Sunday, April 22, 2007

Ahhh... cable TV

NewFNP likes to fancy herself as healthy, but here she is - sick again. NewFNP attributes her illness to being exposed to all manners of rhinoviruses day in and day out and believes wholeheartedly that it is only the most virulent of said viruses that tend to knock newFNP on her ass. Which is where she has been all weekend. On the couch, flat on her ass, in and out of consciousness, thanking God that her boyfriend had the good sense to buy a huge flatscreen TV so that she may be entertained by the likes of Dirty Dancing, CSI and Caddyshack.

Nobody puts Baby in a corner.

NewFNP did take some time during her convalescence to think about her current employment situation. She reviewed some physical assessment texts and thought about where she might be taking her career. As we all know, her attitude is in the toilet. However, newFNP would like to change that and certainly does not want her career to follow that path.

But here is why newFNP's attitude sucks.

Sometimes people just break newFNP's heart. When newFNP hears about food insecurity from a featherweight 22-year old man, it just makes her emotional. Imagine leaving one's country to come to the US, in hopes of a better existence, and not being able to find adequate food. Of knowing that you have latent TB, but not being able to afford the $10 medicine to avoid active TB infection. Of finally securing a job, but working six days per week and not being allowed to leave early to get to the clinic. There was something more about this patient, though. His modesty, his sincerity... he really touched newFNP.

Then there are the people who make newFNP want to scream. This week, a patient told newFNP that no matter how much he weighs, he never changes in size. In fact, he claimed, one time he lost one hundred pounds, but still wore the same sized jeans. "One hundred pounds?", newFNP verified. Confirmed. One hundred pounds and still a size 42 waist. Diagnosis: delusional liar? Reality challenged? How is newFNP supposed to help someone who has clearly lost touch with all that is real? NewFNP notices that her trousers are roomier of she loses 1/100th of a pound.

And finally there is that old chestnut about support staff not providing support. NewFNP does not want to micromanage, nor does she have the time to do so. But when newFNP's reputation is on the line, you bet that she will be all over the staff's asses in order to get things done. You betcha that newFNP can find 30 seconds in between patients to ask if phone calls have been made and abnormal pap logs have been updated.

A friend of newFNP's recently noted that he felt that newFNP sometimes feels anger toward her patients. NewFNP disagrees, but she certainly does feel frustration toward many patients. Quite simply, how could one not feel frustrated given the challenges one faces in community health and probably in all healthcare settings?

Working through these frustrations is one of the challenges that newFNP faces. Sometimes she is great at it, sometimes not so much.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i love your blog because so often you manage to put into words exactly what i am going though (down to the virulent rhinovirus i also had last week). i do differ from your situation but only recently when we finally hired a competent clinic manager who hired competent nurses and staff (underpaid... yes, but all very dedicated to what we do). so i just have to tell you it CAN happen, don't be discouraged! go looking for the support you deserve as soon as you can get out of your contract. it makes life as an fnp much more wonderful, even though its still crazy :)