NewFNP dodged a bullet today. Not literally, but technologically.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Outside the exam rooms, newFNP's clinic has lovely fold-down desks. In her fold down desk, newFNP has lab slips, routing slips, medication order forms and, frequently, her iPhone 3GS.
Today, newFNP looked in her desk and her beloved iPhone had disappeared. "Mother fuck," she thought, "Somebody stole my phone." She looked in the providers office and was denied. She looked again in her fold down desk and was again denied. It was at this point that she truly began to lose her shit.
She thought about why in the world she would return to a place where people are stealing phones. She realizes that poverty leads to desperate acts - such as her patient who presented to the emergency room with abdominal pain and cholelithiasis using a fake name in order to avoid receiving a bill she could not afford. NewFNP does understand that these acts are of desperation, of not seeing any other way.
Nonetheless, they are wrong.
NewFNP is not insensitive to the fact that many bankruptcies are results of medical debt. But she does not condone what is essentially stealing health care from the emergency room. The medical system is broken. But when one lies in order to receive services, then is that person a part of the problem? Or are they just making the best of a fucked up system?
Today in clinic, newFNP's colleague blew up her cell time and time again. Given that it was password protected and that the mute function is not immediately accessible if one is unfamiliar with the phone, the culprit had to ditch newFNP's phone in the baby scale. She then walked around the clinic and went to her mental health appointment.
NewFNP had started her on Paxil yesterday and made a referral to mental health -- today's appointment. She had stolen another employee's phone several days before. No one has confronted her. The current plan is to have her escorted to every aspect of her clinical appointments, but apparently to never acknowledge her sticky fingers. NewFNP's clinic manager specifically asked newFNP not to confront her.
Fine. NewFNP will keep her mouth shut. She does, after all, have her phone back. And she learned a valuable lesson: keep your shit with you, newFNP!!
But newFNP is pretty damned certain that she does not want to give her time, service and care to this woman in the future. This patient does not get to have the special newFNP touch. She spent a shitload of time (read: 20 minutes) supportively encouraging this patient yesterday. She does not want to give that of herself to someone who takes and takes and takes, then takes some more.
As an aside, this incident has caused newFNP to re-evaluate her aversion to the lab coat. Perhaps it's time to pick it up off the floor of the coat closet and bring it back to clinic.