Lisa Covey: From employee to patient

Lisa Covey

It was March 2, 2015 when Preston, Maryland resident Lisa Covey was driving home from Lewes, Delaware after a long day of work as Tidewater Physical Therapy’s Regional Operations Manager. In her position, Lisa travels throughout Delmarva to Tidewater Physical Therapy’s 16 clinics to ensure that everything runs smoothly and that all clinics are Medicare compliant. Typically, you can find Lisa at her main office in Easton, but on this day, she was at the Lewes clinic covering for their office manager. This substitution was not out of the ordinary for Lisa, but what she didn’t know was that on her way home, her day would become even more atypical. Heading back towards Preston she was in a car accident where she was rear-ended. From that day on, Lisa began her transition as Tidewater Physical Therapy’s employee to patient.

Lisa sustained several injuries from the accident to include a sprained left shoulder, as well as cervical spine and upper back injuries. After about a week, it was clear that Lisa would need more than medication to heal from her injuries. It was then that Lisa became a patient at the Easton clinic of Tidewater Physical Therapy, rather than the employee. At first, she went to physical therapy three times a week, focusing on decreasing pain with all activities. As of May 2015, a twice a week physical therapy regiment was implemented and in June, strengthening exercises became the main focus. Lisa says that although some slight discomfort exists during her current therapy, she has greatly improved her strength.

Lisa was able to return to work mid-May and is currently working three half days a week in the office.

Throughout her physical therapy at the Easton clinic, Lisa worked with several individuals to include Brian Mielke, DPT, Amy Brown, PTA, Kristin Morrissey, PTA, and, Eric Nepert, PTA, as well as all of the physical therapy techs and front office staff. These professionals also went through a transition when they switched from being Lisa’s co-workers to her physical therapists. Although Lisa knew and worked with them before her accident, she says that they treated her no differently than any other patient. She commented, “They’ve been amazing, patient, considerate, and kind. They explained everything . . . they still treated me like a patient first and foremost.” Even though Lisa is an employee and is somewhat familiar with the medical processes, she still appreciated that the physical therapists consistently explained everything and were always considerate about her and her pain. They always made sure that she understood and was in agreement with what she should be doing to heal as soon as possible.

Lisa is currently still a patient at Tidewater Physical Therapy; however, she hopes that she will be finished with her treatments in the very near future. In looking back at her transition from employee to patient, Lisa explained that she learned a lot in this process. Now, not only is she knowledgeable about the process that patients go through, she has felt and experienced it herself. Although Lisa was a little surprised that her injuries have taken so long to heal, she boasted of the physical therapists that have helped her every step of the way. When asked about the physical therapists, Lisa proudly stated, “They’ve been very positive and upbeat; trying to keep me motivated, staying on task, and wanting me to get better. This is a great bunch of people to work with both professionally and as a patient. ”