Saturday, March 5, 2016

Interview with a School Nurse

Close to one year ago, I began a blog series that included interviews from those working closely with students and each other in the schools. The series was well received, but I lost momentum toward the end! My bad. Still, there were a few individuals who graciously offered to answer my questions. So here are the final few installments of the interview series.

I have great respect for school nurses. I honestly don't know how they keep all those balls in the air; maintaining copious notes, dealing with tummies and headaches and loose teeth. They coordinate student absences and make sure kids have decent clothes. They manage lice (blech) and help keep staff fit and healthy with "biggest loser" challenges. They remind us to wear red and pink and always have ready answers to our personal questions. They are amazing! A good friend of mine is a school nurse in a local school and was kind enough to answer my questions.

1. How do you see a true multidisciplinary team functioning?
I think a true multidisciplinary team should collaborate, sharing their ideas as we all come from different perspectives. My greatest concerns are around the health of the child and how medications affect their day. It is important that we communicate this information to each other in the interest of the child. Fundamentally, we all need to respect each other's jobs.

2. What message do you have for the powers that be (administration, DOE, elected officials, etc. Your choice)
I want those with influence to understand our staff does so much for the children. We provide a safe and nurturing environment, an environment that allows children to learn.

3. What do you see as the most pressing issue impacting our students today? Why?
I feel social media, such as Facebook,  chat rooms, Snapchat, Instagram and Yik Yak, is more that the kids can handle. I don't believe kids fully understand how what they post scan effect them and others. As staff and parents we have a difficult time monitoring how kids are using social media. I also believe, children are using these site a much too young an age.

Another pressing issue today is that families do not sit down and eat dinner together. Mealtime is the perfect time to decompress and find out what is going on with your kids. It is a great venue for both problem solving and laughter! Not enough kids have this intimacy at home.

4. What energizes you to come to work everyday? What keeps it "fresh" for you?
I love the students and that alone keeps me energized. Some days it is just enough to see their smiling faces and they are happy to see me, too. Everyday there is something new to keep it fresh.

5. Describe your dream work environment? How does your dream compare with your reality? How can you make it a reality?
I feel blessed to be working in a fantastic environment. My dream? I wish all kids could have a clean, warm, nourishing home. The reality is, that by providing them some healthy food at school, some proper clothing and some consistency, we are, in small part fulfilling that dream.

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