Victory at last.

The lice policy, yes, that old thing that I brought to my boss's attention eons ago, is finally in effect. The new policy reflects current recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics and Department of Public Health, only excluding students in cases of active head lice as opposed to our outdated "nit-free" policy we used to have. 

We received approval from our boss to enforce it yesterday afternoon, and I wasn't at work for more than 20 minutes this morning before the secretary came to me complaining about it. "Do the people that wrote this thing know everyone is going to have lice now?" I conveniently forgot to mention the fact that it was actually me that wrote it, and just pretended to sympathize with feigned disgust at the new policy, while mentioning as politely as I could that our district is in fact behind the times in adapting the not-as-new-anymore recommendations regarding lice in school. What I also definitely did not mention was what the insides of me were trying to refrain from shouting: 

FINALLY!!!!!!!! It's about damn time. 

May evidence-based practice always win, eventually. 


Other duties...

Today I spent twenty minutes fixing the lock on the medication cabinet at the Institution, because getting someone to place a work order (I can't place one myself) just takes too long and even longer to see the results. It had been broken since the day before, and I just really wanted to lock up the oodles of Ritalin and other fun stuff in there...Nurses are weird like that.



At the Special Place, there is a severely epileptic (and also adorable and sweet) student that requires Ativan in case of a seizure. Yes, you read that right: she takes Ativan orally at the onset of a seizure so as to stop it from continuing. Apparently it is not as nutty as it sounds; she'll begin a seizure, then it will pause momentarily, long enough to have her take the Ativan. (When I was first given the notes on this student, all I could wonder was how in the world we were going to give an oral medication during a tonic clonic seizure, as it was originally described to me.) 

After much discussion with our nursing coordinator, we decided that the medication could and should indeed be kept in a locked cabinet in the classroom in case of emergency. The guardian had already dropped off the Ativan for the student, so once I had a pretty care plan all written up, I brought it and the medication to the teacher. I told the teacher what I had in my hands - he had already volunteered for it to be kept in the classroom, and knew what its purpose would be - and when I said it was the student's Ativan, his response was, "Should I give it to her now?" This as the epileptic student was quietly eating her lunch.

I think my heart stopped momentarily when I heard that, and is the precise reason I *hate* having to allow medication in the classroom. Teachers have other priorities, and health just isn't their first. Needless to say, I gave the teacher and classroom aides a LONNNNNNNNNNG lecture on when and how to give the Ativan, followed by an email with the principal cc'ed including an in depth description of Ativan, its side effects, and a note to please contact the student's guardian to directly discuss the student's behavior during seizures, just so he'd have to listen to it repeated again. Ugh. 


Clean your cuts

Sea snail hatches, grows inside California boy's knee after scrape at the beach. I should start using this as an example when kids protest my efforts to thoroughly clean their injuries.


Day 2

At The Special Place, a student escaped, but only temporarily, and a teacher was bit on the arm and punched in the face by one of her students. There may only be 40 students on site, but I think they might turn out to be an exciting bunch. A new nurse was hired to replace our retired one, and now I'm thinking I may not give back the Special Place: the office is huge, I am buddies with the secretary from a previous school, and I like the excitement that comes with working with that population.

At The Institution, my diabetic is probably going to prove to be the most compliant, easiest student I've probably ever worked with. When you've worked with some nightmare-ish families, you really notice the difference when you get lucky with an easy one.

And I will leave you with this: Avoid the 'back-to-school plague'. I will vouch for the fact that drinking fountains gross the heck out of me, particularly when kids suck on the end of them like they're lollipops...child after child on line sucking on the same piece of wet metal. Gross, gross, gross.


Back in the saddle again

I started back at work on Monday, with students returning today. With one of our nurses having retired last year, I knew changes would lay ahead for this year, but they're less drastic than I'd anticipated (phew). I have Diabetic Land elementary school with Spitfire diabetic for the 2nd or 3rd year now; Disneyland elementary school, land of happy teachers and poor students in the ghetto, for the 4th year in a row; and I am continuing with the "Institution" as it shall be dubbed, where the students refer to me as ma'am, there is NO talking in the hallways, ever, and everyone is neatly buckled into crisp uniforms. Instead of adding a high school to the mix, I somehow accidentally volunteered myself, while still waking up during our Monday morning meeting to discuss assignments, for...well, I'll just call it the Special Place. There's only 40 or so students, grades K-12, and all have severe behavioral and/or medical issues preventing them from being at any of the district's other schools. I thought it'd be a breeze, but have spent countless hours this week creating care plans for everyone, and have had to essentially neglect my other schools. Luckily, they know me, and know I'll get to them eventually. Also, someone's P.O. came to the Special Place to check up on them today, and I'm led to believe this is a normal occurrence there. (I'll be keeping my phone in my pocket at that site.) 

Having to get up in the morning and leave my comfy bed and lovable pets has been a rough adjustment, but it's conversations like the one I had with Spitfire today that eventually make it worth it: 
Spitfire (staring at a new-to-her ring on my left hand): Are you engaged or something?
Me: Yes...Is that okay?
Spitfire: What?! I didn't even know you had a boyfriend. Are you old enough to be engaged??
Me: I'm 28, what do you think?
Spitfire: Oh, okay, I guess that's okay. Weird.