Friday, October 30, 2009

Space Geeks!

JBM has an opportunity to share some of his love of space with his classmates. During academic choice (what exactly is that?), he has been reading books about Mars and the Mars Rovers and wants to share his new found knowledge with his class.

We have agreed upon what will be shared and have been chatting about how. I was hoping for the simple approach of a story board with facts he wrote himself and photos cut out from maagazines and front internet stories. How gauche of me! My two space geeks (JBM and Flyboy)have decided that this project requires technology.......Power Point, links to the NASA web site using the SmartBoard in the classroom.

Alas, I guess the days of dioramas and stick figures have gone by the wayside. And at some point, I will be overpowered by geeks or I might have to become one in order to survive in my house!

Will let you know how the presentation goes....Power Point in the third grade...oh my.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Conundrum

I feel like all we talk about these days is H1N1....on that note, school nurses are caught in between helping to assess children who are ill and trying to keep ourselves healthy. Just today, our supervisor asked us to keep our physical assessments to a minimum so to minimize our exposure to ill children in school. We had our H1N1 vaccines but it takes up to 10 days to build true immunity.

Anyhow, my struggle is trying to be a good resource to parents. If their child becomes ill in school and we need to send them home, the first question a parent will ask is what are the symptoms we found. Does their child have a fever? Is their child wheezing? Is their throat red? Do they have swollen glands? I cannot answer those questions if I have to stay several feet away in order to keep myself healthy.

I might have the wrong idea, but it is more important to me to provide valuable information to a parent then to save myself. Isn't that why I went into this profession to begin with?

And...if I get H1N1...a few days off would not be bad even if I do feel like crap (oops I said the "c word")! Down Nurse Nancy...Down off your soap box yet again!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate.....

That is the question I have been getting each and every day for many weeks now. Alas, I do not have the definitive answer. While I do firmly believe in the seasonal flu vaccine....get one every year as do my boys (since we all have some level of underlying asthma), I have been unsure about the H1N1. Some factors in the past week have helped me make up my mind.

1. The local health department is supplying vaccines for all the school health professionals in our town free of charge. If it is that easy for me to get, guess I should get it. Received it yesterday. Guess if I blog tomorrow you will know I survived.

2. JBM's doctor's office has a supply and gave an appointment for him. Since it affects younger children in a far bigger way than those at my youthful age, I am not giving him a choice. He will get his later this evening and hopefully will stay well enough to receive the next one in a month.

3. Flyboy is hopeful that his company will be giving the H1N1 at the same time as the seasonal vaccines. I do not think that is likely but I guess we shall see.......tomorrow.

My party line to parents who ask? Get the seasonal vaccine for all the kids in your family and for yourselves. If anyone in the family has an underlying condition, get the H1N1 for them. It is truly a personal decision whether to get one for yourself and also a matter of whether they are even available to get.

Most importantly, wash you hands and stay away from sick people and, if you are sick, from others who are not. So ends this public service announcement which has not been approved by the local health department or the CDC :)

By the way, for those of you who are interested, Army lost again to Rutgers on Friday night...but a good time was had by all. JBM spent the game sitting next to an injured player for Army who had just had knee surgery and did not have to suit up for the game. He now has a new insight on the game, the team and "high fiving" a cadet the correct way....although he will not tell me what that is.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Army v. Rutgers

Tonight my boys and Ellen's boys are headed to West Point for the Army v. Rutgers game. Last time the two teams played on a Friday night, it poured rain and the winds were close to hurricane force. We thought that would be to Army's advantage since they are training to be in the military and fight in all types of weather......we were very wrong!

This is a new era and JBM and I are both confident that Army will hang in there and put up a good fight! We are not making a prediction one way or another but we do know that a good time will be had by all....... Oh and, by the way, the weather forecast is for rain.

Ellen, JBM wants to know if BigJ has permission to buy himself a treat at the game tonight?

Go Army! Beat Rutgers!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pearls of Wisdom

Each week JBM has a list of about 25 words that he needs to learn, spell and be able to write for a test on Friday morning. Each night he does spelling pages in his book and in the morning we have an oral quizz in the car. It is fun to be passing down the pneumonics I used when I was in school to remember how to spell certain words. His favorite so far is how I remembered to spell Connecticut.....our lovely home state....."you 'Connect' 'I' 'cut.' When doing writing assignments, it is fun to hear JBM spelling things out in his head (outloud of course).

Guess we parents do have some gems to pass on to our children.

Can you also conclude who does not listen to me at home? In reality, the answer is NO ONE...except the dog and that is questionable at best since she is 12 and hard of hearing :(

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Vision and Hearing Screening

We have begun vision and hearing screening in between sending kids home with high fevers and tracking ILIs. This is by far our favorite time of the year. So far, I have had to brush off my French skills so that we could test a french speaking family and we have been dealing with a myriad of kindergarteners who twist their bodies in unnatural ways to show us which way the hands are pointing on the vision chart (many of them do not know the ABCs yet). Yesterday, TSAnnie had a five year old giving her the finger (thankfully, he had no clue what he was doing but I thought my insides were going to burst)!

TSAnnie and I are on opposite sides of the room as the testing takes place and the glances that travel back and forth are beyond funny. Once the classes are done, we take the time to review and giggle. This is, by far, the most entertaining time of the year. Love to tell teachers that their classes all passed with flying colors. It confirms for them that there are those students that simply choose to not listen!

Alas, I feel that way at home every day........

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It is here.....

Staying with the theme of yesterday's blog....we are the fortunate recipients of the first confirmed case of H1N1 in our lovely community. Thank goodness for parents who are aware of their children's health and take them to the doctor even if the symptoms do not seem severe. No letters go out to the class. No communication goes out to the school. A weekly update is provided by the superintendent and a count is being kept on the BOE web site. Let's hope this is not the start of something big.....oh and did I mention that the affect student is in JBM's class! GAH!

Monday, October 19, 2009

On the front lines.....

H1N1 is in the news more and more each day. I was pleasantly surpirsed this weekend to hear a story on our local news station about one state that is depending upon school nurses to keep the local and state governments informed about absences from school for "flu like" illnesses and confirmed cases of H1N1. Finally some recognition!

On the other hand, the CDC has decided that school nurses are NOT part of the health care workers who should be getting the H1N1 vaccine. Imagine, we spend our whole day caring for students of all ages with "flu like" symptoms but are not considered high risk for getting the actual disease? What floors me even more is that doctors and nurses who work in pediatric practices (I do that too) are not consdered high risk health care workers either! UGH......or as MPM would say GAH.....

Coming down off my soap box now....but one more thing, if we are being counted on to keep track of cases, are not immunized and get H1N1, who will be tracking things when we are home sick?