Saturday, September 16, 2017

Do you have a minute?

I have a quick question...

How many times have you received a phone call 
from one of your school nurse partners who has a quick question?

How many times have you been swamped at that time 
and haven't been able to respond or ask as many questions as you've wanted to?

I'm guilty of that :(  

I get phone calls and emails with specific questions and 
because I want to reply quickly I feel like I don't take quality time 
to respond with more substance.... Just enough time for the basics.

What if in the future we were able to have an uninterrupted conversation?

What's that you say?  An uninterrupted conversations?!  It's a crazy concept :)

What questions would you ask me?
What would you want to know?
What questions do you think I would ask you?

I would LOVE to get ten comments with questions... 
please comment & share with your school nurse friend too:)

Friday, July 21, 2017

A new school year... Now what?

Have you ever heard a nurse say something like this....

"I got a job in a school for next year and I'm so excited, 

but I have no idea what to do."  

It is so common to feel a little lost in this profession.  

You might find this interactive toolkit from NASN super helpful & 
below I'll list my top 3 tips on planning for a smooth start to a new school year.

  1. Take time to organize your office!  Think about the space you have and try to make the most of it.  Try making work stations in your space.  Consider a "treatment" area where you will help students, an area to organize your supplies, a desk area for paperwork (there will be mountains of paperwork!), maybe you're lucky enough to have a rest/quiet area too?  Having your items organized with designated areas in your office will help define the spaces for you, or students and staff too. 
  2. Before the first day of student attendance you will want to take time to review health folders/charts and make a list of students who have health concerns.  Consider using excel or google docs (my preference) for your list making.  You might want to start writing things with pen and paper, but using a computer will be more beneficial in the long term.  I keep my lists on google docs for easy access and updating.  I always make a copy and rename it for the next school year- this way all I have to do is remove those who no longer attend and add the new students.  By making a copy thought I still have all previous years for reference if needed.
  3. Figure out how you'll want to track your state health requirements!  Good record keeping in this area will save you time in the future!  I use google sheets for this one!  My columns include: name, grade, date of entrance, date due, what items are needed and a comment area to document when I've mailed letters or talked to parents/students etc. I delete names as items are turned in unless it is information I need to report to the state later in the year- if that is the case then I move the info down on sheet :)

What did I miss?  

What are some tips you have for a smooth start to a new school year?  

Please share your ideas :)

Random Resources...

Monday, June 26, 2017

How to use your stethoscope

Do you know how to properly use your favorite stethoscope?
Let's review the basics...

A stethoscope is a tool used to listen to the internal sounds of your patient.  
In the medical field, a stethoscope is typically used to listen to the 
sounds of the heart or lungs.

Stethoscopes are a tool used by entry level through expert level medical staff.  Just because they've been around since the early 1800s doesn't mean they are being used the right way.

Let's review a few basic steps...

  1. Always start and end your stethoscope use by cleaning the eartips and diaphragm with alcohol pads.
  2. Prior to inserting the eartips into your ears make sure they are pointing away from your ears.
  3. Use eartips that best fit your ear opening.  Make sure there is a good seal keeping external noises out.
  4. Make sure the diaphragm of the stethoscope is open.  Nothing more embarrassing then trying to asses a B/P and realizing your stethoscope diaphragm is closed :(  
  5. Provide an airtight seal around the bell/diaphragm of the stethoscope using your fingers and not your thumb.  The picture below shows the fingers on top of the bell/diaphragm... I would rather see the fingertips on either side of the bell/diaphragm.
  6. Take your time and listen.....

There are a wide variety of brands and prices too.
My favorite happens to be Littmann brand.... 
What about you?

A few affiliate linked options are listed below

Friday, May 12, 2017

March, April & May 2017

May 2017

Every month I have the best intentions to write the best school nurse blog post.
It would be funny, informative, and offer a helpful hint for running your office.
However, I have trouble finding the time to make that a reality :(

So, here it is May and I am trying to play catch up with my blog posts.
You forgive me though, don't you?  

There is something very fun coming soon....

A guest blog post from Gerri Harvey!

