Thursday, December 22, 2011

The School Nurse's Christmas Card!

The School Nurse’s Christmas Card

Listen dear teachers and you shall hear
A verse from the nurse now that Christmas is near

Belly aches, head aches, popped wires in braces,
Hangnails and chapped lips and pimples on faces.

Viruses causing GI distress,
Tears and upsets cause “My life is a Mess!”

Kids with green faces approaching my door,
Barely over the threshold…all over the floor.

Tonsils that kiss, their throats are so sore,
Glands big as grapes—need I say more?

Earaches and heart aches, jammed thumb or finger,
Wheezes and sneezes and coughs that do linger.

Allergic reactions, occasional lice,
Contusions and bruises from falls on the ice.

“My Mom knows I’m sick, I’ve never felt worse,
She said, ‘go to school, and go to the nurse.’”

“I threw up on the bus, I felt like a jerk
But you can’t call my Mom, ‘cuz she’s gotta work.”

I love being your nurse, and I love all this stuff,
But by Christmas vacation, even I’ve had enough.

Enjoy your break, wipe the virus slate clear
And we’ll all start anew when we come back next year!

I hope that my poem doesn’t make you feel worse
For it comes with my love,

Merry Christmas!
 The School Nurse  


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Time Off...

As I'm craving time off work
& more time at home-
which seems to be just right
around the corner-
I'm reminded of the kids
I work with who despise the
idea of more time at home!

I'm not saying they love school,
but I think they do love
the comfort
of being at school. 
Some of kids tend to act out
right before the holidays-
starting about 2 weeks before.

Anyone else notice this?

Last week I witnessed fights,
kids getting arrested,
sadness & anxiety in students,
 and some are angry & confused too.

School seems to offer kids
some type of comfort...
a routine, and schedule that
perhaps is lacking from their home life!

At least at school they know (pretty much)
what to expect- a warm building, running water,
2 meals (maybe snacks) and a familiar routine.

At home their house might be cold and
lack running water, no meals, and a
chaotic if any routine.

It makes me so sad!
Does anyone else see
similar behaviors the
students they help?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I've Been Busy...

Who hasn't felt super busy these days?

For some reason I've been REALLY busy at work too...

Last week seemed like no exception!

Within 5 days, between the hours of 7:30 AM - 3:00 PM:

1.  There were 3 calls for the ambulance (rare, but necessary this week)
2.  nine (yes, 9) calls for the wheelchair

Not to mention the "typical" office duties which this week included:

3.  110 daily medications over the week
4.  About 275 general office visits
5.  Who knows how many phone calls
6.  Around 20 emails a day
7.  2 IEP meetings (which were both       l   o   n    g          (1.5 hours each)

Thankfully I have the assistance of 2 LPNs (both part time)
who are wonderful and help A LOT!
And a school resource officer who used to be a paramedic!!

Stack of individual student cards waiting to be filed away :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

School Nurse TV Series???

I was searching around on YouTube the other night and came across this video...

What in the world?

Was this really a series way back when
or is this totally made up?

Someone please help me figure this out!

How about those book titles he mentions
at the end of the video??!!##

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Dinner LISTS... @ Home

The days seem to be getting busier & shorter!
How is that possible?

Seems like I have so much to get done... @ home and @ work!
One of the things at home is figuring out
Whats for dinner?!

I enjoy lists (!) and thought I better make a
weekly dinner list for the upcoming week.
It really does seem to help our busy family.

So, here is the list we came up with...

Sunday- Chili- yum!
Monday- Breakfast for Dinner (kids choice) scrambled  eggs, bacon, toast...
Tuesday- Taco Tuesday- need I say more :)
Wednesday- grilled cheese & tomato soup (kids choice)
Thursday- a new family favorite... knock off KFC chicken tender bowls with mashed potatoes & lots of gravy, a little cheese and maybe even some bacon!
Friday- frozen pizza or left overs!

I'll feel really great if we manage to follow 3/5 nights :) 
Wish me luck!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Donation Day

Do you ever plan what you're going to do at work on a certain day?
And then you get to work and the entire plan implodes-
Happens to me all the time!

For instance...
On this particular day my office received
a ton of much needed donations.
All of the donations happened to occur
unannounced, on the same day, within hours of each other!

And so.... I had one messy office!

We received:
7 bags of clothes
20 hygiene bags
2 cases of sample size toothpastes
2 cases of toothbrushes

messy office

All of the items we received went to
very appreciative students!

