Monday, August 23, 2010

School Nurse Blues

I often used to read with pity the woeful wails from parents whose children went to a school with a clueless nurse or even no nurse at all. Truthfully, I didn't give it a lot of thought because that was the one thing we seemed to have well under control. Amy had trained Emma's first nurse and teacher well, and they had a pretty good handle on things. There were a few bumps and hiccups along the way: Emma wandering alone outside during a fire drill, her pump wailing away all the while, screwed up sensor numbers from poorly-excecuted calibrations, etc. But at minimum, they could look after the diabetes basics. We were pretty distressed to learn the nurse was moving, but we remained optimistic that a week of training ought to do it.

And then today came. The first day of school. The first day of school with a new nurse. The first day of school with a new nurse and Amy's business on the cusp of booming success.

There is another T1 1st grader in Emma' school. He came to the nurse's office with Emma before lunch so he could be tested and given his injection. The nurse read the results and triumphantly proclaimed "You don't need insulin, your blood sugar is fine!"

Hallelujah! The school nurse has cured type 1 diabetes! At least until the test that comes 2 hours after this little boy ate his lunch. Fortunately, he is smarter than the nurse, and informed her he needed insulin before every meal. (To tell the truth, I'm not sure Emma would have said that).

Poof! There goes our misplaced optimism and excitement about the first day of school with the new nurse, and I'm completely torn as to how to address it. I know my wife won't want me to say anything, but this is just as much (if not more) about her as it is about Emma. I mean, she didn't want to give him insulin!! Where do you even START when someone is THAT incompetent? Clearly, someone failed to ask a pretty important question during the job interview, so do I hassle the principal? Hunker down and work extra hard to train the new nurse AND the new teacher?

I wish it were as easy as telling the school "You've got one week to figure this out." But this isn't McDonald's, it's Emma. If they can't do it, we will have to. Perhaps a better title would have been "Starting Over."

1 comment:

  1. Here is where to start:

    http://ndep.nih.gov/media/Youth_NDEPSchoolGuide.pdf

    but you probably know that already.

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