I have spoken about the need to have PTs in higher levels of management and leadership in healthcare. That is the reason I got my MPH and have taken on my current role with my employer. I've discovered I'm more of a pioneer than I suspected.
A few weeks back, I was meeting with providers in another part of the state about our care-management model. It was a meeting with myself, my immediate supervisor and the leadership staff (all nurses) at the provider agency. I was the team lead for my group. To say it wasn't a warm and fuzzy reception would be polite.
At first the other team assumed I was "a numbers guy," not even a clinician. When they found out I was a PT, they all but waved their hands at me to shoo me away. My supervisor, a nurse, was able to break the ice with them, they were able to identify with her, and finally reasonable discussion ensued. By the end of the day, the other team was receptive to what I had to say and dubbed it "the most productive meeting yet!"
I'm pleased that they eventually warmed up to me. Why, though, did it take another nurse to get them to see that I knew what I was talking about? When I debriefed with my supervisor's boss, she seemed surprised that I said being a PT was a challenge in this role. She sat back and said, "It's about the skill set. You don't have to be a nurse to have it, and you do have it." When I explained about the credibility among nurses being at question, she nodded thoughtfully and said, "I never thought about that."
I'm glad for that response from her, a nurse practitioner. One nurse at a time, one nurse at a time, is how I need to change the mindset.