Archive for the ‘Nurse’s Notes’ Category

Discussion, Question-Answer Session on Illicit Drug Use Wed. Dec 14th

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Students,
I want to remind you again of Peter Alward’s visit to Steller on Wednesday, December 14th. His talk will be in the MPR at lunchtime and will start as soon as everyone can get settled.  Please make plans to bring a lunch to school that day and be ready to listen to and ask questions of this phenomenal speaker. As, I mentioned in AG, Peter is the director of nurisng at North Star Residential Treatment Center and has two decades of experience working with adolescents. He is a psychiatric nurse practitioner, a clinical psychologist and is to start as an adjunct professor at UAA.  Peter loves to educate and has a real gift for doing so. He is definitely one of the most enthusiastic people I have ever known with boundless energy and a true passion for his profession. I know he has had a huge impact on the lives of hundreds of adolescents over the years. You are in for a real treat, so make the effort to be there. Encourage your friends to join you for this VERY SPECIAL opportunity.
Thank you
Nurse Anne

FluMist Vaccination

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Parents,
I am going to administer the FluMist vaccination this Friday, Nov 4th (today) at lunchtime. Please send a consent in with your student or fax me one at 742-4966 if you have not already done so. The consent form is under Nurses Notes and is included on the October 22nd posting. It says consent page one and consent page two below the note I typed. The second two pages are the information sheets that I am must supply you with. Please get the consent to me by lunchtime. I may be able to give some vaccinations after lunch if I have any doses left over.  I appreciate your help with this.
Thank you
Nurse Anne

Flu Mist Vaccinations Friday

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Parents,
I received word this morning that the FluMist vaccinations are in. They will be delivered to Steller Friday and administered that same day. This gives your adolescent time to recouperate over the weekend if there are any minor side effects from the immunization. Please remind him/her to see the nurse during lunch. I try to avoid scheduling these activities when the students are in class.  I am sorry, however the vaccinations are only for students. Your health care provider, numerous walk-in clinics and the pharmacy at Carrs and Fred Meyers offer them as well.

If you have not filled out a consent and want your adolescent to have the influenza nasal vaccination, please do so. Return the consent to me  by Thursday afternoon. I sent two students home this morning with fu symptoms. One had a temperature of almost 101.  I appreciate your assistance in helping keep the Students at Steller healthy.
Sincerely,
Anne McCarron
Steller school nurse

Food for the Nurse’s Stash

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Parents,

I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your generosity supplying food for those students who forget their lunch. We have some students who forget far more than others and I am trying to keep tabs on that and let their parents know.  Nonetheless, we are low on items that are most often sought after. The Cup of Noodles are a huge hit. I currently have none in my office or storage area.  If any of you are so inclined, both the students and I would sincerely appreciate a new stock. You are the best!

Thank you so much for kindness providing students with this very special privilege.

Sincerely,
Anne McCarron, RN
Steller Secondary school nurse

Flu Mist Vaccinations

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Parents,
This is a reminder that the state is supplying Steller with FluMist vaccinations. I was told I could request the vaccinations for a week in November and I requested them for this week. I have not heard anything from Health Services about which exact day the FluMist will be available and I am certain that is because my supervisor has not hear anything from the state. This just gives me time to solicit more consents. The consent and information sheet were sent with the first announcement on Flash. I also sent a hard copy  home last week. Scroll down and find that announcement and print the sheets off or if you are in the building just drop by the office. I have consents and information sheets on the counter top in a manilla folder. I must have a consent to administer the vaccination.

The flu is already circulating in the building.  Several people have been sick – both students and staff. Please get those consents in and help prevent the flu from spreading any further. I get my vaccination every year and it has made a difference. I have not been sick with the flu virus in years. FluMist is the only vaccination that will be given because it has been shown to be more effective than the injection with children and adolescents. The information sheets posted under Flash with the first announcement will tell you more, including contraindications for the FluMist.