It took a few days to clear things out ...
And now I'm enjoying  a clean office again.

clean office

I'm sure the clean office is short lived!- that is okay!
We receive a lot of great donations all of the time!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What Not to Say....

For years I've joked with students that
I want to be "nominated" for the TV show What Not to Wear-
evidently they all think I'm joking :)
However, I'm being a little serious-
I would love someone to help me figure out what to wear,
how to wear it well, and give me $ to buy cute stuff just for me!

Oops, I  got a little side tracked).... What Not to Say-
occasionally we are surrounded by awkward situations-
when we're just not 100% sure what to say.
You might have the urge to say things like:
  • Oh no, tell me everything that happened?
  • Wow- that must be horrible.  Are you okay?
  • I can't believe it. You must be so upset?
  • How are you doing?
Keep in mind, these pointed questions might work great-
at the right time & right setting.
Sometimes though, the person you're talking to
really doesn't want to answer such pointed questions. 
They feel like they're obligated though because they've been asked. 
Now they're struggling... do they honestly answer the question or
just lie and say "I'm fine" "It's no big deal" Don't worry about it"...

I was taught by one of the best school counselors ever (LAS)
that a simple phrase works so much better!  What to Say:
  • I hope you're feeling better today.
  • Good luck with everything.
  • Nice to see you smiling.
Hear the difference? 
The person you're talking to doesn't feel obligated
to answer such a pointed (maybe quite personal) question. 
You are wishing them well with a phrase that lets them know you care. 
 If they want to elaborate, they can...
If not they will thank you, remember your kindness,
and continue on with their day.

Hope you have a great day!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Who Am I? Slide #2

A few years ago I was asked to give a common childhood
communicable disease overview to a group of early childhood case managers....
I thought it might be fun to share the slides I went over.
The setting was pretty informal with a sort of a round table atmosphere.
It was a comfortable setting & very informational.
The participants (about 15) were able to
listen to the information I was sharing
and ask any questions they had!
I used the slide shows as my attention getter and
followed up with verbal information,
handouts I found on the CDC website & my state department website,
and time for questions and answers!

The one pre-requisite for this disease
is having had the chicken pox disease!

Who Am I?

CDC About Shingles

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Wash Your Hands!

Recently, I received a great email from a listserv
I subscribe to full of great information on handwashing!
Maybe you received the same email?
If not, I wanted to share some great, free resources!

As nurses (& adults) we know how important hand washing is!
Everyone should be washing their hands throughout the day-
especially after (or before) specific activities:

bathroom breaks
petting an animal
when your hands "feel" dirty
& the list goes on and on!

To help promote handwashing in the school setting
Underwriters Laboratories have partnered with Disney
to create some fun videos and free printable worksheets
for educators to use in the school setting!
Click to Here Watch the Video
you might have to register :)

This video is probably more appropriate for the younger kids!
It is cute, colorful, short & to the point!
A great attention getting to use prior to a
germ, handwashing, health lesson plan!
    Remember, the CDC is always a great, free resource!
    Click here to be directed to their handwashing education page!

Monday, November 21, 2011

School Nurse on a Budget...

I try to follow a budget- like most people I assume!
This week though I realized my growing son needed new jeans in a bad way!

So, armed with my 15% off Kohl's coupon
and a $5 off Kohl's coupon I got in the car with all
good intentions of heading to (guess where) Kohl's!

However, at the last moment I made a Left turn instead of a Right
and decided to check out the local Goodwill store first!

After all, these are jeans for a boy-
a boy who plays hard & only requires
clothing items that fit, clean, & hole free!

I decided if I didn't find what I needed at Goodwill then I would go to Kohl's.

The result = I was super pleased with my Goodwill visit!

This is what I found...
  1. 4 pair of jeans- right size, no holes, etc- Levi's, 2 pair Wrangler- but not the cowboy type you're thinking of!, and Mossimo brands 
  2. 1 pair GAP jeans for "the baby"
  3. 1 cute bright yellow (my current favorite color) glass decoration piece for our house

All of this for a grand total of $17.50!

No joke... So, new jeans weren't really in the budget
but with a price so low I was able to swing it & get a couple of extras! :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

I am Poem... On Grieving

Posting this poem is brave & scary for me

I wrote this poem a few months ago & reading it might make you cry...

