...There's only one of me. I have three school sites, you do the math: I can't be everywhere at once, and even when I am someplace, my mind is often on whatever issue is most pressing, not necessarily at the particular site I am present in. I am also very aware of the reputation of school nurses: we're lazy people with boring jobs and don't ever do anything. So when something dramatic happens at one of my schools that I was not present for, I tend to feel terrible: my opportunity to refute the stereotype of the school nurse, to show my stuff, to prove I have a job for a reason, missed. I don't just feel a little terrible, I feel a lot terrible. I know I can't be everywhere at once, but now twice in the last few weeks I've missed a 9-1-1 call at a school site whose day it was for me to be there. This time, I had to leave early to meet a nurse at a different school to exchange audiometers, and I missed a first-time seizure by a paraeducator by minutes. If we hadn't chosen to meet at that particular time, I might have been able to contribute something; instead, I have now missed every one of the three 9-1-1 calls that have happened this school year, and feel like a worthless nincompoop because of it.
Also, in defense of school nurses: yes, I don't have angry doctors breathing down my neck, yes, I don't have the stress hospital nurses do. However, school nurses have a different kind of stress: the always on-call, have to be prepared for anything, I have no one to turn to if something happens kind. Maybe it gets less stressful as one gains experience, and probably not everyone has the guilty conscience I do when it comes to being absent during serious incidents, but this job is not stress-less. Take my word for it or do it yourself.