Employee vs Patient: Do you receive care where you work?


So I was unable to find this issue online - whether due to the lack of discussion or some sort of shortcoming in my searching abilities - but either way am beginning to wonder if I am the only one with this concern...

I am a newly graduated RN and am currently seeking employment. Part of the problem is that, as a patient, I attend a family practice within the largest (and most reputable) hospital in the area. As a nurse, of course, I would like to work at the most reputable hospital in the area.

Insert internal conflict: I really don't want to work with people who have seen everything... or work with someone who knows someone who has seen everything... if you know what I mean.

Even if I do trust my doctor, there is always the fact that it happens to be a teaching hospital. If a student sits in on my exam, there is always the possibility that I might one day work with that person... but at the same time, I wouldn't want to say "no" because its sort of poor professional etiquette - seeing how we've all been that student at some time or another. Furthermore, what if I get sent for a trans-vag ultrasound and wind up with someone I know or a student in there? Ugh!

I honestly wouldn't mind, but we've all met that student or coworker whose adherence to HIPAA policies are less than perfect... and I don't want to have to worry about some chatty Kathy instead of my personal health.

Am I overly paranoid? How did you handle it?

Editorial Team / Admin

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

6 Articles; 11,437 Posts

Specializes in OR, Nursing Professional Development. Has 18 years experience.

I go where my insurance covers. Yes, that means I am a patient of my employer. It doesn't really bother me; in fact, should I ever need surgery, I know exactly who I want doing it and what staff I want in the room (and what surgeons and staff aren't allowed within ten feet of the OR door). My last ER visit, my nurse was one I used to work with in the OR. The only thing I don't see someone within my employer for is mental health issues- and that's because counseling isn't covered by insurance, so they wouldn't know anyway.

Heck, my mom used to work for her own radiation oncologist before her relapse meant early retirement. She'd work, see him for her appointment on her lunch break, and go back to work. Now that's familiarity with your provider, seeing as she had breast cancer.


249 Posts

I think most nurses are patients at their hospital system just because it is where their insurance covers.

I was hesitant to change gyns to the hospital affiliated practice because I worked on a gyn/onc floor and see many gyns at work! However, all of my fellow nurses told me they go there and so I bit the bullet too!

After my initial hesitance, I realized that It was really no big deal that i worked with my personal gyn. We are all professionals. They do this every day. I trust that they are not discussing my person gyn history with other colleagues and we certainly do not discuss my personal medical history while at work. Everyone needs a gyn. I am goad that mine is now someone I trust and can see how they work as a physician and colleague.

loriangel14, RN

6,931 Posts

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

I'm in Canada so the insurance coverage isn't an issue but I have been a patient at my own hospital. I trust them to keep things confidential.


254 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 4 years experience.

I would absolutely get care at my facility, because it's far superior to the alternatives in town.

Has 8 years experience.

My insurance makes it really difficult to go anywhere else, and I live in a fairly small city with few other options. I've taken care of countless coworkers as a result. I got sent to the ER recently with a kidney stone and my nurse was a guy I went out on a really bad date with years ago. Had no idea he'd decided to go into healthcare. Small town hospital problems. :bag:


102 Posts

I was an employee and patient at previous facilities I worked at. I didn't mind. I found I often knew who to go to for services and was treated exceptionally well since I worked there and most people in the hospital knew me.

I also was able to at my previous hospital pull a log of anyone who had viewed my medical records so if I was concerned a co-worker had looked at my PHI without my consent to gossip or be nosey I could catch them and have them dealt with accordingly.

Specializes in Oncology. Has 14 years experience.

I had surgery at my hospital. I've also had med students take my medical history and watch my pelvic exam. I highly doubt they are discussing my medical problems or my body parts. I am just not that interesting.


53 Posts

I receive care at the health system that employs me, due to insurance. Like the OP, I would prefer not to do so. I am aware of inappropriate med record accesses; it is taken seriously and the responsible parties held accountable, but the damage is already done. I don't like bumping into my HCPs in the elevator. But I live with it


57 Posts

I work in the ER and while I would absolutely take my kids or a loved one to my ER, I don't seek treatment there. I know I would receive excellent care. I just feel weird about being treated by a doctor I work that closely with daily. To me it stretches the bounds of professionalism, but that's just me. When I had a cancer scare recently I knew that if I had needed treatment I would have absolutely seek treatment at my hospital. I love the atmosphere and vision. I just wouldn't want to be treated on my unit.


298 Posts

You may not want to hear this, but we all have the same "parts". I'm sure your parts are nothing special. That's not what people are thinking about when they see you. I say BE PROUD OF YOUR PARTS!!! They're probably the best parts those people have seen in years!!!


617 Posts

Specializes in Care Coordination, MDS, med-surg, Peds. Has 22 years experience.

One nice thing about being treated at "your" hospital is that the staff caring for you, knows you and, in my case, they new they better dot their I's and cross their T's, becasue I expected the same level of great care that we gave everyone and if they didn't, I would bust their chops!!!

I have had several inpatient admits at the hospital I worked and was even on my floor once!

One of the newer nurses made a med error passing meds to me. I saw it, noted it and asked her about it. When she seemed oblivious to the fact that she had made an error, I called the nurse manager and then she took care of it.

One other time, I caught a med error as a patient, and I turned the IVPB on myself, I just told the nurse and she got all frazzled, but i told her it was ok, I did receive the meds and that was the most important.

I do question my meds and I am probably NOT the best patient, but I do want the best care as does everyone else.