Chaos. Case in point: I scheduled scoliosis screening for my middle school for Thursday. On Tuesday, I received a call that I needed to be at an IEP that same day, at the same time 6th period scoliosis screening will be taking place. I tried to say this politely to the big-wig district office lady that was calling me about this:
"Well, I have already scheduled scoliosis screening for that day. Also, I know the student, and know that her issues are psychiatric. Shouldn't the psychologist be the one at this IEP?"
"We need a nurse there, so if you can't make it, find someone else that can."
I did, but only after some scrambling. (If someone from the district office tells you to do something, you do it.) It's that time of year where people are finishing up business, and everyone needs me to do something immediately. It's a great challenge to please everyone at every site when you're juggling three schools. Four day weekend is approaching, phew!
I love translators. One of the reasons I love them is they can be messengers of my bad news, and I don't have to face the reaction. I'd been dealing with a kid with a hole in his tooth for some time, most recently requesting from his Mom that she bring me a note from his supposed dentist for his supposed treatment. To no surprise, I never received a note, so I decided to go one step further with an ultimatum: produce a note from a dentist or I will have to notify CPS. I'm not sure I'd have been able to say this to a parent so calmly if I had to say it to her face. Luckily for me, Hole in Tooth's mom doesn't speak English. I found a translator and told her the message I wanted her to relay to this parent. She raised her eyebrows at me but said she knew the kid I was talking about and hoped something would be done. As expected, the parent was quite unhappy, but not at the translator per se, as the translator was simply relaying a message. Angry parent or not, the plan worked: there was a note on my desk by the end of the next day: Hole in Tooth was finally taken to the community dentist.
Posted by Mrs. Nurse at 15:55
To the parents of the birthday boy kindergartner who didn't get picked up for a full hour after school, who spent the entire hour fidgeting with his paper cone "Birthday Boy" hat, staring out the window hopeful that the next car to pull into the parking lot would be you: Why did you have children?
I understand that people have to work or have other obligations, but to not make other arrangements for your child or answer your phone when the school calls asking someone to pick him up, on his birthday no less, I don't understand.
Posted by Mrs. Nurse at 16:11
It's about as unnerving to leave my diabetics in the care of another nurse when I take time off as it is to leave my pets in the care of anyone else. After taking a long weekend, I asked Mr. High Maintenance diabetic how it went while I was gone. He's recently switched over to insulin pens, and I've also been encouraging to become more independent prior to his transition to middle school next year (he's told me before that he expects me to be his nurse when he's 30).
Mr. High Maintenance: "Oh, it went okay, I did my own shot!"
Me: "Really, why don't you do that with me then?"
Mr. High Maintenance: "Well, I thought I had to. I didn't think she knew how to do it."
Me: "It's awesome that you did your own, but don't you worry. I only let nurses check in on you when I'm gone, and they all know how to do the same things I do."
I had a good laugh with the nurse that had covered for me, a diabetic herself, when I informed her that Mr. High Maintenance was under the impression she wouldn't know how to use an insulin pen.
Posted by Mrs. Nurse at 18:49
Mr. High Maintenance Diabetic is a 5th grade boy who is so sheltered he doesn't know how to tie his own shoes. No one has taught him, and he's happy to stay as naive for as long as possible. I worry that he'll be eaten alive in middle school, but that's another story. His mother, who I think is actually his grandmother, is extremely protective. Case in point: she'll keep him home if he sneezes. I do not exaggerate, once after he was absent I asked her why he was gone, she said, "He sneezed." Literally, that was her answer.
Anyway, the mother scared my little tail off when I first got to know them; I feared she'd rip my head off if I made a mistake with her little boy. I'm far more comfortable now, but the reality I deal with every day, and with every child, is that I'm taking care of somebody's baby. (Careful, "Somebody's Baby," it's one heck of an earworm. At least for me.) So imagine my reaction when his mom decided to drop of his lunch at lunchtime, and signed in as a visitor so she could watch me give his insulin. It's something I do on a daily basis, but my goodness, the pressure is palpable when the parent is watching over you. I swallowed my annoyance and had Mr. High Maintenance prepare the shot himself, and knew he felt the pressure in the room too when he looked at me and asked, "Are you really going to make me do this?" I've had to clean scrapes and call 9-1-1 in front of parents, but there's just something about being the only healthcare provider and delivering insulin to a little boy while his mother watches that was just downright terrifying.
As usual, I should have had no reason to worry. I played it cool, and made casual conversation with Mama Bear throughout, and she didn't look twice at what I was doing. Trust thyself, even if a Mama Bear is hovering.
Posted by Mrs. Nurse at 19:31