Thursday, October 16, 2008

Research + Clinic = Perfect Situation

NewFNP is going to let you in on a little secret: she likes clinical practice more than research.  That could be because newFNP has an inherent distaste for all things new or it may be because the research clinic is in a slow-as-molasses phase, but newFNP is - and boy does it ever pain her to say it - bored. 

That being said, newFNP was about to stroke out today when she had already seen 17 patients before high noon.  Or when her 16-year old pregnant math whiz had her pulled out of the exam room to talk to her about an emergency - genital warts.  

But she loved it when her absolute favorite patient, a 6-year old boy, ran down the hall to give her a big hug, show her his missing tooth and proceed to chat her up about Spongebob and Patrick and show her his perfect penmanship and numbers.  And it made her feel really useful when her 30-year old pregnant patient, who had been tearful in the exam room due to problems between her and her baby daddy, dropped newFNP an e-mail, letting her know that she was doing OK and would be in to see newFNP next week.  

NewFNP is making connections with her study patients as well, but there are three of them and newFNP works for eight hours.  Three patients, 8 hours.  Thirty-three patients, 8 hours.  For the love of sweet baby Jesus, can newFNP find a happy freaking medium?  

Anyway, making these new connections and valuing her continued connections with her clinical patients is really quite lovely.  It does bring newFNP a feeling of doing good for her community, for her individual patients and for herself.  NewFNP set out to be an NP because she wanted to have a meaningful career which brought her joy and promoted wellness in the lives of others.  Burnout sort of negated all those philosophical whimsies that newFNP had articulated for herself.

So, in sum, newFNP supposed that her current combination is working for her.  Bored or not, she does love going into work at noon three days per week.  This affords her the opportunity to go to Weezer concerts mid-week with her BFF and not be exhausted the next day.  It allows her to peruse chic glasses frames and ultimately decide on a sweet Kate Spade pair ("Elisabeth" in case anyone wants to be twinsies) with all the time in the world, nary a care in her mind except which glasses are going to make her look like a smart and sassy.  And thank goodness she has the time to exercise because her research job is largely sedentary and newFNP wishes to prevent work related ass spreading.  

And working part-time in clinic cures burnout.  It took a while for her pseudo-PTSD symptoms to subside but now they have.  

NewFNP just doesn't feel fried anymore.  

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