The bell rang and the blaring music started with “Waterfalls” by TLC. It was Tuesday.
The kids led the way down to the health office. They plunked down on the floor. I opened the office, grabbed the joke book and tossed it towards Sarah as I called out, “Heads up!”. She caught it.
“Can you please find me the joke of the day?”
Sarah enthusiastically cracked it open. Patrick schooched in beside her, while Megan lay back on the floor with her hands behind her head and her knees bent up. Sarah started reading aloud. I turned back into the office and opened my medication book.
I doubled checked my medications and I filled the cups with the pills as the kids giggled in the hallway. ‘Safety is no laughing matter’, I thought, as I continued to check my work, even though I had the list mostly memorized. Medication errors are a common mistake in the nursing profession, I had had that experience and never wanted to repeat it. It had, thankfully, not caused any ill effects in the patient but the anguish and sleeplessness it had caused me, in addition to the form that I was forced to fill out, to my great shame, was an indelible lesson. Nursing is an incredible profession where one can contribute in healing however the opportunity to make grave mistakes are innumerable. Sobering.
I finished up and washed my hands. I found my dry erase marker and stepped out into the hall.
“Did you pick one?” I asked as I erased yesterday’s joke.
“Yup!” Megan answered. “Knock, knock.”
“Who’s there?” I dutifully answered.
“Bless you!” Megan answered. The three kids broke into giggles. I chuckled.
“I love it!” I exclaimed and started to write it on the white board. “Thanks guys. Now I need a health tip. Got any for me?”
“Don’t eat your boogers.” Patrick offered.
“That’s sound advice.” I replied.
“Don’t eat things off the floor. You are not a dog.” Megan chimed in as she sat up.
“Don’t stick your fingers in a socket.”
“Or a fork.”
“Guys! These are awesome!” I ran into the office and picked up a pencil and a piece of paper and started to scribble them down.
“Don’t put a rock up your nose.”
“Agreed. Bad idea.”
“Don’t step on a crack, you will break your mother’s back.” Patrick added.
“Nope. That’s a myth bro.”
“Cover your mouth when you cough.” Sarah said.
“Or sneeze.” Megan added.
“Brush your teeth.”
“Wear clean underwear.” Patrick said and I grinned.
“Don’t lick a frozen metal pole.”
“Dont eat gum you found stuck under the table.”
“Keep it clean and dry.” Sarah mimicked my voice and I snorted.
“Don’t do drugs.”
“Take a deep breath.”
“Oh yes. Rather philosophical.” I said thoughtfully.
“Don’t chew your hair.”
“Don’t chew your fingernails.”
“Wear a helmet.”
“A life jacket.”
The kids paused as I caught up writing their suggestions down.
I looked at my list and then looked up at the kids. “Wow! I have plenty of suggestions. Certainly enough for the rest of the week. I will use one of each of yours each day.” I responded. “Today I will post the gum one.”
Megan cheered. “That was mine!” She clapped her hands above her head as I wrote it on the white board.
I locked up the office and the kids stood up. I held up my hand and gave each of the kids a high five.
“Let’s take on Tuesday, team!”
The kids ran down the stairs while Bryan Adams sang “Everything I do, I do it for you.”