I got a call from JT’s school yesterday. JT had been brought to the nurses office by his teacher. This happens quite a bit. He gets “bellyaches” or there is a question about his snack (sometimes JT likes to freak everyone out by claiming he can’t eat something) . They always err on the side of caution, which Chris and I really appreciate. His school nurse and I know each other pretty well at this point!
This time it was a substitute nurse who called because JT was developing a rash on his face. Surprisingly this was the first time that they have ever had to call for a rash, pretty impressive since when we are out “in public” he gets them all the time. The substitute nurse seemed a little nervous about his rash and his allergies in general and said she would feel most comfortable if someone came to get him so we could keep an eye on him at home. We were more comfortable that way too so going to get him was no big deal. When I saw him I knew right away he was fine but was still OK with him coming home, especially with his regular nurse not being available for the day.
The thing that really bothered me, that I am still kind of upset about is that she asked me if he had an epipen. I know it’s not possible for her to know every issue with every student but it is a tiny school and I felt like she should have known that he has an epipen. She said she was looking at the list of his allergies in his file so why wasn’t there a big bright note that said “This kid has an epipen!!”. I thought that part of our health plan was that every employee in the building was to be notified of his allergies. I just looked it up and it specifically says that the school nurse will inform them, and I believe she does/has but I guess I should have clarified what would happen if she wasn’t there. I know realisticly that maybe not every substitutie knows about his epipen but the nurse seems to be the one person who HAS to know, especially when the epipen is not stored in the classroom. It makes me think that if he were having an anaphylactic reaction that he wouldn’t have received his epinephrine immediately, which is so, so important. And then I start thinking about other scenarios like :what if his teacher and the nurse were both absent on the same day”…who would I be counting on to know then? Am I being unreasonable thinking that she should have known?