Thursday, August 29, 2013

Skool nerse time

This is Mrs. Grumpy.

My, how did the Summer go by so quickly? Well here we are again, in the first week of school.

As always, I have the cherished task of sorting out the "medical information cards" you parents fill out. I'm sure in this day and age it could be done more effectively online, but apparently they tried that at another school last year, and the parents didn't bother. I guess the internet kiosk line at the bus station was too long.

So we're continuing with cards.

Since filling these things out is a surprisingly complex task for so many of you, I thought I'd offer a few pointers.

1. On the line where it says "name" write YOUR KID'S NAME. Not your name. Or his sister's name. Also, putting nicknames like "Raggy," "Dudette," and "Booger," while cute, do not help. Especially when you don't put on a last name. So, let's keep this in mind: Write your KID'S name, both first and last. Middle is optional, unless it's a name that ends in a Roman numeral (such as Harold Winthrop Higgleschweimer IV). Then it's required so the teachers know he's just killing time with school until he gets his inheritance.

2. On the line where it says "medications" please list any your kid is taking. Things your ex was taking at the time of conception that you believe explain junior's shitty math scores do not belong there. Nor am I looking for a list of EVERY FUCKING PILL BOTTLE IN THE HOUSE. Just what junior is presently on, not what he might get into because of crappy supervision by your baby-daddy's 9 year old watching him and playing Nintendo simultaneously.

3. Under allergies, please write your kid's allergies. That's all. How hard is that? Peanuts? Check. Penicillin? Good, you've got the point. So stop putting stuff in like "soap from a Motel 6," "the sunscreen my MIL bought," and (my favorite this year) "Disney backpacks."

4. I need a phone number where I can reach you in an emergency. 911 doesn't count, unless you work there. And even then, it's a stretch. Likewise, telling me that it changes from week-to-week doesn't help, and makes me wonder if CPS should be called.

5. A vaccination record is really helpful. Writing "I believe in Jenny McCarthy" doesn't make me think highly of you. But my REAL pet peeve here is those of you who are simply too damn lazy to actually look for the records, and just scribble "religious reasons" to save time in filling it out. If that many of you hadn't vaccinated your kids, most would be dead by now. I don't believe you, so get off your ass and look through the filing cabinet.

6. If junior takes pills, please bring them in a labeled prescription bottle. A plastic baggie that says "Give a blue pill to Joanie once a day" isn't helpful. Nor is dumping a handful of loose unidentifiable pills on the counter and mumbling "those are for Steve" as you rush out with a phone glued to your ear.

7. I am not the NSA. I am not trying to violate your privacy here. I really do need to know if your kid has epilepsy. Or diabetes. Or asthma. This is knowledge that can make the difference between Billy living or dying when he's brought to my office sick as shit. Writing "none of your business" or "PRIVATE!!!" on the medical history section doesn't make my job easier. If you're writing it because you're too lazy to call your ex and ask about medical history, grow a pair and and do it. This is about your kid, not you.

Have a great school year!

For more skool nerse stories, please see my page.


Julie said...

Timely post - I've just filled in one of those forms for my daughter. Our forms are slightly different however, after the emergency contact details section the first question is:

"Child's condition?" ... HUH???? Luckily my 11yr explained that was where you put any illnesses that they currently have. I was going to write "alive".

Jessie said...

Just did one for my 8 year old this morning. They don't ask for the vaccination record, but before enrolling (in kindergarten)there was a form for his doctor with all his vaccines.

BTW I don't believe in Jenny McCarthy, anyone that dumb can't be real.

Anonymous said...

If your form just states 'Name' you probably need to change it. Perhaps "Student's Name" would get more correct responses?

When designing surveys for statistical research (for example) it's customary to produce a sample questionairre, and trial it on a small group to find problems with the form, and fix them before handing it out to everyone. Remember, you're dealing with the lowest common denominaor here!

If I was you, I'd change the form each year, to fix all the stupid mis-interpretations of the previous year(s) until you have the perfect form.

I'd also include tick boxes for things like "[] I'm too stupid/lazy to vacinate my child against preventable diseases" to save time for the poor unfortunates.


OSUJillyBean said...

I would make the child's grades dependent on having all their forms in, CORRECTLY. I couldn't graduate high school or college until all of my paperwork had been submitted. Why not hold those families accountable for this sort of nonsense? And when they complain, then you can explain that these forms aren't for your personal enjoyment but will help the welfare of their child while he/she/it is at school.

Anonymous said...

As a former high school teacher now pursuing a career in medicine, to you Mrs. Grumpy I say "Bless your soul!" May you have a great year filled with a minimum amount of shenanigans and mysterious, pre-math test, cheetoh looking and smelling skin rashes.

And yes, some parents are so completely idiotic it makes you wonder how their children will be able to function as adults one day.

