Thursday, September 29, 2005

Got Nurse?

I have several issues with this story. Even though I have a pottymouth in person I promised myself that I would try and restrain myself in print. That being said. WTF are people thinking? In high school one of my classmates died of some brain problem. At school. In the nurses office. We were freaked out for weeks. In grade school I fell and ripped open my knee, the school nurse helped me out. News | No school nurses left behind: "The likelihood that school nurses are often unavailable is particularly alarming because of the sheer number of children taking regular medication. Nine million students, about 13 percent of children between kindergarten and 12th grade, take medication regularly for at least three months during the year, according to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The types of medication can run the gamut from several kinds of inhalers and inhalation therapy by machine for asthma, to insulin pumps, glucagon or insulin injections for children with diabetes, to suppositories for children with seizure disorders and epinephrine for children with food allergies. Some schools allow children to medicate themselves. Because of budget constraints, the immediate health needs of schoolchildren are often put in the hands of school secretaries, minimally trained health clerks, teacher's aides, teachers and other school staff who lack medical training. If caught in a bind, they try to page a school nurse, who may be miles away."

Only people who have never had problems breathing would require that asthma medication be locked up. An inhaler is an emergency medication, that means the sooner used the better. Breathing is one of those things that you must do successfully on a rather regular basis in order to avoid pushing up daisies. I have adult onset asthma and the first couple of episodes almost killed me. I have been admitted to a cardiac unit twice because the attacks were so extreme. Being an acupuncturist I look for other signs of impending distress and have not had an attack in two years. I still keep my inhaler handy. It should never be locked up. Even five year olds can be trained to use their inhaler successfully. When I was in practice I used to train my younger patients to breathe out so they wouldn't hyperventilate, but immediate inhaler use can reduce panic and promote deeper breathing. The longer you suffer with shortness of breath the harder is to think and be calm. And I have to tell you that it freaks people out when they see someone struggling for air.

I have a Masters degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine and when I was licensed I still was unable to administer medications or injections. As an acupuncturist I have a rather intimate knowledge of needles and I'm not considered qualified, but the school secretary is. I'm so glad I went back to school at 38, incurred this huge debt, and now discover that if I had been a secretary at a school instead of Universal Studios, I could be practicing medicine instead of trying to start a new business 12 years later.

What is it going to take for Americans to realize that the children are the future of the world? They need to be nurtured, not regulated or regimented. They are medicated for being different, scheduled to the point of ridiculousness, coddled as if they were royalty, insulated from responsibility, and a good proportion of them are devoid of any initiative that doesn't involve recreation. They don't deserve to be abandoned.

In some states these same kids that aren't trusted with lifesaving medication are serving time as adults for crimes, some were even scheduled to be put to death. We require that today's youth meet this arbitrary standard of behavior but we neither give them the tools or seem able to lead by example (I was looking for a positive example and couldn't find one, now that's sad as well as proving my point).

So many of today's children live either below the poverty line or so close to it that there isn't much difference. They start out behind and it never gets better for most of them. Life begins with a lethal cocktail of bad nutrition, overworked or absent parents, failing school systems that teach by rote instead of encouraging brain activity, cartoons, video games and ADHD medications to keep them quiet instead of running, playing outside and interacting with their peers in an unstructured environment, and elimination of options for those who are artiscally inclined. Then we expect them to graduate from schools that have been underfunded and overcrowded so they can serve those people who have a little more money and can afford to eat at your chain restaurants.

But you say, all they have to do is buckle down, study hard and they can pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Rags(?) to riches stories are great aren't they? You know why? Because they happen so rarely that it even warms the cockles of a Rethugs heart. I have the same reaction to that reasoning that I do to people who think that everyone can be number one. Statistically impossible.

Recent history has shown us that we have fallen into what I like to refer to as the Pinto reasoning. We keep avoiding the problems, refusing to fix them because we think it might cost too much, hoping nothing will happen. Then it does and it is always worse than the people who didn't want to pay for it in the beginning expected. What's up with that? No wonder today's youth is so confused.

As they teach you in driving snow country, be careful follwing tracks in the snow, you could go over a cliff. We are asking these kids to follow us, but the signals we send them say; we don't care about you, we don't trust you and by the way, you are responsible for every bad thing that happens to you and/or behaviors we that are determined to be bad in the future. It's like the older the baby boomers get, the more they are determined to prevent the younger generation from enjoying the same benefits.

There is no way that this can turn out well. Unless our policies change quickly we are going to lose this generation and it isn't going to be pretty.

No comments:

Post a Comment