Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Done Dirt Cheap

A little 6 year old was brought in late evening, having been awakened with belly pain. Mom says he has problems with constipation, or to be more accurate "he holds on to his potty"


OK, well then. Long story short, the kid needs an enema. Since he is apparently no stranger to this form of treatment (and the pediatric variety have absolutely no effect on him) he gets an adult fleets. Some parents are funny about this, so I asked if mom wanted to do it or me.

She asked the 6 year old who was now sleeping peacefully and comfortably, "the nurse" he mumbled sleepily.

I am organizing my stuff when the 6 year old sits bolt upright, points his finger at me and says,

I was taken aback, but blurted "Are you suggesting that this is a dirty job?"

"Yeeeeeeeeeeessss", he replied with a grin.

"I've done dirtier jobs in my life, that' for sure. Let's take care of business".

He left feeling much better, not to mention about 8 pounds lighter. I was a little shaken though.
Now that I have a less stressful job, wouldn't you would think that life is just a bowl of cherries?

Not so.

I have been in school to get my BSN for nearly 2 years now, plugging away, enjoying some courses and not enjoying others so much. I put a lot of effort into the work I do because, hey, at
53 the brain cells aren't all firing at once anymore. Some seem to be on permanent holiday and the others just don't want to pick up the slack if you catch my drift. But I digress. Anyway, so far with lots of time put into my studies I have managed to maintain a 4.0 GPA, and I'm pretty proud of that.

This present course has me living, eating, breathing and sleeping Anatomy and Physiology (and lab) nearly every waking moment that I am not at work.

It flat out sucks.

I am no stranger to A& P (and lab); I am a nurse, I have more than a passing aquantaince with the human body, it's various fluids and emissions. I have taken the course twice before with the 2nd and most recent being 35 years ago in my RN diploma program. My school closed its doors forever somewhere around 1980, but the hospital maintains our transcripts. All of the sciences I took then were listed as "correlated sciences" so no credit for you, do not pass go or collect $200.00. Do retake A&P. And whilc you're at it, take A&PII in the spring


I have 4 days left of this course from hell. I am hanging on to a solid B in the lab, and a tenuous A in the lecture course. I am feeling pretty tired of it after 10 weeks, and I am done with it.

My advisor is out of the office so I can't ask her if I have to have this same obnoxious prof. next time around. I may have to kill myself if I do.

It's a good thing that the job is going well or I would be downright certifiable.

I just keep telling myself it's almost over, it's almost over. At least the winter passed with hardly any notice at all. Wasn't Christmas last week?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

School Nurse Fun

One of my colleagues was forced to treat, in the ER, a patient who was going to the OR for an appendectomy. The problem? Head lice. 3 days later, she was still scratching and obsessively asking us to check her head.

Having spent a number of years "moonlighting" as a school nurse, I know a thing or two about head lice. Nothing would strike fear into the hearts of parents and teachers like a rumor of head lice. Now, I refused to do scheduled head checks on a school of 500+ Kindergarteners and 3-5th graders. Some school nurses did, but WTF, I was the boss and my principal was fine with it; I had a "no nits" policy which worked well. In 9 years, I had no epidemics. A few cases of course, but my system of finding out who the friends were and targeting their classrooms for headchecks worked like a charm. Most of the teachers asked me to check them as well although I never, ever found so much as a spec of dust that LOOKED like a nit. I did have some fun with one or two of my teacher friends over the years by sharply and audibly drawing a breath and muttering "uh-oh". Psych!

My friend Rita the school secretary was a great one for practical jokes, as was I. We once took a picture of a popular grade 4 teacher and put in on a milk carton after he was late back to school with his class on a field trip. The kindergarteners did a fun little graduation program each year (it was always the same) that featured a song that goes "P-u-r-p-l-e, purple, purple" and sung to the tune "Camp Town Ladies". I had a giant blowup purple crayon that I marched back and forth so that only the teacher could see; cracked her up, especially the year I did it with a giant pair of sunglasses and a wizard hat. Being a school nurse would probably have been a better choice to finish up my nursing career, but I had to let it go; I loved the kids and teachers, but the parents were all nuts.

One year I decided to have some fun with the head lice letter I sent out:

Memo to: Parents

From: EDNurseasuaras, School Health Nurse

Subject: Critters

Prepare to be horrified.

OK, I won't beat around the bush: there are headlice in your child's class
Now that you've stopped screaming, you should know that there is no need to panic. Really.

Seriously. DON’T PANIC. It is a common occurrence. Head lice are very small critters that attach themselves to your child’s scalp. They bite the skin and suck blood. The bites are itchy; that is what tipped off your child’s teacher, the continuous scratching. By the way, Mrs. Jones won’t be in tomorrow; she will be taking a personal day.

Head lice lay eggs, which adhere to the hair shaft and are pearly gray in color; They may look like dandruff. If you can easily remove something that looks like dandruff, it is not head lice. If it has attached itself to the hairshaft and has no intention of moving on...yep, it's headlice.

Lice spread from person to person. Infestation may occur as a result shared hair brushes or hats; sometimes it's a love attraction. Also they jump really far.

Head lice will take over the next two days of your life if you are committed to eradicating them. Remember, cockroaches and head lice are all that will survive a nuclear holocaust, so unless you are prepared to use lethal force they will become a permanent fixture. Don't say I didn't warn you.

You will need to boil the brushes, put everything that won't melt into the dryer, vacuum anything too big to go into the dryer or put it in the garage with the stuffed animals for the next 30 days. I am not talking about your child. And we haven't even gotten to declaring chemical warfare on the critters. Hopefully yours won't have become immune to Rid yet. Be sure to spend about 4 hours combing your child's head with a fine tooth comb. I will be checkng your work, so be thorough. We want your child in school, but without his/her little friends.

If all of these methods fails there is always Raid... or shaving the head.
That’s all about headlice.

Mrs. EDN