FYI,  all vaccinations have the potential for side effects. However, the vaccination has never been determined to give a person the flu. There is the potential for several adverse reactions to the flu virus itself.  The information below is cut and pasted from the CDC website. Please think seriously  about having your adolescent immunized against flu this year. Thank you. Nurse Anne
www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/disease.htm
Flu Symptoms & Severity
Influenza Symptoms

Influenza (also known as the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

*   Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
*   Cough
*   Sore throat
*   Runny or stuffy nose
*   Muscle or body aches
*   Headaches
*   Fatigue (tiredness)
*   Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

* It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

Flu Complications

Most people who get influenza will recover in a few days to less than two weeks, but some people will develop complications (such as pneumonia) as a result of the flu, some of which can be life-threatening and result in death.

Pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus and ear infections are three examples of complications from flu. The flu can make chronic health problems worse. For example, people with asthma may experience asthma attacks while they have the flu, and people with chronic congestive heart failure may have worsening of this condition that is triggered by the flu.

Parents

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

Monday, October 24th your adolescents will be coming home with a consent for the administration of the flu mist vaccination. They will receive the consent and an information sheet about the vaccination from their advisors. If for some reason, you do not receive these two items, see me for a copy. The state has ordered extra flu mist for all public schools who are interested. I requested that we have our clinic the first week of November, however, I was asked not to establish a specific date in the event that the vaccinations are not available on that particular day.  The vaccinations will be administered sometime during the first week of November. I must have the signed consents in my office by the beginning of the day October 31st. If the clinic does not happen that day, I will accept consents that trickle in after that time, however I absolutely must have a copy in my hand before the vaccination can be given.

It is imperative that you read the information sheet (See below)  that comes with the consent and make certain your adolescent does not have any of the contraindications. The flu mist is a live, attenuated (weakened) influenza vaccine that is sprayed into the nostrils.  Asthma, diabetes, an allergy to eggs and a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome are usually contraindications. There are others that the information sheet addresses. Students with asthma and diabetes may receive the injection. The injection is not a live vaccine.  The Municipality of Anchorage will administer the injection for free to any adolescent under 18 years of age. Their number is 343-4799. Thank you for making certain those consents are returned to me.  (Note: there are two pages of consent forms below.  Both must be returned.)  I appreciate your cooperation. Anne

Consent form page one

Consent form page two

 

Information page one

Information page two

 
P.S. A speaker from the FBI will be at Steller on October 25th at 10:20 for a Red Ribbon Week presentation. The presentation will be in the MPR.  You are invited to attend.

Anne M. McCarron, R.N. NBCSN
Steller Secondary
2508 Blueberry Rd.
Anchorage Alaska 99503
Main office (907) 742-4950
Nurse’s office (907) 742-4963
Fax (907) 742-4966

Sensitive Topic

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Parents,
It has been suggested that I post a notice on flash addressing a somewhat sensitive topic. Not infrequently since school started, I have been asked to talk to several female students about the way they are dressed.  Exposure of too much skin below the neck is the biggest concern. Obviously, low necklines are in style and have been for sometime. We had this problem at Central when I was the school nurse there four years ago. As I have told the students who have been sent to me, I would take the students at Central into a huge storage area full of used clothing. They had to choose something to change into or put over their top or they would be sent home.

It would be helpful if you could please make an effort to oversee what your daughters are wearing to school. Although adolescent ladies do not like to believe so, there are solutions to low necklines. Camisoles or tank tops can be worn under the top. After calling one mother to bring her daughter a change, she has decided to keep extra camisoles at school in the event this is a problem in the future.

The teachers who have sent students to me improperly dressed have explained the situation. They stand at the front of the class overlooking their classroom. Every time a student bends over with a top that has a low neckline, virtually everything is revealed. Unconsciously, eyes gravitate to areas that are not usually exposed. This is true for both male and females. Not only is it a big distraction when a teacher is trying to instruct, but it can be a real embarrassment as well. There can also be very negative consequences for unconsciously looking at an area that has so many profound connotations.  One female student argued that some males wear far more revealing shirts than she had on. That maybe true, however that is a very different situation.

ASD policy mandates that students dress appropriately for school. Any attire that is so revealing that it makes others feel uncomfortable is not appropriate. In addition to this notice, I have typed a note for the advisors to read at their advisory group meeting.  If you have constructive suggestions that might be beneficial, please feel free to contact me. As one of our teachers recently said, this is not the way a professional would dress in the work environment. Steller certainly is a professional work environment, however students may not feel that they have to dress professionally as a student. Nonetheless, we want our students to learn habits that will help them be a success when they ARE working as a professional in a professional work environment.  Thank you for your assistance with this.

