The Student and the School Nurse

During my clinical day with Mrs. R, there was one interaction in particular that stuck out in my mind. A student had visited Mrs. R early in the morning shortly after my arrival and handed her, what appeared to be a thank-you card.

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  • Specializes in Developmental Disabilities.

Privately, Mrs. R described this student as a usually happy-go-lucky individual who did very well in school and was well liked by many of her peers. One morning, however, she received a phone call from one of this student's teachers explaining to Mrs. R that the student appeared to be severely intoxicated. Mrs. R described her shock and disbelief to me and awaited the student to be escorted to her office. A few minutes later the student appeared in her office arm in arm with two staff supporting a clearly drunk young adolescent.

Through tear-soaked eyes, the student confessed to Mrs. R that she was indeed drunk after consuming a large quantity of whiskey which she had let others believe was apple juice. She expressed fears of what was going to happen to her now and told the nurse that her life was over. Her main concern was getting kicked out of school. Mrs. R ensured the student that since she was honest about the incident, the student would not have to worry about being expelled. Mrs. R did explain to her however that a meeting would have to take place with her and her mother involved to discuss what had occurred today.

When they all sat down around the conference table, Mrs. R remembers clearly how downcast the student appeared. The student's eyes would not meet hers and she resolved herself to staring at her hands folded in front of her. After the hearing had commenced, the conversation quickly turned to the "why" of that matter. Neither Mrs. R nor anyone else in the room was prepared for what they were about to hear.

"Is it because we're homeless, student?" the mother asked without hesitation or hint of a qualm in her voice.

Mrs. R paused for a moment before describing to me what happened next. After everyone stopped looking at each other incredulously, Mrs. R explained, an open and therapeutic conversation commenced that allowed the student to express her feelings without fear of judgment or punishment. The student's mother explained that if she had only had $595 dollars for a security deposit on an apartment they wouldn't be in this predicament. The student explained that all of this was indeed why she had stolen the alcohol from her sister's boyfriend's house.

After the conclusion of the meeting, Mrs. R took up a collection for the student and mother to assist them to get a roof over their heads. She made the necessary calls to ensure that the apartment was still available and asked the landlord to give her a few days to come up with the cash, which he obliged. The staff at the school readily gave whatever money they could to Mrs. R to help this student and her mother get the much-needed roof over their head. Not only did Mrs. R have enough money after a couple days for the security deposit, but she also was able to afford them a $100 gift card to assist them in buying groceries.

Hearing this story, it was hard to believe that the happy-go-lucky, smiling student that I saw in the office who had given Mrs. R that simple but much-deserved thank-you note was the same girl Mrs. R had just described to me. Mrs. R deserves to be looked highly upon, both as a future nurse and as a human being.

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Has 5 years experience.

Good story, thanks :)

Seishiro

1 Article; 39 Posts

Specializes in Developmental Disabilities.

Thanks, I appreciate it. I know it's not of the caliber that most of the articles on here reach, but it's a personal story that I wanted to share, nonetheless.

MADHAT6

54 Posts

what a beautiful story,you made my day,thanks

SchoolNurseBSN

381 Posts

Specializes in school nursing. Has 4 years experience.

From a school nurse of 3 years - thanks for the post! School nurses take on so many varied roles - cheerleader, social worker, stand in parent, counselor, friend, parole officer (no joke). Every once in a while - we also get to dress a wound!!

spnanita

13 Posts

Thats a great story. There seems to be alot of homeless children with parents that we dont even know about. My kids school nurse is the best. She even lets me know on the phone if she feels my sons are really sick or just wants to come home... either way they have to rest!:rolleyes:

longbow.shelly

89 Posts

My first thought after reading this... "WOW!"

It truly does take a special person to be a good nurse. There's a really good lesson here: Things aren't always what they seem.

Nur_1996

1 Article; 142 Posts

Specializes in Camp/LTC/School/Hospital. Has 14 years experience.

Great story! You are special:yeah:

Seishiro

1 Article; 39 Posts

Specializes in Developmental Disabilities.
Great story! You are special:yeah:

...erm... thanks?