1. A visitor at 11 p.m. asking for cold medicine. It was just after I'd fallen asleep, and for some reason the boy and his counselor didn't get the hint to take the medicine and leave. No, they stayed for twenty minutes munching on chips and talking to me about video games while I tried not to nod off right in front of them. I could barely stay awake while they were yakking at me, but then of course couldn't fall asleep afterward. 

2. One of my autistic group kids decided not to cooperate in taking his morning medication. Thirty minutes later, thirty minutes of crying and screaming and throwing his cup at me, we got word from his mom that the medication had sat too long in the cup and I just needed to rinse it out and start over. Sure enough, it was fine, but not until breakfast time was over. 

3. A 12 year old so nervous about being on her period, and so homesick and anti-social, that we spent the morning walking until I couldn't walk anymore, and hashing and re-hashing a plan to deal with said period for the next 24 hours of camp. The hike started out in tears, and ended with her asking if we could do it again after lunch. I must have calmed her fears successfully - phew. 

4. Answering a question so gross I won't even repeat it. Kids are gross...and awesome...and you really just don't know what's going to come out of their mouths. 

5. The weather is beautiful, I'm surrounded by pine trees, and am treated to a spectacular star show each night.


The chaos begins

Yesterday I spent the morning working on crossword puzzles, the afternoon surfing the internet and lounging by the pool. I met one of the other staff members and he asked how things were going on my first day and I replied the worst way possible: it's been quiet. If you're a nurse, you know this will jinx you, and it did. 


Camp, Day 1

I started today working for summer camp - wahoo! It's four weeks of varying groups, and I even get to go home on the weekends. It got off to a good start this morning on the drive up to the mountains during which I increased my previous roadkill score of 3 animals over 11 years of driving to 5: I killed two birds in the last ten minutes of the 2.5 hour drive. I met my boss a few minutes later and as he was showing me around, he asked how the drive was:
Me: Pretty good, but I did manage to kill two birds.
Boss: Wow, weird.
Me: Yeah...one of them is in your driveway.
Boss: Yep, I saw that one. 

Then, during check-in a typical kid conversation happened:
Kid: "There's something you should know about me. I burp a lot."
Me: Okay, cool.
Kid's Mom: I don't know this child. 

Other than the mosquitos and getting shorted on a good bunk (but who really cares when I could probably sleep through a heavy metal concert these days), I am quite sure I'm in for a good four weeks: funny kids of all types and lots of them (special needs and traditional camp is happening at the same time here), a boss trying to make me work as little as possible, unlimited food that I neither cook nor clean up after, and a gorgeous setting and some staff to match it. Heck yes. 


Summer school

I'm working summer school this week, which is relatively quiet: the kids that are here need to be here, so no one's coming to complain about being sick, and the days are too short to have recess on the playground, so no tetherball accidents are possible. You're probably wondering why I am working at all, and the answer is that there needs to be a registered nurse in the district in case something does pop up, and I volunteered to work a week of it. It's nice to be able to get paperwork done in peace, and I closed my middle school office in such a hurry (more on that later) that I have plenty to sort through still.

The principal was wheeling a cart past my office today, and then backed up as soon as he saw I was in. "Check out why we have an obesity problem," he said. I went out to see what he was wheeling: brown bags of carrots and bananas. Confused, I said those look better than the average school lunch I see, and then he clarified. "These are the leftovers." The kids - all here during summer school are recipients of free lunch - had already eaten, leaving all the fruits and veggies to go to waste.


Summer already?

Usually I am counting down the days until each break, and yet somehow, summer managed to sneak up on me. Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that I will not be taking much of a break, at least not the two months off that many are: I have next week off, and then will be back at school the following week for summer school. I also just accepted a last minute position at a summer camp, so I'm working the four weeks following summer school. I'll have another week off at the end of July, but have volunteered to come back to the school district as early as July 31 in order to flex my schedule next year and take some time off when the rest of the world is not also on a school break. Goodbye summer, before it even arrived!

I was ready to quit this job a couple weeks into it, which seems eons ago, and I've now finished my second school year - what? Just as how I feel about summer break arriving today... How did this happen already?

At the moment, I'm too tired to speculate. Thanks for reading, add me to your blog feed or whatever you use, and there may or may not be periodic updates during the summer.

Also, congratulations to Melody for winning the Drug Handbook App. Yay!



Dear mother of my diabetic,
Thank you for having little to no contact with me throughout the year. Thank you for changing your phone number three times, never telling me when you did so. Thank you for not once including a carb count on those handful of times that you sent your daughter to school with a packed lunch  Thank you for when it was her birthday, not warning me that you would be surprising her with a McDonald's lunch, and not thinking to let me know what she had. I really enjoy trying to identify food items from their greasy packaging, and tracking down an estimated carb count online. Thank you for having a daughter that is so desperate for attention she recently said that she was going to "accidentally" deliver 60 units of insulin via her new insulin pen so that she could go to the emergency room. But most of all, thank you for complaining about me when you took her to her semi-annual check-up at the diabetic clinic. I really appreciate having to defend myself and the nursing care I've been faithfully delivering to your daughter with more careful attention than you seem to do at home.
Your daughter's clearly incompetent school nurse.

Ugh. Parents can really be the bane of my existence sometimes. Thank goodness the diabetic nurse listened to my end of the story, and ended our phone call with, "You're doing a good job. Keep it up."


Free Drug Handbook App

I've never won something free in my life, but being able to host a giveaway so someone else can be a winner is almost as exciting. I was given a code to download this Nursing2013 Drug Handbook (Nursing Drug Handbook) as a mobile app, which you can find here. I've written about the paper version of this handy reference book before, so I'm going to limit my comments on the content of the app; it is just what's in the paper version, but in a more up-to-date version. I have to admit when I had my hands on the paper version, it was nice and all, but isn't everything going paperless these days? Lo and behold, the same thing, but mobile version is now available. Finally!

The app is pretty much what you expect: drug information in a readable format that you can carry with you on your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch (make sure you can run iOs 5), or Android. Below is a screenshot of what you find when you search Ritalin, so you can see for yourself that the thing is convenient and easy to read:

Frankly, I much prefer the mobile app version over the paper. Who wants to spend time flipping through pages? Unless you're a hunt-and-peck kind of typer, you're going to find the information you want faster with a mobile version of a drug handbook than a paper one, not to mention the fact that this one won't weigh your pockets down. That said, this is a pretty new app, which means kinks are still being worked out. For one, while I don't consider myself the least bit technologically challenged, I had a small bit of trouble downloading the full version of the app. Second, I found a couple of minor bugs, but they've already been fixed - great response time by the publisher! Others' reviews of this app were similar: a great app if you can get it working properly, which some people were able to easily, some were not. There is a free version as well, but you won't get too far with it: that would be like buying a drug handbook with pages missing. Get the full version if you really want to be able to utilize this as a mobile drug handbook. (If you're concerned about glitches, I have to put in a good word for the publisher: they responded and fixed an issue I found within 36 hours.)

Now for the best part: I have a code you can win, so you can play around with it yourself! Enter your information below for your chance to win.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the Nursing Drug Handbook for review; however this review is entirely my own. You can make friends with them yourself here or find them here.