Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tales of a school nurse

I have decided that school nurses should write a book. A book about what the kids tell them during the day -the funny things that happen. The incredible busy days. The days that are filled with seeing kids minor or major problems, talking to parents - talking parents down from a ledge, being a middle man between the teachers and kids or the teachers and parents. Listening to the teachers problems, listening to the kids problems, listening to the parents problems. Carrying all of those problems on our shoulders all day and trying hard not to take it home with us. Nurses have a undeniable need to save the world. We will fix it all, I promise you!! And we will try to do it all in one day. Or, in my case this week - two days.

This week has been a little crazy at work. I have many things going on and I am trying to balance them all. I have a few kids at school that don't want to be there. For many different reasons - school is hard, the teacher is mean, on and on. They get quickly overwhelmed and are in my office with a panic attack. I have become the safe place to be during the school day. I am fine with that. BUT - I feel that a big part of my job is to keep these kids in school and in class. So, I am going about trying to make that happen. We have worked some plans with these kids and I am glad to be a part of it - hoping that it will lead to school success. Today, the mom of the one girl came into the office demanding to see me (I was doing screenings and my office staff is very protective of me) because this mom wanted me to get her daughter out of the car. (the daughter didn't want to attend school). The mom likes me and the daughter trusts me, and I would have done it. But the other nurses in my district said the office did the right thing. I constantly need to be reminded that I can't help them all ALL the time. I have to have limits too, or I will surely sink. But I did see this girl during the day to reassure her that I was proud that she got out of the car and came to school.

I have been doing screenings again this week - hearing and vision. This week - 3rd grade. Though just as cute as the 4th graders - not as cooperative. They are definitely wilder! They have to be constantly reminded to sit still and wait their turn. What is going to happen when I get to Kindergarten?? Ha! I can just imagine. But it has been fun. It definitely took longer to get through my screenings today with them, but still not bad!

In the 7 days we have been in October (5 days of school) I have seen kids in my office 148 times. That is an average of 30 kids a day. If that was all I needed to do - piece of cake! But I have much more going on than that. I am definitely not complaining - I love it! I do. I do end my day wishing I had words of wisdom for my "frequent fliers" that would keep them in class, or for the teachers who feel like they need to be involved in all the kids medical issues (and help me for some reason), for the teachers who worry too much, or not enough; for the parents who can't seem to let go and let their kids be kids! I am the "fix it now" lady. :) It is quite funny sometimes!!

But there are the really funny moments that keep it so great. Yesterday I had a little boy come into my office (1st grade) who said to me - "I need bandaids for my pointer fingers so that I can't put my fingers up my nose". Trying SO hard not to giggle, I take him very seriously, and put bandaids on both of his fingers. He tries to put those fingers up his nose, fails, and says "these will work" and leaves the office". THEN - I crack up.

Or I have a kid tell me today that he thinks that school is "jail for kids". Ah, I think, "this is true in so many ways". Can't legally escape, and have to serve out a 13 year sentence. But still a riot. Here is me constantly telling my own kids - school is great! School is awesome! School is the best thing that you can do with your life! And this is what the kids are thinking - "this is just like jail". Hm.

I had another girl come in this week (a kindergartener) who got scratched by her cat. I said to her, "you should tell your cat to be nicer to you". She looks at me and says (smiling) "my cat can't talk!" "Oh!" I tell her "I didn't realize!" But then she thought for a minute and said, "but I can speak cat". Okay...... "Well" I say "then in your best CAT, tell her not to scratch you anymore". She thinks this over and says, "I don't know all of THOSE words in cat". Right.

So they keep me laughing. It is a fun job. I think back over the 11 years I have been a nurse, and what I USED to do and the children's funerals I have attended, the happy times I have had, and I realize that even with all the weight we carry, nurses are the one of the most passionate groups of people you will meet. With each loss, we saw a miracle in return. We lean on each other for support, and keep going for the next child who needs us. I am a little biased, but I believe that there is no tighter nit of professionals than nurses. Teamwork is the whole basis of our day - how could we not be a great group????

