>And now for the second part of my ranting catch up post from the other day!
2. My School’s Unqualified Health Center Staff.
I’ve had a really bad cold for the past week, so I went in to the Health Center to get myself checked out. The nurse happened to be in, so I saw her instead of the nurse practitioner, and she told me that because I didn’t have a fever or any signs of strep there was nothing she could do for me. Which is fair. The next day, I went in for a developing case of pink eye.
I’ve had a lot of experience with pink eye– I used to get it all the time as a kid and even still get it every once in a while. I know the signs so well that I can tell before it starts getting gooey that I have it and am going to need antibiotics, and every doctor that I’ve been to about it has reconfirmed my ability to recognize the signs, has given me antibiotic eye drops, and sent me home with a warning that I’d be contagious for 24 hours after starting the drops. So when I went to the Health Center I didn’t expect them to know me and my weird ability to spot pink eye, but I expected them to be knowledgeable and be able to help me. Which is why I was so disappointed when the nurse practitioner obviously had no idea what she was talking about.
She started our session by having me describe my symptoms to her– my eye was bright red, it was a bit sore near the eyelashes, and was oozing yellow goop that had glued my eye shut while I slept. Normal for pink eye, right? Apparently not for this nurse practitioner– she kept insisting that people tend to get these symptoms either before or after colds, which meant that my cold had just relocated itself to my eye. And then, even though pink eye is highly contagious, she told me to go to classes.
First of all, excuse me? My chest cold decided to take up residence in my eye and show pink-eye-like symptoms? And secondly, I’m contagious!! Don’t unleash me on the unsuspecting student body!! When I had the flu they told me to not go out of my room if I didn’t had to, but I’m pretty sure pink eye is even more contagious than the flu and they’re telling me to go to classes?
It kind of pissed me off but I ignored it because she gave me the antibiotic drops I needed. And though I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but my opinion of her actually continued to degrade when I went in the next day for a follow-up appointment. My eye’s condition had improved dramatically, so I wasn’t expecting anything but inane chatter. I made the mistake of asking if I was still contagious– again, every doctor has told me that after 24 hours on the drops it’s not contagious at all– and got a speech about how I was no longer contagious to myself because of the antibiotics I was taking, but because it was a viral infection due to my relocated cold I could be contagious to other people for up to two weeks.
Seriously? Stop with this relocated cold business. What I have is very obviously pink eye, and is improving with antibiotics, which treat bacterial infections and NOT viral infections.
Don’t these people have to go through SOME kind of training before being released on the population as a someone apparently knowledgeable in the medical sciences??? Don’t middle schoolers know the difference between bacteria and viruses, and that antibiotics treat the former and NOT the latter???
Suffice to say, I’m overjoyed that my mom’s family is full of doctors, and if worse comes to worst I know I can always get the care I need. You’d think, though, that the school would be able to hire people who know what they’re talking about without spending more money than they already are.
Right now, I’m just upset that there’s no way to comment on my experiences at the Health Center to let the school know directly how I feel about the services they’re offering.