Thursday, April 15, 2010

There's an app for that

NewFNP dodged a bullet today. Not literally, but technologically.

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.


Anonymous said...

Well, now you know how all that woman's friends, families and acquaintances feel about her. Mental illness and dysfunction are like a tornado running through other people's lives. Glad you got your phone back.

I used to work in a mental hospital where one of the residents told me "lock up your purse; I might get into it." She used to steal credit cards and hide them in her bra.

Anonymous said...

When I worked in public health, I had my phone stolen right off my desk by a patient who was very familiar to me, having done home visits to her house after the birth of her children. Couldn't prove it, so just let it walk out the door. I did not, however, use the cute little nursey "cell phone holder" again.

I really enjoy reading your blog. When I was contemplating my pending resignation a couple of months ago I read and reread your resignation letter that you posted in 08. Thanks for that.

california nursing schools said...

That is really how it is specially at places where there are so many struggling people. Just be more responsible with your stuff.