NewFNP noted recently that the economy is really hurting her patients.
Saturday, March 07, 2009
It's worse now.
NewFNP referred three adult men and one pregnant women to food banks this week. Adult men in newFNP's clinic, as a rule, are a stoic bunch. They do not tell you that they are hurting or sad or worried. This week, newFNP saw desperation and fear in her patients' eyes - worries that they will not be able to feed their families, let alone pay their rent.
NewFNP hears on the news that lines for food assistance are longer, she hears the monthly unemployment numbers. She wonders if robbery is increasing as people become more desperate. Will the incidence of domestic violence increase?
During the Great Depression, unemployment rates were around 25%. In newFNP's county, they were almost 11% in January, a 3% increase since September. In newFNP's service area, unemployment is between 12-19%, depending on the zip code.
If you live in the hood, this is a depression. It is a depression. NewFNP's 401k is going through a recession but she has food on the table and gas in the car and not one but three paying jobs.
NewFNP is acutely aware between the haves (her) and the have-nots (her patients) as she sits in the exam rooms, listens to their stories and provide them with the best care she can given that the answer to their worries lies outside of the exam room walls.
On a lighter note, the aggressive-statement-maternity T-shirt shop does not appear to be struggling at all. NewFNP's non-fronting pregnant teen showed up to clinic this week wearing a shirt telling everyone to STOP HATIN. The graphic was, of course, a faded stop sign.