This has been Mrs. Nurse's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week. It is one thing, an experience I've been through many times now, to have something go wrong with your kids: pot cookies, parents that won't get shoes, doubting whether you made the right call on an asthma attack, or newly orphaned kiddos. It is an entirely new experience to have issues between professionals and be made to feel inept and worthless. The politics and bureaucracy that until now I've managed to stay relatively clear of impeded my ability to function in a capacity that I knew I needed to: as a public health nurse. You'd think it would be simple; I'm a licensed nurse, a licensed public health nurse at that, but the hoops I had to jump through this week were staggering. Trust me when I say this: you do not want to know where your tax dollars went this week.
There is good news about this experience: I became phone friends with the sympathetic county public health nurses, to start. I learned, yet again, to trust thyself: when I got a call on Thursday morning reporting a second case of the disease at the school, I knew my efforts were for a good cause (tip: contagious diseases do actually spread). Lastly, I was reminded what this job is really about: the kids. Given our system, it's impossible, I see now, to not get bogged down in the politics on occasion, but the reason I come to work in the morning is always, always, always the kids.