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 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 :)

FREE Data Collection Form for Google
Nurse Log In Sheet / Data Collection Google Form for The School Nurse

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Moms Who Care Donation Day

Learn More About Moms Who Care Here

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!

Monday, November 28, 2011


+this post contains affiliate links+

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 prerequisite for this disease
is having had the chickenpox disease!

Who Am I?

CDC About Shingles

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Who Am I? Childhood Rashes

+this post contains affiliate links+ 

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


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'm always trying to educate myself on ways to
identify students in need & ways to educate students, parents, and staff.
This FREE resource Smart Moves Smart Choices is a perfect tool!

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

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Embrace the Frequent Flyer

Published 11/01/2011 Updated 08/07/2021

Frequent Flyer Program

+this post contains affiliate links+

Helpful School Nurse Tip:  Yes, even in the school setting you will encounter frequent flyers. Learn to embrace them early on- you'll thank yourself later!

Embracing the Frequent Flyer

Embracing the frequent flyer is a conscience goal of mine every school year.  I'm frequently reminded of an article I read written by (most likely) the original and my blog inspiration school nurse Gerri Harvey! 

Gerri had a a very detailed website/blog for other school nurses titled: School Nurse Perspectives; it was one-of-a-kind and full of useful, everyday tips and tricks. I read her posts over and over again. Gerri has since retired as a school nurse and retired her blog, but I keep in touch with her through the gift of social media and am still inspired by her both professionally and personally. 

What Gerri Said

Gerri discussed "frequent flyers" on her blog and she reminded school nurses that there is always something more to those student's visits. Do you think that is true?  I do; over the years I've learned that that is very true. 

Frequent Flyer Goal

Keeping Gerri's knowledge in mind, try taking another look at your frequent flyers. Instead of getting annoyed when you notice Student Idee walking through your door again, try to focus more on the why the are coming to see you again.

Does your frequent flyer student have an unmet need that is being filled by visiting the school nurse on such a regular basis?  As you build trust and a relationships with your students then you'll learn more about what they need from each visit. 

Learn to embrace their visits! You might surprise yourself and miss them when the visits stop!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cold or Flu


+this post contains an affiliate link+

Cold or Flu; Will either happen to you?

My office is offering flu shots to all staff members
and their significant others!

This year the cost is only $18!

Does your school offer flu shots to staff or students?

Information on flu prevention:

Sunday, October 16, 2011

i LOVE the school nurse

Yes, that's right... A former student used to wear the famous

 "i love the school nurse"

wristband to school just to make me smile.  

Don't tell the others, but he was one of my favorites!

I would meet with him at least twice a day for his tube feedings.
He enjoyed the feedings, but he really enjoyed the quick games of 
sword fighting we played after the feedings!
 Just foam swords so don't panic.

He would usually let me win! 
The entire time he would be laughing and smiling-
a huge smile with a deep belly laugh!

Well, as a parting gift & thank you when he moved on
from the public school system, his parents wrapped the
wristband in a pretty box and gave it to me! 

And yes, I cried- wouldn't you? 

Of course I framed the wristband and have it on display in my office! 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What Does A School Nurse Do?

Hopefully Helpful School Nurse Tip: Sometimes it is difficult to put into words (written and verbal) the duties & responsibilities of school nursing. Use information that others have put together for you to your advantage. Start with this article...

Charting Nursing’s Future
A publication of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Have you read this article…?

I first heard about this article from School Nurse Sue Dillon

& the entire article can by found on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation website or here.

This is a great article full of research and statistics related to

“Unlocking the potential of school nursing:

Keeping children healthy, in school, and ready to learn.”

The article also helps answer the question-

What does a school nurse do?


I’ll mention a few things school nurses do according to the article here.


1.       Provide episodic care

2.       Manage chronic conditions

3.       Track communicable diseases

4.       Promote healthy behaviors

5.       Connect children with insurance and health care providers

6.       Handle emergency situations

7.       Handle life-threatening allergy and asthma events

8.       Respond to student’s physical and emotional concerns

9.      Connect students with substance-abuse treatment and mental, behavioral, and reproductive health services

10.   Screen for conditions that impair learning, such as poor vision or hearing

11.   Educate children about healthy lifestyles

12.   Ensure immunization compliance

13.   Develop health plans for students with disabilities

14.   Prepare for school wide and community emergencies

15.   Administer medication and provide first aid

There is so  much more too.

I'm sure you thought of a few duties.
Please leave your input in the comments section.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I Am The School Nurse

Updated version found here...

I am the school nurse.
I wonder why some kids aren’t healthy enough to attend school.
I hear their whispers behind her back as she walks in the cafeteria.
I see hope, wonder, and light inside the eyes of the students I help.
I want everyone to be healthy & happy- is that too much to ask?

I am the school nurse.
I pretend all kids look forward to school and are ready to listen & learn.
I feel 14 eyes staring at me while they wait patiently for their turn.
I am touched by the gentle tears and kindness of a mom who offers help

to  students she doesn’t know (yet)

 whose offers of help give in ways that she and I probably don’t fully understand (yet). 

I worry about students who don’t have enough
food at home to make them feel full.
I cry inside when students tell me they think no one cares about them.

I am the school nurse.
I understand that things aren’t always as they seem.
I say take responsibility for all of your actions.
I dream about Magaly, Sam, Bryan, Brandon, Kirbie
my grandparents, and my dad in heaven.
I try to remember that there isn’t always a tomorrow- so be kind and nice today.
I hope that I help (really help) at least one student every day.
I am the school nurse.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Shel Silverstein Poem

+this post contains an affiliate link+

Has anyone else seen this? ...
  1. Student A walks into your office complaining they are extremely ill & must go home.
  2. Assessment complete-general complaints, no fever, no other signs of being contagious.
  3. Student A denies all comfort measures.
  4. Student A insists a call to parents is made and wants permission to go home.
  5. Parent agrees (or perhaps parent gives in)....
  6. Student A leaves the office and is seen "high-fiving" a friend in the hallway with a great BIG smile!!!
No joke... Seen it happen!!

Reminds me of a great poem by Shel Silverstein!

    Sick by Shel Silverstein

"I cannot go to school today"
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
"I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
 Read the entire poem by purchasing a copy of the book here-  

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lunch Ladies

The following poem was written
by a former student who promises
 (or threatens, I'm not sure... ha ha)
to return one day to be the boss!

This poem shows how much our lunch ladies
(and one gentleman) are appreciated!

Lunch Ladies 
to the ladies of lunch lady land,
we thank you for your helping hand

from cookies with frosting and sprinkles
the size as big as my shoe

you always have time to feed all of us
even the ones that make a big fuss

around thanksgiving i feel at home
the turkey and taters are great on their own

you always keep that great smile
even though you’ve been there quite a long while

you do so much for the students and staff
singing happy birthday and making us laugh

the smallest things can mean so much
like making a tray for the kid on a crutch

we’re like one big family -
the ladies of lunch lady land,
we thank you again for your helping hand!