Sincerely,
Nurse Anne

Volunteers Needed

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

Parents,
I requested reflectors from the Alaska Injury Prevention Center. They have been sent to me and I am ready to apply them to backpacks and jackets. I need volunteers who are willing to assist me during lunchtime (11:45 am until 12:40 p.m.) and immediately after school (2:05 p.m. until 3:30 p.m.). It was highly recommended that volunteers apply the reflectors. If they are sent home, they are unlikely to be used. The reflectors simply stick on the item and can be easily attached in a matter of seconds.  If you and/or your adolescent are interested in assisting me, let me know which day will work best for you. I would prefer to do this on one single day.  It may be that students will even allow us keep their backpack or jacket and apply the reflectors when they are back in class after lunch.  If that is the case, we may not even need the extra time after school. If you are interested in assisting me, please let me know which day works best for you. The day that works best for most people is the one that we will plan on. Remember, October 28th is an inservice day, so no students will be in the building.  My direct line is 742-4963 and my email is mccarron_anne@asdk12.org

The Alaska Injury Prevention Center suggests that the reflectors be adhered to both the front and back of backpacks and/or winter coats. It may be cut into shapes to add flair and individuality. Perhaps the end of October would best best for this activity since we should have snow by then and hopefully,  all students will be wearing their winter jacket to school.

This may seen like a project that is important only for elementary school aged children, yet, we know that it is often difficult to see anyone when the sun is down. Alaska is a state where there is the  the greatest need for reflectors. I did a preliminary survey and only found four students who had them. They were reflectors on backpacks that looked like they were there when the backpack was purchased.  After a date is decided on to apply the reflectors, I will send an educational brochure home to encourage students to take advantage of this opportunity.  I appreciate your help.
Sincerely,

Anne M. McCarron, R.N. NBCSN
Steller Secondary
2508 Blueberry Rd.
Anchorage Alaska 99503
Main office (907) 742-4950
Nurse’s office (907) 742-4963
Fax (907) 742-4966

PPD Testing

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Parents,
I am beginning PPD testing for all 7th graders and those new to ASD (who have not have a PPD in the last 6 months). This is a little prick just underneath the skin on the lower arm. It is to determine if your adolescent has been exposed to tuberculosis. If you want  to be with your child for the PPD, please come by anytime and I can do it with you in attendance. You signed a form at registration giving me permission to administer it.  I administer the test and check it two days later to see if there is a reaction. The PPD is a state requirement to remain in school, however, if you prefer to have it given elsewhere that is an option. The municipality (“L Street Clinic”) does them for free.

Also, I want to remind you that the flu vaccination, B12 injection, super B, tetanus or pneumonia vaccination, they will be available this Friday (9/23/11) at 7:30 for a moderate cost. The flu vaccination price is $20. Consent forms are in the front office in an orange folder on the counter.  The clinic would like you to have them filled out ahead of time, if possible.

Finally, if a parent is interested in helping me with screenings (height, weight, vision and hearing), please contact me and let me know what days you are available. My direct line is 742-4963. This is a good way for nurses who are not working to keep their license up-to-date. I am happy to have any assistance. Volunteers do not need to be health care professionals.
Thank you for all you do for Steller.
Nurse Anne
742-4963

Two Important Upcoming Events

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Parents,
There are two upcoming events I want to inform you about.  Patient’s First will administer onsite Flu vaccinations ($20), Vitamin B12 ($15), Super B ($30), includes B12, pneumocoaal ($60) and T-Dap ($50), the tetanus vaccination which even adults should have every 10 years. Click here for more information.  I have left consent forms for the vaccinations on the counter in the main office. The clinic would like you to fill the consent form out ahead of time. This opportunity is open to parents, staff and students. It will take place in the MPR from 7:30 until 8:30, Friday morning, September 23rd.  If you are interested or are interested in having your child or adolescent receive any of the above, please let me know so that I can give the clinic a heads up on the approximate number. If you can go ahead and fill out the consent, then give it to me, that would probably be the best way to keep track of numbers.  I have been told that Patient’s First does not currently have the flu mist, but they will let me know if their supply arrives before our clinic.  I will pass the word on when I hear something.

