I screened kids that were absent during last week's mass screening all morning, in between curing or sending home the miscellaneous "not feeling well" kids. There was a calm before the storm, and then lunch hit. Tetherball accidents, soccer ball accidents, zip line accidents, and more. At one point a group of five screeching children came in all demanding ice packs for reasons varying from back injuries to splinters. In the mess of things, a kid came in complaining a soccer ball hit him in the head, a student with a shunt in his head, one who though only appearing to be about 3 foot tall has a voice that can carry like a football player. Shortly after, another kid came in - escorted by a teacher, which is never a good sign - saying he "bashed his head in" after a zip line accident. His head looked mostly fine, until I took a look at his eye: it was bleeding, and he was yakking about how he just had surgery. Bleeding Eye kid also happens to have ADHD to an extent I rarely see, and absolutely never stops talking. (And don't ask him if he ever stops, because he'll ask why you're asking.) So, together I had yelling Head Shunt boy and Bleeding Eye kid in my office with head injuries. Frantically, and magically, I was able to make contact with parents in both cases and they were on their way. Still...It was a solid twenty minutes of nonstop yelling in my office, because when you get two yelling ADHD kids who just cannot stop talking, it turns out that 1+1 does not equal 2...It was more like having ten wild children in my office, all screaming about something. Head Shunt boy was picked up quickly, while Bleeding Eye kid's parents took a little longer - or maybe it just felt like it. While still being shouted at by the impatient Bleeding Eye kid, I was summoned down the hall to find a student on the ground, supposedly unable to walk. Little Ms. Drama Queen complained of not being able to feel her legs after hanging upside down on the monkey bar. By now it was far past what my stomach thought was lunchtime, and I was in no mood for this girl's antics. I told her my assessment of her injury (there was none, and she was pretending), and why, and then proceeded to give a lecture about how it can be dangerous to lie to the nurse. She broke down in tears, told me other kids were teasing her and she just didn't want to be in class (and when I asked her to name the attackers, one of them was her friend that had summoned help). I told her I'd tell her story to the principal and walked her back to class, and, after several more "not feeling well" cases, was finally able to sit down to lunch, nearly two hours after the storm hit.
This is a very run-on paragraph to repeat the point of this blog: school nurses do actually do things sometimes. When I had multiple head injuries sitting in my office, both potential 9-1-1 calls, everyone was looking at me to call the shots, and not a single person offered to help any of the other munchkins that were streaming into my office at the time. When I went to retrieve Drama Queen, the principal was with her, but after a few minutes of not getting anywhere with her said he was hungry and left her with me. I am not complaining about either of these things, I am just here to report that I earn the leeway in my job, because when the pressure is on, I'm standing alone.
Note: If you're wondering why 9-1-1 was not called for those head injuries, mother of Head Shunt boy asked that I let the emergency contact pick him up and take him to a doctor unless he was showing immediate signs of trauma, like slurred speech - he was not (and I could hear him loud and clear). Bleeding Eye's dad told me his eye was already bloody still from the surgery - but since I didn't know what he looked like before/after, and that's not really the kind of family I want to be the target of a lawsuit for, I asked that someone pick him up anyway.