I just gave my 7th (or is 8th?) Epi pen this week. Full body hives, mouth tingling, dry cough, nasal congestion - one look and I just grabbed the stock Epi I had.
I remember the first Epi-pen I gave; 3:30 pm on a Friday, just about to walk out the door. School had been out for 30 minutes. I am literally at my car, when dean of students calls my name to say "I think a kid is allergic to something." Walk in. Kid covered head to toe in angry hives, coughing - has known peanut allergy and accidentally ate peanut twix vs regular twix after school. I ran to to my office (I was surprised how quickly I just ran!), grabbed kid's Epi-pen, stuck them, called 911.
Afterwards, I was an emotional MESS. Heart pumping, sat in my car and actually cried a little before I could drive home. Had a glass wine ready (I have a great husband) when I did get home.
But in the moment? I just did it. I had reviewed what to do a LOT - I was really a very new both RN and school nurse - it was my first year of nursing. When it came time, instinct and adrenaline kicked in.
When I gave Epi this week, the adrenaline was still there, but I had experience behind me. But still had take some time for me after before I headed home.
How can you be ready? Just prep for it - like you said, I don't have any other magic advice. When the time comes (and it likely will), you may be very, very surprised how you can kick fear into the corner of your brain and focus on patient care.
Okay, maybe one more thing - make sure your to go bag is stocked and easy to grab. Get to know your students - this takes time. If I'm told possible allergic reaction, I throw my stock Epi-pen and benadryl into my Go bag. I ask student name - student with seizure and meds - throw them into the Go bag. Student's emergency meds are labeled and kept in a shoe organizer on the wall in my office, so I can grab Epi-pens, Seizure meds, Inhalers super fast.