Today I screened the 2nd and 5th grades at one of my elementary schools with a veteran nurse and our nutty and completely lovable health clerk. This veteran nurse used to have the school before I took it over, and she had not once introduced herself to me, showed me around the schools, or even said hi at our nurse's meetings. I'd been warned about her by the other nurses, who all said she was a cold-hearted, past due for retirement scathing woman with a sailor's mouth. I noticed the sailor's mouth at our meetings but stayed away from her until I was forced to work with her on these screenings at my school. Lo and behold, at 7:30 this morning I was met with warmth, intelligence, and experience. Granted, she may not be the warmest to the students, but I think it's efficiency that's being mistaken as rudeness by others. In any case, in every gap between students she educated me on useful things, asked caring questions about my background, and was really quite the conversationalist. More importantly, if I may brag for a few, she completely validated my work. She's been all over the district and assured me the schools don't get worse than mine, the kids and parents don't get more difficult than mine, and was nothing short of impressed at my screening method (efficient). I told her about last week's asthma incident and she commended my 9-1-1 call, complaining that most people do not take asthma seriously enough, and she was equally impressed when the health clerk relayed the story of my first day at the school.
There's a few things I took away from this. First - I've earned myself a pat on the back if this veteran nurse was giving me accolades of any sort, much less all day long. I need to start taking pride in what I do, because some days, it's a lot. Second - and this is something I learned well in nursing school - I'm my own judge. One person's opinion of someone else isn't always the same as mine, and in this case, I am totally looking forward now to working with this nurse again next week - something several of the other nurses probably would scarcely believe.