Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Just When You Need Them the Most

For about five years we had a wonderful nurse at The School. We loved her. Nurse Bee was a dream. She was warm, and fuzzy, and smart, and was just the perfect middle school nurse. However, she wanted to go on to school to become an RN so she had to leave.

And so we started a new school year in August with a new nurse.

Who, after our September flu epidemic, decided that at 60, she wasn't cut out for the fast pace of middle school medicine.

So we got a new nurse who was young and sweet and just a delight.

Who, having just moved to the area, had some childcare issues and had to quit to stay home with her children (probably a good idea economically considering what the cost of childcare is versus the wage of a school nurse.)

We are now nurseless.

The Guidance Goddess and Guidance Diva are doing their best to deal with the dispensing of meds (which is mindblowing) but if it's a headache, an injury, flu, pestilence, plague or anything else that a middle schooler may be experiencing, it's a call home so the parents can come fetch the little darling and haul their infectious little rear end home.

Where they should stay until they are are well and not able to spread their little germs everywhere.

So, of course, this week we have an outbreak of stomach flu. Not just the "I feel icky" kind of stomach issues, but the real "I have to go to the bathroom now to barf!" variety. Fortunately all my children have made it to the bathroom and we haven't had any incidents in the hall or the classroom - so far.

Honestly, you know this is real. You can't fake green pallor after all. (Even Skater Goober with his make-up can't look this ill.) When they come up to you with That Look, you simply point to the door and tell them to run like the wind.

"I need to go to the nurse," one of the kids will say, clutching the edge of a desk, or wiping their hand across a sweating brow.

"We have no nurse. You'll have to call home." And off I go to fill out the phone pass so they can go up to the front office to call home. (I hope they are disinfecting the phone between calls.)

This works out okay as long as you can get a hold of a parent. Sometimes you can't. (It helps, I might add, to have a working phone number on file on the emergency card when the kid can't remember the parent phone number because they're too busy losing their lunch in the front office restroom.) If we can't get a hold of a parent, they're back in class, looking like death warmed over. At this point I just tell them to chose an isolation seat (my kids all sit at tables which are great for group work and passing along germs) where they can sit and put their head down.

Three more days...


Jim Connolly said...

When they don't make it to the restroom, we call it a CODE V, and the custodian brings his magic powder to make it all go away.

We don't have a nurse most of the time, either. We have a health clerk, who is awesome, but still is mainly there to take temperatures and call parents. A real RN-type-nurse would be great, but they're expensive, so we have to share w/ other schools, no matter what day-to-day health issues we have in addition to the just-sick-for-now kids.

Dan Edwards said...

YOU, stay well. Have a Merry Christmas and a super 2010!

HappyChyck said...

Eegads! I'm stingy with the restroom passes, but I have a standing rule that if you are going to barf, RUN!
Of course, nobody remembers it when it's most important, but--knock on wood--we haven't have issues yet.

Yes, you stay well! Almost there...

So, Merry Christmas!

Darren said...

I'm with HappyChyck. Our class scheduling is such that students shouldn't *need* to leave class for a restroom break.

However, being a Star Trek fan I have my own version of the Prime Directive, and that is NO BARFING IN CLASS. Don't even ask, just get up and run.

It's worked so far....