One last thing

I saw Spitfire today for the last time and I could not have asked for a better parting gift from her than these words.


Over and out

As of Thursday afternoon, I will be on maternity leave! I'm not due until the end of the month, but I had some comp time to either use or lose, and I'm choosing to use it. 

Things I will miss:
1. The students

Things I will not miss:
1. Everything else: parents, teachers, the politics of it all, commuting...

Even though my year is being cut short, it's been a doozy of a time that I've mostly been omitting on this blog. The restructuring of our nursing staff - adding on LVNs before figuring out how best to utilize everyone - has taken a toll on everyone. One of our nurses made a very serious error and went on paid administrative leave for three months pending an "investigation" into the matter while we all had to fill in for each other and step up our own game, only for her to return bragging about her 3 month paid vacation. Worse, she's now been rewarded with the lightest assignment of us all because she's proven her lack of integrity and can't be trusted around students. Let's just say this: there's a serious downside to unions sometimes. Frustration and lack of morale has reached an all time high, certainly in my time here, and the more veteran nurses that have been here 15+ years agree. 

In all the mess, it's easy to lose sight of why we're here: to take care of the kids. I'll miss Spitfire and many others, and have been totally amused by Spitfire's ability to make it clear to everyone how she feels about the situation. Kids are just kids, and it's a shame to have watched them become less of a priority to nurses and other staff alike. It's been a real challenge to keep this blog going this year simply because just trying to keep afloat in the drama of everything going on with our health staff has put the kids on the back-burner, unfortunately. 

But for now, it's my turn to focus on my own baby. I may or may not be back here; my world is about to change and I don't really know what to expect. Add me to Feedly or whatever blog subscriber you use if you'd like; but until later, in the words of the kids around here: SEE YA! 


A new one

It's rare that I come across a new problem these days, but I did this morning. The principal called me into his office at one of my elementary schools: rumor had it one of the fifth graders was pregnant, and he thought it best if I address it with her directly. I agreed, and talked with the girl who vehemently denied the possibility. Still: rumors gone wild about a girl being pregnant at an elementary school?? The principal even said that in 29 years of being involved in education, he's never come across a rumor like this at the elementary level...ugh. Let's all just hope it really is just a rumor. 


Spitfire strikes again

Next week is my last week before maternity leave starts, so we decided the LVN that I'd been training would cover Spitfire on her own Monday so that she could get a feel for things. Well, she lived up to her a nickname...

First, she asked the LVN what she was doing there, and the LVN explained that I'd be on leave soon so she wanted to get acquainted with her. Spitfire's retort: "Well, you better not kill me or else my mom will be really mad." Now that's a way to make a new nurse feel welcome. 

Second, she returned after lunch for her insulin, but then left again quickly saying she'd be right back...And of course, she never came back, and the LVN had to go hunt her down. I had to explain to the LVN that she most definitely did not forget, she was just testing the new nurse to see what she could get away with. 

The following day, I had a little chat with Spitfire about her behavior, and hopefully it won't happen again. Still, I couldn't help but laugh at it: the girl has some serious spunk and is making it clear to everyone that she is none too happy about my impending absence. 


Teachers as nurses

Why is it that certain teachers will demand a nurse's opinion on something, only to disregard it immediately? 

Exhibit A: A teacher sent a student down to my office with a note about an "abscess" in her mouth. I had the third grader open wide, and found her pointing to an incoming tooth that, while not growing in straight, looked totally healthy. Pink, not red, nothing oozing, no inflammation. I called her mom to tell her about it, and had a pleasant conversation in which we agreed that she'd make an appointment with the dentist, and I'd keep her at school and send her back to class. Later in the day at lunch, that student's teacher stormed into my office to ask why I wasn't doing anything more about the supposed abscess. I asked her as politely as I could if she had even looked in her student's mouth, as it all looked good in there to me. No, she admitted, but her student had called it an abscess so she figured it was infected. Okay...Pardon me for not accepting self-diagnoses by third graders...Even after I explained why I did not believe anything was terribly wrong with the student, she was still clearly peeved and stormed back out - apparently my opinion was the wrong opinion.