However, I felt as though I should share because
there are others (some I know and more I don't)
who sadly will relate to what I write.
I hope reading this will help you in some way
and maybe inspire you to write your own
I Am poem :)


I Am

Photo of flowers we received at his
memorial with a favorite bible verse.
Photography is my hobby & was/is a great
 form of art therapy for me :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Who Am I? Slide #1

A few years ago I was asked to give a common childhood
communicable disease overview to a group of early childhood case managers....
I thought it might be fun to share the slides I went over.
 The setting was pretty informal with a sort of a round table atmosphere. 
 It was a comfortable setting & very informational. 
The participants (about 15) were able to
listen to the information I was sharing
and ask any questions they had!
I used the slide shows as my attention getter and
 followed up with verbal information,
handouts I found on the CDC website & my state department website,
and time for questions and answers!

At one time, if you had this disease you
would be exposed (on purpose!)
to other neighborhood children
so they too would be lucky enough
                                                                                                            to get this disease!

Who Am I?
Chicken Pox

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Continuing Education

I've procrastinated long enough...
Time to earn my 20 Continuing Education Hours!

There are several different ways I can get this accomplished:
  1. teach CPR classes (which I have done)
  2. attend a seminar with CE hours ( which I haven't done)
  3. take a college level course related to nursing (haven't done & probably too expensive)
Right now however, I am looking for something convenient and a little less expensive!

So, I'm thinking about earning my CEs through option #4:

Has anyone received their CEs through this organization?
What was your experience?
Any advice?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Nurse as Patient- Follow Up #2

Well... I'm still at home trying to be a good patient.
I've realized I am such a better nurse than patient!!

I've been trying to take it easy...
To do so, I've been staring at the beautiful flowers
sent to me from my co-workers!

Aren't they pretty flowers?

I've also had a lot of time to figure out what
my yellow lab does all day long!

Here is the short version of her day...

She starts off on the leather couch... looking all cute & tired!

Then she gets tired of that couch & decides she would
have better luck resting if she were on the ground!

She gets tired of the ground & decides to try the other couch-
it is fabric and maybe she thinks she'll feel more cozy on
the fabric couch?

Finally... She's made it to that happy napping doggy place...
Look how comfy & cute she looks :)

And that pretty much sums up her dog days!
A lot of sleeping :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

A day late and a dollar short!

Well I had this idea for a great blog post while
recovering from my recent patient experience (read a little about that here)!

It was such a great idea that I even thought
of posting a current TV commercial to go along with it. 

 However... Now that I have time and energy to write the post I can't remember
what the topic was or even what the great commercial was!

WOW!  What is this a sign of?  Wait- don't answer that question!
It is most likely is just a sign of being a little tired
mixed with a tad of recovery time!

I'm pretty certain (in this specific case) it isn't an early
sign of dementia or stoke- although in some cases...
Here's to hoping I remember what I was supposed to remember!
If I happened to mention this great idea to you, please let me know!

Don't you hate it when this happens!
When was the last time you had a great idea & then
hours later were clueless :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Teens- Prescription Drug Abuse

There might be a misconception among teens...
Some might feel that if is "safer" to get high
taking prescription drugs because prescription drugs are not illegal drugs.

However, taking a prescription drug (even once) that isn't prescribed for you
is VERY dangerous and can be deadly! 

"Taking a pill that is prescribed for someone other than you
is inappropriate and considered prescription drug abuse -
and is illegal - even if you only do it once." - according to Dr. Drew Pinksy.

Even so, 19% of teens have taken a prescription pill
that was not prescribed to them!
What if those teens are mixing prescription pills
with other drugs- alcohol, marijuana, etc?
The dangers continue to escalate!

As a school nurse I have seen teens who 
abuse prescription drugs
(among other drugs & maybe in addition to other drugs).
The school I work at is privileged enough to have
access to a certified drug & alcohol counselor-
this counselor provides services for our students in need.
I help monitor progress with random urine drug tests.

I am always trying to educate myself on ways to
identify kids in need & educating kids, parents, and staff.
I found a great FREE resource Smart Moves Smart Choices...

I ordered a hard copy tool kit today
hard copy because I'm still a little old school
and like papers to flip through!

As soon as I get it I'll write a follow up...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Nurse is Patient - Follow Up

Well I survived being the patient,
but decided I much prefer being the nurse-
The School Nurse!

