a healthcare professional, I do my best to assuage their concerns, but I don't know everything, especially in a different hospital system. I think this is a little frustrating for my family because I can't answer all their questions. Needless to say, it's been interesting playing the family member as opposed to the healthcare professional.

And then there's the inherent awkwardness when the staff there learns that I'm a physical therapist. I don't want them to think I'm judging them or the care they are providing, even if I am a little bit. I actually had to tell my family not to tell them I'm a PT. I'd rather them focus on my dad than worry about impressing me, or wonder what I'm thinking about their performance.

Have you ever been on the receiving end of the healthcare system as either a patient or family member? Are you open about your profession?

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