Back in December, my mother was having knee replacement surgery. Six months prior she had had her other knee replaced, and there had been complications: delirium, probably from dangerously low sodium. Her surgeon was going to discharge her despite the obvious mentation changes and had to be practically bullied into running blood tests to check her electrolytes.
So after the second knee surgery, when the hospitalist (with residents in tow) came to check on her, I started to advocate strongly for what I felt was a necessary level of care. About five sentences in, he turns to me and says "are you a nurse?" At first I felt a little defensive (I was afraid he was perceiving me as a meddling relative), however when I said "yes," his response was to say "OK, then I'll explain things in more technical terms, and you can explain to your mother."
Last night, a family member called in asking about their relative. I didn't know the patient very well, they had been admitted while I was off, but I was looking through the notes trying to garner more information, and as we were talking the caller started to ask more technical questions, as well as explain things about the patient that was not clear (or downright wrong) in the chart. Almost unbidden from my mouth came the words "are you a nurse?"
"OK, then I'll go into detail about what this report states."
Nothing like having the shoe on the other foot to gain better understanding of how we humans behave.