- Nurse Kathleen Walsh asks junior Danielle Handler how she is feeling in the nurse’s office after school today.
by Julia Moss
Why is this school’s health office crowded with students nearly every day? There doesn’t seem to be a great risk of injury at this school. After all, most students spend a good portion of the school day sitting at a desk. That seems safe enough, right?
Of course, there are always incidents of students becoming ill during school, injuries in gym class and even the occasional science experiment gone wrong.
However, many students think that it is appropriate to go to the health office even when they have problems that are completely unrelated to their health, according to Nurse Rozanne Milner. In fact, the school nurses—Milner, Debbie Donovan and Kathleen Walsh—have compiled a list of all of the obscure requests and ailments that have brought students to their office this year.
According to the nurses, students this year have come to the office asking, in no particular order:
- Do you have slippers?
- Do you have sweatpants?
- Do you have vinegar?
- Do you have a lint roller?
- Do you have a plastic bag for pennies?
- Do you have Tide-to-Go?
- Do you have knee-pads?
- Do you have a needle and thread?
- Do you have toothpicks?
- Do you have special soap for legs?
- Do you have a plastic bag for a wet bathing suit?
- Can I leave my bike here? I forgot my bike lock.
- Can you get the bubble gum out of my hair?
- Can you dry my shirt?
There is one particular incident that Walsh said she will never forget. “A kid stepped in dog doo during gym, and the physical education teacher sent the kid to me,” she said. “They wanted me to clean his shoes!”
Milner explained, “Students think we’re a repository for everything.”
Remember that despite all of these incidents, not all of the students who visit the health office are seeking plastic bags or assistance with dog doo. From time to time, students do come in with serious injuries.
Nurse Kathleen Milner said that a student once broke his arm during school. “While he was waiting to go to the hospital, he was in a lot of pain and behaving out of the ordinary,” Milner said. “He looked out and saw the ambulance arriving and said, ‘There’s my ride.’ It was actually very funny.”
While the nurses do not want to go into more detail about each of these incidents, as not to embarrass students, they will say that many of their experiences have been “just plain weird!”