I recently referred a kindergartener to an audiologist after two failed hearing screens. Her teacher told me she was the lowest performing student in her class by a mile, and her parents had complained to her teacher that she wasn't responsive to them at home, either. Today, I received the audiology report: "An otoscopic examination of the left ear found the presence of excessive wax which is blocking her ear canal. Medical attention is recommended for the removal of the wax."

I can't believe a student has been falling so incredibly far behind due, in part at least, to wax. How can she keep up if she can't hear? How sad (and kind of gross).

Spring break served its purpose, but I was ready to return today. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder, at least for the kids.

A couple more things: This piece of good news, and this piece of news that isn't proven just yet, but at the very least is an interesting suggestion sure to provoke debate.


  1. I just got an otoscope, but, from my reading on the school nurse forum at allnurses.com see that otoscope use by school nurses can be controversial (actually, controversial either way, w. people saying of course we should, and those just as strongly on the other side). Sounds like you don't use one at school, right? Is that your district's policy or something you have a say in? Thanks!

    1. I do not use one...None of our nurses have one, and I remember during orientation I was told we don't use them. I didn't really think about it at the time, but now that I am, I'm wondering if "we don't use them" means we can't use them, or the school just doesn't buy them for us...I'll have to check into it. I know it's controversial either way, but, for example, would have helped me out in this instance if I could have seen the wax.

  2. Ahh poor girl - I had the same problem issue (home cleaning kit backfired) and its scary to not be able to hear.

    And in an unreleated comment but still praise - I've been researching Nurse/healthcare blog resources for an article, and I have to say you have one of the best blogs out there! I had to bookmark so I could come back and read more stories.

  3. Thanks for sharing this story. It makes sense that the child could not keep up in school if she couldn't hear because of excess ear wax.