Alyssa. School NurseAs many of you may recall, last year I spent a day walking in the shoes of students from each grade level. This year, I鈥檝e committed to Walking in the Shoes 2.0 where I will spend time with staff, such as a secretary or bus driver, and different programs in our district. After each Walking in the Shoes experience, I sit down with a group of staff members and share my observations and reflections. I then聽send an email to all district staff with a journal-like rundown of my day. And now I’m excited to share these experiences in my blog with all of you!

I began my聽new 2.0 journey by recently Walking in the Shoes of one of our School Nurses, Alyssa Johnson.聽Alyssa supports Happy Valley, Sehome and Wade King.聽On the day I walked in Alyssa鈥檚 shoes, she was at Wade King for the day.聽Following are a few journal notes and reflections on our day.

7:40 AM聽 This morning I arrived to the excitement of 75 or so 5th graders in the cafeteria preparing to head off to Mt. School!聽Lots of laughter from kids, excitement from parents and some anxiety from staff as they worked to ensure every student was present and fully packed.聽I joined Alyssa in reviewing the medical needs of numerous students.聽 There were a dozen or so kids with varying needs from peanut and egg allergies to asthma. Mr. Nate Cornelson, 5th grade teacher, was given a folder with all the medical information, a bag full of medications and a cooler with meds that needed to be kept cold.聽A big responsibility to ensure all kids are taken care of so far from home.

8:30 AM 聽While I took a quick run to the restroom (I know, TMI!), the regular school buses were pulling up, and apparently one student had thrown up everywhere.聽 Alyssa went out to help, and had it taken care of by the time I got back.聽Sorry to have missed that learning opportunity!

9:00 AM聽 Analisa Ficklin, Wade King鈥檚 Principal just came in and asked for our support. There is a student struggling.聽He is having some serious behavior challenges.聽 We talk about possible causes, his medication, safety plan and what to do next.聽Lots of staff helping and trying to support this student.

After a bit we went into the Health Room and began reviewing medications in the medicine cabinet to ensure that there we no expired prescriptions.聽 We did not make it very far before our next situation presented itself.聽The school counselor asked for a consult regarding a family that is struggling with lice.聽They can鈥檛 afford treatment.聽The school and parent community has rallied to try and help such families and has some resources that can be made available.聽This is a great example of a team/community approach coordinated by the nurse and counselor.

9:30 AM聽 Our student聽from earlier is now escalating.聽911 was called along with the parent.聽Lots of staff trying to figure out how to help this student who is really struggling.

10:00 AM Alyssa calls the parent re: lice and explains how the school can help support their family. I鈥檓 guessing the mom feels very appreciative.

Alyssa and I discuss the use of technology and how it can support her work.聽This year, the nurses each received an iPhone, which helps in numerous ways.聽One example is she has a high school student text her each day when she finishes giving herself a shot.聽We also discussed the challenges of having multiple offices and different computers across all the sites.聽They soon will each get a new laptop that will make it easier to go from school to school.聽We also talked about how the use of video-conferencing/facetime could be of assistance.

10:20 AM We had a conversation with the teacher re: the student who 911 was called.聽Staff who work with some of our most challenging students are amazing! They are presented with some very had situations, and they work with such care, love and compassion.

10:30 AM We went and checked on a student who was supposed to be wearing some special eye glasses.聽 She wasn’t, so we helped her find them and get them on.

11:00 AM聽 I just snuck off to eat some lunch.聽 Tacos, carrots, milk and corn!聽I was able to eat for a few minutes with my own daugther, a kindergartner.聽While in the lunch line, another kindergartner asked me if I was here to eat with my granddaughter! 馃檪聽 Oh my!聽 First time I have ever been called a grandpa. 馃檪聽 (OK鈥.stop the laughing everyone; it鈥檚 not that funny!) It was fun to see all the staff with their own children at the school, from the school nurse, to the principal, music teacher, health and fitness teacher….on and on.聽 A very family feel to the lunch room.

11:20 AM Making phone calls to Catholic Community Services and Sea Mar Community Health Center to set up meetings to discuss different students.

11:45 AM Back to the medicine cabinet to review all meds.聽 Within a few minutes, we were asked for a consult by a teacher who had a parent email her with a question about lice, rumors they had heard, and wonders about what to do.聽 We brainstormed a response back to the parent and discussed some of the nuances of lice in our schools and how it is not just a nurse issue but a community issue that can and does involve the student, family, teacher and counselor.

11:50 AM A little first grader walked in with a bonked head from PE class.聽Nothing a little ice (not lice!) and hug couldn’t take care of. 馃檪

12:15 PM Starting to get some computer work done and boom!聽 Emergency!聽 Health room is being flooded!聽 Slammed by multiple injuries on the playground. 聽Bumped lip!聽 Bruised arm!聽 Squished hand!聽Ice packs all around. It’s just like Grey’s Anatomy with a major trauma event.聽All hands on deck.聽 Secretaries, nurses, superintendent. 馃檪聽 Triage!

12:25 PM OK, within ten minutes we have things fully under control. Again, just like Grey’s Anatomy… 馃檪

1:05 PM Lunch recess is over thus the ER Dept is quieting down.聽Time for a phone call home discussing a medical situation with a parent.

2:15. PM Talking with doctor’s office gathering info on a student.聽Here comes another patient鈥.oh my, throwing up!聽 Our fabulous secretaries, Ms. Debbie McMeel and Ms. Debbie Murphy, both of whom have helped with just about everything throughout the day, jump right up to offer support.

What a wonderful day learning what it鈥檚 like to be one of our school nurses. They work very hard and have such a variety of things to handle.聽The state funds us for only 1.7 nurses total for the entire district of 10,600 students.聽It鈥檚 up to the district to then find other funds to increase the support.聽This is all part of the McCleary decision and an example of the state not fully funding education, not even close.

Thanks again to Alyssa for allowing me to observe and learn alongside her, as well as to all the students and staff at Wade King.

To all of you, thank you for making the start of this school year so wonderful!

Comments (2)

  • Saw your email this morning about your blogs and had a few moments to check them out. I enjoyed reading about your day with the school nurse. Glad that you had a chance to let the shine on them for a bit: all staff work hard and their motivation comes from their caring and compassion. I’m interested in hearing more about how we support families living on the edge – both economically and socially – and how do we rally help from more stable families for them so that those in need feel a broad circle of support?

    Lovely job Greg.

    • This is a great question and something we are working on in 老澳门六合彩开奖网 Public Schools. Through our One Schoolhouse approach we believe all children should be loved and supported. Over the past few years we have reduced costs for families by providing school supplies and reducing course fees. Project Free Education strives to create an equitable learning experience for all students (/projectfreeeducation).