Here are my own personal tips...
  • Be prepared to arrive early & wait, wait, wait- hence the title patient!
  • Ask a lot of questions!
  • Wait some more...
  • Come up with a few more questions.
  • Know that when they tell you "You won't remember a thing"... they really mean it!
  • Not remembering a thing is sort of a freaky thing!
  • Know that when they say "Get some rest" that translates to "Someone will be back in 20 minutes to check in on you.  We hope you'll be able to rest at home!"
  • Slow and Steady wins the race!
  • Saltine Crackers are my friend!
  • Walk soon, but not too soon & have help!
  • Keep your chin up when you stand and walk for the first few times!
  • I'm going to try and enjoy my time recovering at home...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Nurse is Patient

Tomorrow I will become the patient....
I much prefer being the nurse- The School Nurse!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sweet vs Unsweet...

Dear Ronald-

Sometimes I stop at your place for a delicious tea... unsweet tea.  I know you can't believe someone would really order an unsweet tea, but it is true.  Well Ronnie, the other day I ordered an unsweet tea.  I  verbally verified with the sweet gal (no pun intended) at the window that the cup she handed me was unsweet and she very kindly told me yes.  However... when I got to work and took my 'verification sip' I instantly realized it was sweet tea.  I almost gagged in on the sweetness & had the urge to check my blood sugar :(
Can you remind your helpers to be more observant?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

So Random

Disney Channel is on a lot at my house...
Sometimes the shows grow on me after a while.
Today, it wasn't a show that grabbed my attention...
It was one of the So Random songs!

Socks with Sandals-
They're bringing them back...
Some never knew socks with sandals were out :)

Something to make you laugh!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Embrace the Frequent Flier

Embracing the Frequent Flier...
Yes, that is what I'm trying to do this year!

Honestly, I've been here before- that ugly place where I see Student ID
walk though the door & I think to myself...
"UGH... not again. 
Why is this kid always coming down to the office? 
I swear (s)he is down here at least once a day if not twice!"

However, I'm trying to move to that pretty place where I focus
more on the WHY instead of the UGH part :)

There has to be some unmet need being filled by visiting
the school nurse on such a regular basis.

My goal is to try to figure out WHY some kids visit so often!
I want to embrace the frequent flier
... learn something about them and maybe
learn a little more about what it means
to be a good school nurse in the process!

Saturday, October 29, 2011


I'm always looking for ways to get my Starbucks drinks for free!
Well, a couple of years back a friend of mine
introduced me to Swagbucks!
She promised if I "used" it I could get free Starbucks!

Short version= Use Swagbucks, Earn Points, Trade in Points for FREE Stuff!
How do I use my Swagbucks account to earn points?
  • Use Swagbucks as my search engine on my toolbar (are those proper computer terms?).
  • Try to  answer the daily poll.
  • Shop & Earn- I've set my favorite shopping stores & order through my Swagbucks link to earn points. 
Believe me - I'm NO expert on Swagbucks,
but I do enjoy my free Starbucks gift cards!

Others probably understand how to use Swagbucks
better than I do and earn A LOT of points
which they can cash in for a
large variety of items!
If you don't know what Swagbucks is/are
check it out here & be sure to sign up!

Search & Win

Do you already have a Swagbucks account?
If so I would love to hear how you earn your points
and what sort of goodies you've cashed in on!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

History Lesson

Some background... I was never a great History student!
Looking back I think it was the
way the lessons were delivered...
Nothing really grabbed my
attention and urged to be a little more
interested :(  Sad to say I know.

I'm wondering now if I would have listened more with a brief opening
similar to one of the paragraphs in the
 following email I received? Seems to be full of some
 attention grabbing information!

So here goes... The Email History lesson...

Where did "Piss Poor" come from?
They used to use urine to tan animal skins,
so families used to all pee in a pot and
then once a day it was taken and sold to the tannery...
If you had to do this to survive you were "Piss Poor".

But worse than that were the really poor folk
who couldn't even afford to buy a pot...
they "didn't have a pot to piss in" and
were the lowest of the low.
The next time you are washing your hands and
complain because the water temperature
 isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be.

Here are some facts about the 1500's

Most people got married in June because

they took their yearly bath in May,
and they still smelled pretty good by June.
However, since they were starting to smell,
brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.
Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water.

 The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water,
then all the other sons and men,
 then the women and finally the children.
Last of all the babies.
By then the water was so dirty you could
actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying,
 "Don't throw the baby out with the Bath water!"

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high,

with no wood underneath. It was the only place for
animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals(mice, bugs)
 lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery
and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof.
Hence the saying, "It's raining cats and dogs."
There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house.
This posed a real problem in the bedroom where
bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed.
Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung
over the top afforded some protection.
That's how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt.

