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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Heartless Nurse.

I must say, I'm really impressed with our school nurse. She has single-handedly freaked me out on so many separate occasions, I have been left in complete awe. She's pretty good with the adults in the building... It's the kids who turn her into some character out of a Roald Dahl novel (or Nurse Ratched character as seen above).

My first charming encounter with her methodology occurred when a mildly mentally retarded student of mine showed an obvious aversion to bathing, changing sanitary pads, using deodorant etc. and would often smell of urine and feces. I asked the nurse if she would give my student a little chat about hygiene and it's importance, but she refused point blank and said "I don't do that." She even had a look of disgust on her face. She said I could do it myself and she told me what information I could pass on to her. What nurse is grossed out by this sort of thing? I just thought it would be better coming from someone else because I had developed a delicate relationship with the student and didn't want to possibly ruin it by embarrassing her.

Last year a student was having some sort of anxiety attack in the hallway outside of the classroom I had a meeting in. The meeting just consisted of the teachers I work with closely on a daily basis so it was informal enough that we felt okay to glance outside the window next to the door to see how things progressed as the nurse got there to help the teachers who were doing their best to help the girl through her moment. We had offered help but they had said it was okay and that the nurse was on her way. The girl was writhing on the floor, gasping and wide-eyed, screaming that her heart was hurting. Hot Asian Babe Teacher seemed to be doing an admirable job of staying with and comforting the student as best she could.

The nurse got there fairly quickly, which impressed us all as she's not known to make much of an effort to rush much, and she began to work her "magic".

Now, I'm no medical professional, nor do I play one on TV, but we were all a little sceptical of her technique of calming the poor girl down which consisted of her grabbing a handful of tissues, covering the girl's nose and mouth, and angrily yelling "STOP CRYING" over and over. Now, I can understand the importance of her regulating her breathing by not continuing to cry, but we questioned the tone in which the nurse was apparently trying to do this. I have heard of people using paper bags to try to counteract hyperventilation, but never covering the mouth and nose entirely.

Another incident happened last year too, in which my science teacher sent a vomiting girl to the nurse, along with a garbage can for her to continue puking in to on her journey there. A few minutes later, the student showed up at his door again saying that the nurse had turned her away because she didn't come with a pass. He hadn't bothered to take the time to give her a pass because he didn't want a recreation of that scene from Monty Python's Meaning of Life, in which one man's vomiting inspires the whole room to up-chuck the contents of their stomachs too.

This year has to be my favorite. A girl went into a full blown, shit yourself kind of grand mal seizure on the floor, so my Foxy Art Teacher friend called the nurse and was absolutely delighted to hear that the nurse wouldn't be coming over because IT WAS HER LUNCH BREAK. I've heard of her doing that before, but never when a student was having a seizure. Many a time have I heard the nurse get more than a little snippy about her "me time", but this was insane. I'd really like to hear her side of the story on this one. Anyway, it got so bad, Foxy just called for an ambulance which then took the poor girl away. If I were that kid's mother, I would want to sue the white jacket off of that "nurse" and make sure she did no more than candy striper work for the rest of her life.

What sucks is that she's always so nice to me personally, and always inquires about my daughter and my pregnancy, so I really don't want to dislike her, but she's not making it easy to respect her when she seems to care so little about the kids.


PHSChemGuy said...

I don't know our nurse personally - I've spoken to her on a number of occasions but all very, very casually and impersonally - but I have heard so many stories from our students that suggest that she cares not one single whit about their well-being that I can only go with the assumption that she not only doesn't help the students but sometimes actually harms them through her inaction.

She's worse than worthless.

Feel free to divorce a person's personality from their job performance.

There are tons of nice people who stink at their jobs and all kinds of a-holes who do great work day in and day out.

She might be the former.

Radmila said...

You're school has a resident nurse?
We haven't had resident nurses in our schools since 1978!

calencoriel said...

The nurse's office will be closed for the rest of the day.

I want a dollar for every time that is emailed to us the rest of the year.

Then, we'll spend the $$ we raise on your new baby!

TeacherLady said...

phschemguy, it confuses me when the person is nice but sucks at his/her job. I prefer the person I can dislike entirely because they suck as an individual AND as a professional.

Radmila, we SORT OF have her full time... But not really. I'm not exactly sure what she does the rest of the time...

Calen, I'd be able to dress my baby in the crap celebrities dress their rugrats in for the amount of money we'd get. Diamond encrusted pacifier and all.