Secure your own mask first

Between class periods during the second day of scoliosis screening, the two other nurses and I, along with our health clerk, were sitting in the nurse's office cracking ourselves up. From the attendance clerk, we heard "Down!" Our coordinator, sitting with her back to the window to the main office, ducked. Having thought I heard "Keep it down!" I apologized to the attendance clerk, who said she had been yelling at a student, "Hood down!" (Hoods aren't allowed to be worn on campus.) It wasn't until the coordinator stopped laughing long enough for the words to escape that she told us she had heard the command and ducked - clearly saving only herself in what she thought was the face of serious danger. That's the kind of quality nurses we have on staff: we save ourselves first.

Today was nothing short of a barrel of laughs, mostly politically incorrect and directed at each other, and it reminded me of what I am missing as a school nurse: camaraderie in colleagues. Our position is so independent that while we become part of our school's staff, we're also on our own and "at the other school" so often that we miss out on a lot of action at every school. An important benefit of this position, though, is one I'm frequently thankful for: in being so independent, drama (at least that I'm aware of, which I try to keep to a minimum) is at a minimum, and certainly no micro-managing is taking place.

Tuesday we screened the 7th grade girls for scoliosis, and today we finished off the school with the 8th grade boys. A few lessons I learned in these two days:
  1. Boys smell bad. 
  2. Girls take a long time to undress and dress. 
  3. My eye is as good as any level. The key to scoliosis screening is in spotting asymmetries, and some nurses do this by running their hands all over the kids' backs. I'm not sure of any middle schooler who enjoys being touched by strangers, and I'm confident that my hands-off screening is just as accurate as those that feel all over the place. 

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I'm sure eye-balling is enough for screening. I'm a former school nurse, and my middle daughter has scoliosis and kyphosis. I caught it by eyeballing while they were all sitting in a row on the bleachers (7th grade basketball players). Even though it was obvious, it wasn't enough to require surgery or bracing. So less than obvious by careful eyeball sure wouldn't be.