The Customer is NEVER Right - A Nurse Practitioner's Perspective
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What a pain in the neck?

At an airport terminal, on my way home, a young lady’s conversation caught my attention. The young lady, twenty-something, if that, but most definitely not more, if one second older than that I suck at guessing. Nonetheless, the young lady was very animated, walking and talking with three other ladies of the same age. The young lady’s conversation catching my attention when I heard her say to the other three, “I had severe neck pain…they did everything. I even had an MRI done and everything was normal. They told me the pain was from stress (thus not trauma/injury related).”
How does that happen? How does a young person, regardless of gender, convince healthcare workers that she needs such an extensive workup to find nothing? I did not speak with the young lady, and I am sure critics will chime in to that regard, but what can a young person, regardless of gender, possibly have that she has “severe” neck pain? Not to mention, what treatment, likely other than time, and NOT likely the ALL to common “just shy of a miracle”, did she receive to where she can now miraculously walk down an airport terminal pulling a wheeled carry-on loaded with her personal bag on top of it. Did I mention she was very animated and chitchatting like a Chatty Kathy with new batteries. She also had unrestricted movements of her legs, arms, neck and head. Oh yea! I also saw her bend over, from standing, to get something out of her suitcase while at the same moment she passed something to one of her companions, so no limitations either.
I only write this, as I am curious as to how a twenty-something year old convinces others that “everything” needs to be done, to include “an MRI”, for “severe” neck pain just to find nothing? Because how did we diagnosis such common musculoskeletal strains/sprains, especially in twenty-somethings, before without such EXAGGERATED UNREALISTIC EMOTIONAL EXPECTATION and such extensive work ups, to include MRIs? At what point can we simply, and more economically, say, “You will be just fine. In the past, before the time of MRI, people did just fine with rest, heat therapy and time. It is HIGHLY unlikely you have anything more significant than that.”
To critics, NOT judgment but a diagnosis, as my job is to make observations and to answer questions.
Again, I cannot but help it, just my two sense [sic].

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