Thursday, February 6, 2014

a new respect for school office employees

I don't know about your school districts, but we have very few "school nurses" in our area. Budget cuts have done away with this position. There are still some who travel from school to school but gone are the days of an R.N. being in the Nurse's Office at school.

Most of the time it's the office employees who function as nurse. They call if your child is injured, or not feeling good and need to come home. Sure, they know this is now part of their position and most of the time they probably deal with fairly minor situations.

But sometimes, they get quite a bit more than they signed up for.

Especially when this one ends up in your office.

 She's fierce.

Wednesday morning she was up at 6am saying her stomach hurt. But she was still her goofy self, talkative and energetic. She ate breakfast and only complained once or twice more about her stomach--so I didn't give it much thought.

At 10:45am when I saw a call coming through from her school, I cringed. Sure enough they told me she was in the office, crying with a stomachache. I was at school, an hour away--but thankfully my babysitter was able to pick her up early.

Around 10:55am another call came through. Yes, Lily did vomit and yes it was "quite a lot." I assured them the babysitter was on her way and would be there shortly. The woman I was talking to said Mrs. X would be there when the babysitter arrived. I didn't give that statement much thought.

I decided to leave school early instead of have Bean come home. So an hour later I was with my girl who was definitely sick with a stomach virus.

Lily was very distraught that she couldn't eat "lunch or dinner or breakfast?" Even though she was vomiting water. Girl still wanted to eat.


We got through the worst yesterday and it was a difficult start to the night, but of course as soon as she was in bed with me (and Bean was freezing and uncomfortable on our broken couch) she slept like a log.


This morning Lily was more chatty and started telling me things like "there was orange in my throw up" (she had just finished a tangerine for a snack) and "the nurse said it was okay because she lived close to the school and can go home to take a shower and change her clothes."

Whoa...rewind that please.

She was going home to change? Because my child vomited on her. My babysitter had mentioned they told her the vomit was also projectile.

This just gets better. Or actually worse.

Shortly after this conversation I needed to call the school to report her absence. As soon as I said her name the woman who answered the phone asked how she was doing and said she was the one who called me yesterday. I also found out that Lily was very upset that she threw up and was crying and asking if she needed to have surgery.

So the poor vomit-covered school secretary is comforting my sick child and assuring her that she won't need surgery simply because she threw up. (can we say a little PTSD from her fevers and tonsillectomy?)

Mrs. P was so gracious on the phone and brushed off the fact that she had to leave to shower and change after my child vomited on her.

Clearly I will be bringing thank-you's and gifts into the office in the near future.

And praying that she doesn't get the flu. Because everyone I know who's had it or come into close contact has had it wipe through their entire house.

I am on pins and needles waiting to see who goes down next in our house.

All that to say---I have a new respect for the ladies (and yes, the gentleman too) who work in school offices. They provide so much to our children.

As a soon to be nurse, I know I'm signing up to be covered in all sorts of bodily fluids. Many of these office ladies started when there were nurses and this is a new role for them.

So thank you ladies (and gents) of the school office. Hopefully you can look back and laugh and be entertained by our sweet Lilybug.

She really is a love.