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Dear School Nurse: I Want You on Our Team

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Dear School Nurse,

I hate that my feathers are ruffled the moment I meet you. I hate the feeling of dread each new school year brings. I hate that you think you know more than me about my child, their disease and how to treat it. I hate that you assume I am not managing my child’s care and that you think you can usurp my decisions as a parent when it comes to treatment. I hate that you think you can over-ride doctors orders because you think you know better. You are an important person in my child’s life at school. It should be a comfort to me to know you’re there, not fill me with apprehension if we have to talk. I want you on my team. I want you on my child’s team. Not making comments to my child about how you think their disease is not being managed right. That not your place. Your place is by our side; you’re supposed to be with us, instead of it feeling like you’re not.

I hate this antagonistic battle we fight every year. Do you want to know why? Because we should be partners. I should be able to trust you. You should be able to listen to me. I live with and manage my child’s diagnosis 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. I am an expert in my child’s care. I have earned an honorary nursing degree specifically in this disease because of the hours I’ve spent managing this complex medical condition, the hours I’ve spent researching, the hours I’ve spent discussing.

I know you are a highly trained nursing professional who does more than dispense bandaids, your knowledge is broad, and it’s that way for a reason. You could not possibly specialize in every medical condition you face in the nurses office every day. You are overworked and under appreciated. I want to appreciate your presence, not demean your position. You are a vital part of all children’s school lives. I just want to ask for a little respect for the specialization I posses when it comes to the care of my child’s medical condition. I may not be a nurse, but I’ve earned it.

Parent of a Type One Diabetic

Getty image by fizkes

Originally published: December 11, 2021
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