Being a school nurse is pretty newsworthy. Heck! Being a nurse is pretty newsworthy. I remember when I was a hospice nurse I would try to remember to remove my name badge when I went into stores like grocery stores. The checker would notice.
“Oh, you are a hospice nurse. God’s got a place for you in heaven. You are such wonderful people.” They would say something like this, and I’d usually feel uncomfortable.
“I am sure He’s got a place for awful hospice nurses like me; folks don’t want me as their nurse.” They would look all puzzled…until I added my punch line, “All my patients die.”
It’d take them a moment to process this, but they’d get it…eventually.
The point is, being a nurse…school nurse…draws the interest of laypersons. I like to think of us school nurses as the Harry Potter types and the laypersons as all the Muggles. Tell me we school nurses don’t have some kick-butt, mad magic skills? It’s totally “magic” that we nurses can check the “volume” of a rectal vault with only one-one hundredths of a inch of nitrile between the bare flesh of our own finger and the “inner workings” of a total stranger’s “area” that has never seen the light of day. Magic! Totally! (May it be known to all that this is not a SCHOOL nurse function)
We school nurses (and our schools) often make the news. Some of the stories show us school nurses at our best and some…well…not so much. Then other articles are just downright stupid (can I say “stupid” as a school nurse?). Have you ever read some of these news articles and felt that you had the perfect commentary for the report?
Take for example this article:
Apparently this mother was in the elementary school to pick up another child of hers. Meanwhile, her year-and-a-half old toddler daughter was hungry, and she began to breastfeed her. Yes, a child old enough to have her “pointy fang teeth” (as described in this article)…but that’s her private and God-given prerogative. Que the “breastfeeding gestapo.” I say “breastfeeding gestapo” as a pun. This is an elementary school, and one of the faculty members asked her to cover up.
I am not real sure that the issue is the act of breastfeeding itself but…maybe…hummm…let me be careful here… The article did report that the breastfeeding mother said, “This really needs to be a teachable moment for everyone, that whether you support breastfeeding or not, this is the law.” Was her focus on the hungry baby or the “teachable moment”?
I will not venture any extensive commentary on the specific act of breastfeeding other than I am in support of breastfeeding 100%. I will not venture toward the specifics of breastfeeding in public. It’s allowed by Colorado law and…well…that’s all I am going to say about that.
“In order to solve the problem of school refusal, says Daniels, you need to get to the root cause. At its core, it’s usually an anxiety issue (i.e., your kid is not just being a morning-ruining jerk).”
It’s so true. I have three children that come see me each morning for their daily pep talk. Actually, four do a bunch of other stuff as well. We all planted an amaryllis bulb before the Thanksgiving break, and each morning they come to my office, “Nurse Kevin, is it growing! Is it growing?”
What we have found with these three (who have all become friends) is that the visits to the nursing office later in the day have gone from all of the time to NONE of the time (for real!). The mother of one child reports that the child has dramatically improved since we first started this morning-visit time with ol’ Nurse Kevin.
They may not have gone from hating school to loving school, but we have them more “in the middle.” Hey! It’s a start, right?
This article says, “Through Hazel’s in-school virtual medical clinics, students receive instant access to a network of doctors for speedy diagnoses and care plans, including urgent care for acute issues, health screenings, mental and behavioral health evaluations, over-the-counters, and prescriptions.”
(How about this one: Hermosa’s new school nurse is an iPad)
I am not saying this is a bad thing. What I am saying is that there is NOTHING like an assessment by an in-the-same-room, flesh-and-blood school nurse, nurse, PA, NP, or doctor. We assess by sight, feel, SMELL, and hearing (though I ain’t no fan of this AT ALL, but TASTE was a factor back in the 1830s). Dr. Herbert Mayo said that the taste of diabetic urine was, “always decidedly saccharine”. Hummm…yea…that’s…well…
Have you ever had a child in your office whom you felt NEEDED to go home. And, you knew that if the mother you were calling could see her child, she would come right away to pick her up? But instead, she suggested to you, the school nurse, “Can you give her (the child) an Ibuprofen and call me back if she doesn’t get better?”
Here’s another concern. Have you ever tried to call your mortgage service center, your Internet service provider, or any number of companies that have outsourced their “service department” to another country? I am pretty sure the original service department resided in the same country you were receiving the goods and services from. Now, I am not saying that the customer service people are “no good.” I have given many 5 Stars for the service calls I have received from non-English-speaking persons. But, sometimes…the language and cultural differences cause a miscommunication.
When they outsource (and they will) health care to another country (trust me…it’ll happen), you may find your job taken by a nurse giving a consultation to an office staff member at your school. That office staff member may end up relying on instruction from a medical professional 4,000 miles away, with your district paying a monthly premium for the services.
There’s nothing better than a child who needs to Go See The Nurse and gets a nurse that can hear, see, touch, and…smell… (I am going to pass on the taste part altogether).
Now, if someone is saying, “Like in the 1800s, we no longer need someone to taste urine; we have technology to take the place of that.” Regardless of the fact that the “someone” ain’t gonna be an awesome school nurse like you, they do have a valid point…but then again, not really. Who’s going to interpret the findings? We also have X-ray machines and that technology requires a whole ‘nother group of professionals to perform and to interpret the findings.
More about Hazel Health @ https://hazel.co/
That’s all for this week. Any news going on that you’d like me to mention? Other than that…stay out of the limelight and stay in the hearts of those young-uns.