Hence the saying, "Dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors
that would get slippery in the winter when wet,
so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing.
 As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until,
when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside.
A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a thresh hold.

(Getting quite an education, aren't you?)

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen

with a big kettle that always hung over the fire.
Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot.
They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat.
They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers
 in the pot to get cold overnight and
then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it
that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme:
“Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old”.

Sometimes they could obtain pork,
which made them feel quite special.
When visitors came over, they would hang up
their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a
 man could, "bring home the bacon." They would cut off a
little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.
Those with money had plates made of pewter.
Food with high acid content caused some of the
lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death.
This happened most often with tomatoes,
so for the next 400 years or so,
tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status.

Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf,
the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.
Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky.
The combination would sometimes knock
the imbibers out for a couple of days.
Someone walking along the road would take them for dead
and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the
kitchen table for a couple of days
and the family would gather around and
eat and drink and wait and see if they
would wake up. Hence the custom; “of holding a wake”.

England is old and small and the local folks

started running out of places to bury people.
So they would dig up coffins and would take the
bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave.When reopening
these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have
scratch marks on the inside and they realized
they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a
string on the wrist of the corpse,
lead it through the coffin and up through
the ground and tie it to a bell.
Someone would have to sit out in the

graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell;
thus, someone could be, “saved by the bell”
or was “considered a dead ringer”.

And that's the truth.
Now, whoever said History was boring!!!
So get out there and educate someone! ~~~

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Asthma Education

free Asthma Education in English & Spanish

I just received this information via email from a reliable listserv.

I have not received these brochures yet;

I did order some free sets to hand out to students/families.

The brochures can now be ordered free of charge from the CDC warehouse @

*page down to order- way down!*

English Version 21-1160  Help Your Child Gain Control over Asthma

Spanish Version 21-1161 Ayude a su niƱo a controlar el asma

Monday, October 24, 2011

Misunderstood... "clean" joke!

I received this joke today
and thought is was funny!
I hope you enjoy it too .....

I don't know WHY I didn't
figure this out sooner!!!!
It's the shampoo I use in the shower!
When I wash my hair, the shampoo

runs down my whole body
 and (duh!) printed very

clearly on the shampoo
label is this warning,

NO wonder I have been gaining weight!!!

Well! I have gotten rid of that shampoo

and I am going to start using
Dawn dish soap instead.

Their label reads, DISSOLVES FAT THAT IS

Problem Solved!!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Dinner LISTS... @ Home

Using the advice I recently received from House Full of Searls ...

Last week, I attempted to be more aware of how much money
I spent at the grocery store & attempted to be more prepared
when it came to dinners at home!

So, last weekend I:
  1. Took inventory of what I had available in my kitchen and pantry.
  2. Made a list (who doesn't love a cute list!) of dinners for the entire week.  It looked something like this...
      1. M...Spaghetti with meatballs & garlic bread
      2. T... Grilled cheese with tomato soup (kids choice)
      3. W... Shredded chicken tacos (a staple in our house!)
      4. Th...Left over night- perfect since I had to work late for P/T conferences
      5. F...Mashed potatoes & gravy with chicken strips (kids choice)
      6. I only failed one night when I got sucked into getting carry out by my 2 oldest kids! On the other nights don't worry- I do toss in some veggies and/or fruit too :)
  3. Made another list (yeah!) of what I really needed to buy at the store to make it through one week.
  4. Tried my hardest to follow that list while I was at the store.  I did pretty good.... only spent $73!
My goal is to do this again for the upcoming week. 

To Be Continued :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Flu Shots?

Are you getting a flu shot this year?

According to the CDC there are many different flu viruses.
The flu vaccine protects against the three viruses
that research suggests will be most common.

Who should get a flu shot?

  • Everyone 6 months of age and older

  •          Children younger than 6 months are at high risk of serious flu illness, but are too young to be vaccinated. People who care for them should be vaccinated instead.

  • High Risk Population

  •      Young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions(asthma, diabetes or heart & lung disease) and people 65 + years

  • Health care workers

  •        & others who live with or care for high risk people to keep from spreading flu to high risk people

    What about the FLU Mist?

    Yes,... there is actually a nasal mist that some can receive with the same
    benefits of the flu vaccine injection without the pain!

    My son opted for the Flu Mist vaccine one year and was impressed!

    One of my daughter's was given the same choice & opted for the injection!
    Why?  I don't know... She is her own person!

    Neither one got sick that year!
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