Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I am a teacher, not a nurse

Here are some of my job responsibilities:

  • teaching English in grades 7-12
  • after school computer class
  • after school Laboule English class
  • taking pictures
  • helping in the clinic
  • refilling prescriptions when the clinic is not open (mostly tums, tylenol, and high blood pressure meds)
  • helping Johane with administrative projects
My title is "English teacher". That's pretty self-explanatory. I'm a team player, so I don't mind helping people with their responsibilities. I even enjoy it most of the time. (The jobs I don't like require filing the dossiers back into their respective boxes. I generally put them in numerical order and hand them off to Nalouse.) However, there are these jobs that are occasionally thrust upon me that I just can't handle.

Need an example? Good. I've got two from this week. First, one of our neighbor kids had a prescription for Amoxicillian and ibuprofen. Johane asked me to get the meds from the clinic on Monday when I went to school. Not a problem. I'm a team player, remember? I like to help. So, I go to the clinic. Before I even step foot in the pharmacy (which is seriously one step from the door to the outside), an elementary kid is there saying, "Britney, mwen malad." This kid is notorious for attention seeking behavior, so I didn't believe that he was sick. However, before I could shoo him away, he took off his shoe and then his sock. Just my luck the kid has a nasty big toe injury that I can't ignore. Gross.

Anytime one of the high school students gets hurt, they send someone to find me. It doesn't matter where I am, they expect me to have supplies and the willingness to bandage them up. I think the fact that I'm white makes these kids think I am medically trained. I understand that 90% of the white people they meet are working in the clinic, but I am not medically trained! AND I DON'T LIKE NASTY WOUNDS THAT ARE LEAKING BODY FLUIDS. Don't they know the principal's office has a first aid kit?

The second example doesn't involve any body fluids. Thankfully! After I cleaned and bandaged the nasty toe, I started looking for the two medications I needed in the pharmacy. While I was there three students and the librarian came to ask me for medicine. Three of them were very easy: tums and/or tylenol. The fourth boy, Wilson, was extremely ill. He had a fever and was shaking so much I was afraid he was going to fall over. I immediately made him sit down and I gave him some ibuprofen to help with the fever. It wasn't clear whether he was vomiting or had diarrhea, and I couldn't think of anything else to do for him. I told him to drink a lot of water and that he should go home and sleep. I also told him he could take more pills in 4 hours.

Later I realized that we had some rehydration packets in the pharmacy, so I sent some home with one of his friends who promised to deliver them. I was really worried about Wilson. He was clearly very sick, and I don't think his family would be able to take him to the hospital/doctor if he got worse. This morning, Arold texted me as soon as he got to school to say that Wilson was there and completely fine. Thank you Jesus!

The moral of this blog post is you should really ask more questions about your job responsibilities. And when I say "ask more questions" I mean you should probably ask, "Will I be responsible for cleaning and treating open wounds?"

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