This is a vent, please bear with my rambling. So the past 2 weeks have been pretty slow and uneventful around here. I decide to quit procrastinating and start getting my hearing and vision screenings done before cold and flu season really hits full force. I have a clinic full of 5th graders waiting to be screened, and the usual kids who get morning meds are trickling in. Busier than usual, but nothing I can't handle. All of sudden a teacher comes knocking on the window to my office while I'm in the middle of a screening, and tells me our receptionist is in the lounge and doesn't feel well. This receptionist tends to be dramatic yet very vague when I try to assess her symptoms. I know this is going to be a long, drawn out ordeal that may or may not have a definitive resolution. She says she feels funny and has pain in her left arm. I start arranging for transport to the ER, because I'm not going to waste time and try to diagnose what may be going on with her. She was hospitalized last year for cardiac issues. She requests a staff member to take her instead of an ambulance, and has no family members nearby, so I need to pull the principal out of a meeting and ask if this is even possible. Long story long, the Assistant Principal ends up taking to the ER.
While this is going on, the parent of my unstable Type 1 diabetic comes storming into the office demanding to speak with me because she's "annoyed". I know from past experience that this is not going to be pleasant when she's annoyed. She's been heard screaming through the walls of the principal's office in the past. I have no idea what she could be annoyed about this time, but I'm dreading the meeting. So much that I actually broke down into tears at my desk. The first time I've ever done that and I hate myself for doing that. I just needed a moment to breathe and pull myself together, but I just couldn't seem to get it. Thankfully, no one came in with an injury while this happened.
All the meanwhile, my clinic assistant is standing there doing nothing. Not even having the sense to tell the screening kids to go back to class since I clearly will not be able to finish them this morning. She actually tried to get me to take a phone call from another parent while this was all going on.
So anyway, everything eventually gets handled. The conversation with the annoyed parent went surprisingly smoothly. The receptionist was admitted and is undergoing testing. Now for the past several hours I've been sitting here in an empty clinic twiddling my thumbs. I would love to do some screenings right now, but teachers don't like to do it in the middle of the day. I haven't even been a school nurse for one full school year yet, but it always goes down like this. Last year, a student had a seizure, and while I'm taking care of her, a parent fell in the parking lot and hurt her ankle....just sitting there in the parking lot until I come check her out. Two weeks ago, I had a student who pooped their pants, and I mean a huge mess all the way down the legs, and as soon as we got his pants off, the fire alarm goes off! And it wasn't a drill. Aaaarrggh!!! Why??? Can't it ever get spread out over the course of a day? I guess I just need to learn to expect it and not get so upset when it happens. Thanks for listening.
Sep 30, '11
The joys of school nursing. And someone recently on this forum said it was boring, lol. Yawn indeed.
IME this job is either feast or famine. Hey, I think you did great. That is a lot to handle at once. Everyone is entitled to a mini-breakdown now and then! It's how you pull yourself up and get the job done that counts
Oct 4, '11
vent away vent away!! This happens all the time.You handled everything fine. Give yourself a pat on the back grab some tea and enjoy the day!!!
Oct 4, '11
....not a school nurse, but to me, the receptionist and the parking lot parent would have been obvious ambulance calls. You don't have the training/resources to do anything. or the time, obviously. goo luck
Oct 4, '11
Yeah- we all have days like that. Lucky for me I have a nice sized closet that I have gone into once or twice to scream.
There seems to be this idea of immediate service with school nursing that almost gets taken for granted. When someone does actually have to wait for service, their injury or illness becomes a catastrophe. I'll be that the parent that twisted their ankle would have gotten up and went inside if they twisted their ankle at their own house. How many times have you been busy - maybe charting - and have a student come in with a headache and STARE at you with the evil glare because you told them to hold on while you finish your thought. Average wait time in a physician's office 20-30 minutes. Average wait time in an ER - 15-45 minutes depending on emergencies. Average wait time in a school health clinic <2 minutes.
Oct 5, '11
Hmmmmm...I've been having way too much feasting, and not nearly enough famine since the beginning of school!
Oct 5, '11
Thaaankkk you, my fellow school nurses for your support! So nice to know we're all going through the same thing. Had a good day today, then as I was just about to leave, a teacher ran in and told me a student was choking!! Almost had a heart attack myself. By the time I got there she managed to dislodge the piece of candy enough for her to cough and breathe. Thankfully, she ended up just fine. All in a day's work. I really do love my job!
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