Remember her- the author of School Nurse Perspective blog 
and the School Nurse Christmas Poem?

I loved reading her writings and can't wait to include some of her thoughts on my own blog.
If you have a specific question for Gerri please email me or leave it in the comments below!

Enjoy the fast approaching end to another great school year!
-Elisabeth, The School Nurse

Thursday, March 2, 2017

February 2017

Who remembers Gerri Harvey's school nurse blog/website-    School Nurse Perspectives?

It was love at first read for me!  
I absorbed her words and advice and still remember much of it to this day.
Gerri's blog/website actually sparked the idea of Diary Of A School Nurse!

Anyway... years ago her blog went "under construction" which gave me chills
because I envisioned Gerri (whom I've never met in person) revamping
her blog and updating all of her great information just for me.

Over the years I would continue to check on a regular basis to see
if the "construction" was finished and sadly there was never an updated version.

So....  last month I remembered the vast world of FB and decided to search for Gerri :)
I found her & she kindly responded to my message!

Even though her blog isn't available anymore she still values the time & relationships 
she made when she worked as a school nurse!  

I would love to invite Gerri to write a guest post for me.... 

What do you guys think?

Also... since it is Dr. Seuss week I thought sharing this poem was highly appropriate!

Taken from

Friday, February 3, 2017

January 2017 (a!)

Another January Post...

PS I started writing this in January, but didn't actually post it until February :(
Sometimes it is the thought that counts :)

It's never too early to start preparing for the next school year!

I was please to see (on my IG account) that many of you have online access to immunizations. 
They aren't always the most up-to-date, but when they are it feels like you've own the lottery, right!?

I wish IL would include the most recent physical exams too :)

Here are a few things we are working on in our office ....
1. Reviewing MCV4 shots for next school year
2. Getting dental clinic permission forms completed
3. Updating the letters I mail home during the summer months

What projects are you working on in your office?  I would love to hear :)

Do you work in IL & want to apply for your own I-Care account?
Here is the link... Illinois I-Care 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Moms Who Care : January 2017

January 2017

I've written posts about the Moms Who Care (MWC) program at my high school,
but it is such a great program I want to mention it again.

I'm hoping there are some Moms out there who are looking for a volunteer program 
to start up that can make a HUGE difference for the children in their community!

The only requirements are a couple of Moms Who Care &
 a school willing to let you volunteer with students at the school!

The Mission of Moms Who Care is ...

  • to help students achieve success by meeting essential needs such as: clothing, hygiene products, school supplies, and after school snacks.  They also help with proper interview clothes and required job attire.  In addition, they coordinate with a local hair stylist to provide free haircuts for students in need.

As a school nurse, I have seen many students who come to the office with a variety of different physical complaints (headaches, stomach aches, general ‘not feeling well’).  
It becomes concerning when I'm not able to come up with a reason for the complaints- 
especially if the complaints are happening on a regular and sometimes daily basis. 

Once I decide to start focusing on the whole student, then it is sometimes easier to find that the physical complaints are more closely related to the student not being prepared for class. Maybe they didn’t have the proper shoes for PE, didn’t have the right type of calculator for math, or didn’t have shampoo or soap for a shower, etc.  Sometimes not being prepared or not having basic hygiene supplies caused the student to feel “sick” and instead of talking to the teacher they would ask for a pass to the nurse’s office.

This is where I started to understand the positive impact our MWC program could make with many of our "frequent flier" students....
Our typical MWC shopper qualifies for the free/reduced meal program and is between the ages of 14-18; some live on their own and/or might even be homeless.  Other scenarios include families who are in a financial transition period (parents divorcing, parent unemployed, etc).  
Our MWC program is an extension of services the Health Center is able to offer students in terms of treating & supporting the student as a whole person.  The mission of Moms Who Care is to help students achieve success by meeting essential needs such as: clothing, hygiene products, school supplies, and after school snacks. 

By meeting these basic needs the students are able to

more prepared for their education and are able to focus learning.

Please contact me if you want more information or
send a message to the MWC Facebook page... link here!

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