Anyway, moving on!!!

The kids are all doing great. Arlington has been working on "kid writing". She LOVES learning to spell words. Kid writing has them learn to spell by writing what they hear. She gets pretty close a lot of the time. She is getting better at telling me about her day and she said today they learned science for the first time. She was excited about that! They took a nature walk at school today as well, and her teacher took their picture - it is so cute! I give her teacher a lot of credit - a nature walk with 18 5 year olds. That would be interesting!!! But she is a great, great teacher. I sure hope she is there when the babies go to Kindergarten. Arlington doesn't have any activities this week - it is a quiet week. No soccer and no daisy scouts! Just school and fun.

Cainan is doing well. I think this is a speech free week. He had two appointments last week, so he doesn't have anything going on this week. He said "baby Michael" this week. (you know, Finley's doll baby). It was cute. We are still working on Cainan answering more than just "yes and no" questions. His progress is slow, but sure. We do see changes in his speech and demeanor.

And Finley. Ah, our Finley. Finley is in a category all her own!! Well, for starters (a good thing) she "did her business" in the potty twice this week! Once at school and once at home. AT school she acutally told the teachers she needed to go! That was a first! We are looking forward to the day she is out of diapers! But today, our little girl decided at school she wasn't going to nap. Instead, she kept getting off her cot and tapping everyone on the shoulder trying to wake them up to play. UGH!!! The teachers weren't mad - they think Finley is hilarious. But I would love to go to school for ONE STRAIGHT WEEK and not hear something that Finley did that she shouldn't! :)

Yesterday we cut open our pumpkin we got this weekend and got out the seeds and roasted them. The kids are loving them! They are a fun snack. The kids helped clean out the pumpkin. All in their own way. Arlington, neatly used a spoon to scoop out the insides (the babies tried this - didn't work). Cainan, well, our little boy still has some sensitivities to "gooey" things (he doesn't like to be dirty) and he tried really hard to get the seeds out without touching any of the pumpkin goo. And Finley - well what do you think our little "care free" baby did?? Laughing miniacley she reaches in and just starts squishing all the pumpkin goo between her fingers and having a good old time!

The kids also wore their halloween pajamas (thanks to Gramma) these last nights. They couldn't wait any longer! So I took a few pictures. I think the one picture Cainan is giving his best monster face!

And finally - there are a few pictures of tonights costume parade. Not Halloween costumes. Just Arlington's dress up costumes. Now, I need to explain about Cainan. Our poor little boy has two sisters. That statement alone would explain why he is dressed.....like Cinderella. He was very proud of that costume, and, well, I wasn't about to ruin his fun! So, instead, I took his picture. We do sometimes call him "Cinderfella" because he likes to clean up and the girls don't! Poor baby - I need to get him some boy costumes!

Anyway, I am going to watch the debate. For those of you who don't know me - I will come out and tell you. I am an Obama supporter, and all the debates in the world won't change my mind. I am a left winged liberal. Always have been, always will be. I am proud of the person I am and the beliefs I have. But that is a discussion for another day.

Enjoy the pictures!


Anonymous said...

Pumpkin guts are gross, so I can't blame Cainan!


The Kovalls said...

OK, so the dress up pics are AWESOME! I love Cainan as Cinderfella and Arlington bearing her midriff as Jasmine! Hilarious :-)

The Murray Crew said...

Oh the days of hearing screenings. "When you hear the beep, I need you to raise your hand real high in the air (like this), and then put it back down and listen for the next beep, okay?" Repeat 450x in one day!!!!! (I was a SLP pre-quads)

God Bless and Thanks for Following our Journey!

Danielle said...

I support Obama too! The nurses bat my old school were not very nice. but they liked me so we got on well enough. That band-aid trick for nose picking is way too funny. We haven't opened our pupkin yet!