Roy said...

As several have pointed out, if you are having this much problem with people filling out the form, then perhaps part of your problem is the form itself.

People are not mind readers. A box labeled with only "Name" leaves you guessing as to which name is needed. Sometimes it's obvious, sometime not. If it's not obvious, some will inevitably guess wrong. If you need pills brought in a labeled prescription bottle, then you need to say so - explicitly. Not everyone is a school nurse and knows this.

Mrs. Grumpy said...

All of the instructions you pointed out are quite clearly stated on the cover sheet that's sent home with the forms on the first day.

Roy said...

Okay - that's an important piece of information that was left out of the original post. (Not every school does the cover sheet thing.)

So... Never Mind.

tbunni said...

This only confirms my opinion (the only opinion that counts!) that children should be sterilized at birth, then have to pass a test to have it reversed as adults. A COMMON SENSE test. So their offspring have a decent chance to be raised by someone who can actually think.

BTW, I'm still running for dictator of the world. I think a Mongolian yak herder and/or his wife would perfect as vice dictator. Come on, you know it sounds tempting....

bobbie said...

Bless you, Mrs. Grumpy! You couldn't PAY me enough to do your job!!

Anonymous said...

I'm a school nurse in the UK and this rings so true with me!
Big cheers to you Mrs G

Chivas Owle said...

What, I am supposed to fill out a form AND read a cover sheet?! What am I, parent of the year here? Anyway it is your job to know my child's health. Ain't got time for this!

Anonymous said...

Our school health form has the same format - "Name" at the top. When filling out SCHOOL health forms, it is blatently evident that "name" is for the student. Why, on a form that would be kept on file at the school, would anyone care what MY name is versus that of my son? The school cares about my son's health, not mine. I sign the form at the bottom. How is that hard? Too much hand-holding is given to people who would benefit more from a kick in the backside.

Anonymous said...

Our school has us tick off whether the child was born in a) The US b) Washinton DC c) Puerto Rico d) Other.

I think they need geography lessons.

Laura said...

Lol at #4... I can just imagine some parent seeing that question and thinking to themself "Gee, this school nurse must be really stupid. She doesn't even know that the number you call in emergencies is 911???"

@OSUBillyJean... having grades be dependent on parental forms seems cruel to the student. If the parents are the type that don't care enough to fill out the form correctly, they probably are the type that don't care that much about grades.

Anonymous said...

My god, are you school nurse in the same city where my pediatric clinic is?

Edit: After 30 seconds of reflection allowed by the preview button, that sounds harsh of me. I love 95% of them. It's the other 5%..... :)

Even I'M not this bitchy said...

Wow, Mrs. Grumpy, bitter much?

You know this happens every single year...because this is not the first time we have read this sort of thing from you.

If you despise your job THAT much, because that is how you are coming off, then leave.

I hope you're not this bitchy to the parents...maybe that's why they fill the cards out the way they do.

CrayonEater said...

Ms. Grumpy is merely venting. I don't hate my community college teaching job either, but I sure should be able to vent somewhere at the blatant stupidity that comes around annually.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Grumpy,
I feel your pain. Do you have parents trying to use "essential oils" to heal ailments? It is driving me crazy having children come doused in these oils for colds, flu, hang nails, and now someone wants to use it instead of an inhaler. I had to have a Nurse/Principal/Teacher intervention last year, when a child got severely infected hang nails - the infection was beginning to travel up the finger in red streaks. And the family was happily massaging in these oils.
Grumpy Kindergarten Teacher

Anonymous said...

I like the proactive approach you take. Not like the nurse, at granddaughter's school, who was TERRIFIED of the epi-pen my granddaughter needs for a life-threatening allergy to peanuts (seriously, they had to stop the test when the reaction was off the charts). Said nurse didn't want the responsibility of keeping the pen in her office. After the initial reaction from daughter - which included pitchforks and torches, and may have been over the top a bit - we finally petitioned the school principal for help and got the pen in the nurse's possession.

Sweet clothespin jeebus.

Thankfully, she now has a teacher with a pen and a new nurse with no pen-phobias.

WarmSocks said...

Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

Might be a good idea to put those instructions on the form, not on a cover sheet that might or might not make it home with the form. fwiw

Diana said...

In our state you cant just say you have a religious exception. You have to go to the health department and listen to what they have to say and then they will write you a Religous exception cerf.

I had a parent write on the health card. Student has asthma but they dont need an inahler yet. They do have a defibrilltor at home that they use sometimes. It took me a second to figure that one out.

PGYx said...

(Catching up late on Grumpy's blog)

Welcome to my world, where yes/no questions yield 5-paragraph responses (that don't include yes or no) and patients want to show you "this weird rash on my balls," when they present for evaluation of knee pain. Yes, this is real life.

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