The second item I want to discuss is Camp Erin. Camp Erin is part of Hospice of Alaska. It is a three day camp (Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon) for children and adolescents who have experienced the death of a significant person in their life. The camp is entirely free and is full of wonderful activities for those who participate. I was a volunteer last year and will be a part of the program again this year. If you have a child or adolescent or if you know of one who has experienced a recent loss, this could be an excellent opportunity for them. The camp is in Birchwood at the Boy Scout Camp and will take place the weekend of October 7th. We will sleep in cabins, do lots of indoor and outdoor activities, have great meals. and lots of fun. I have the registration forms for Camp Erin in my office and I can leave a few with flu consents in the main office as well. Please feel free to call me about either of these two events or anything else I can assist you with.

Anne M. McCarron, R.N. NBCSN
Steller Secondary

Lunch and Breakfast Stash in the Nurse’s Office

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Parents,
It has been brought to my attention that I can request food donations from you for students who forget their lunch, don’t have money etc. I have a small stash left from last year, but will be happy to accept more.  I am receptive to anything that is healthy (fairly low in fat, sugar and sodium), that the students will eat, is in individual packets, will not take up a lot of space and does not have to be refrigerated.  Parents and  students have informed me that the items below have been supplied in the past.

Cup of Noodles
Cans of soup (with the tabs to open the can)
Chef Boyardee Beefaroni, lasagna, etc. in individual plastic containers
Individual packets of oatmeal
Fruit roll ups
Boxes of fruit juice
Granola bars
Gold Fish cracker packets

Some of the items on this list are boarderline healthy, however they are far better than soda, chips, candy, cookies, etc. If you can come up with other items that are reasonably healthy and fit the other criteria listed, then I am receptive. This is a great service for students.  We are all distracted at times and forget important things like our lunch. As we all know, students cannot concentrate if their stomach is empty. Please inform your adolescent about the service if they are new to Steller this year. Thank you for your assistance. Nurse Anne

Dispose of Unused Prescription Medications Responsibly

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

National Prescription Drug Take-back Day: Saturday, April 30, 2011 10am – 2pm
This event aimed at reducing water and ground contamination and increasing safety within the home by removing unused and expired medications and disposing of them safely.

Bring your unused and expired prescription and over-the-counter drugs.  Be sure to black out any personal information on containers or put medications in other containers.

No chemotherapy drugs, no liquids (unless in original container and tightly capped), and no needles.  No illegal drugs!

Saturday, April 30, 2011 10am – 2pm
Anchorage Locations: Fred Meyer, 7701 Debarr Road
Fred Meyer, 2300 Abbot Road

For more information:  call 800-882-9539or visit www.dea.gov or www.akeela.org/rx

Nurse’s Notes – April 2011

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Spring Intensives & Travel

If your student is participating in travel or an overnight intensive, the health office will need updated medical and medication information.  Please check with your student as he/she should have paperwork for you to review and return to the health office prior to intensives.

 

Student Medication

Medications cannot be left in the nurse’s office over the summer.  It must either be returned to the parent or discarded.  PLEASE PICK UP MEDICATION IN THE NURSE’S OFFICE BY 11:00am, Wednesday, May 18, 2010.  Per ASD policy, any medication not picked up will be turned into ASD Health Services and destroyed.

 

Prom and Graduation Parties

Prom night and graduation are soon approaching.  We want this to be a time of fond memories and not a reminder of a tragic event.  Please take the time to remind your sons and daughters about the safety issues and consequences of drug and alcohol use.  Remind them that it impairs judgment, lowers inhibitions, and can cause alcohol poisoning/overdose, all of which increase the risk for motor vehicle accidents.  Lets work together to keep our students safe.

 

Immunizations Due

Many students will need immunization boosters before the end of school and over the summer.  The immunization must be received and documentation provided to the school prior to attending classes.  The State of Alaska has a strict “NO SHOT, NO SCHOOL” policy.  Reminder letters are mailed out monthly and several months prior to your students immunization due date.  Letters for immunizations due over the summer will be mailed in May.  Free immunizations are available at a variety of locations; please contact me with any questions or concerns.

 

Nurse Wendy

 

 

New Therapy Group for Adolescent Boys

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

Sophomore Day Reminder

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

Dear Sophomore Parents,

Each year, Steller conducts a health education program with a focus on healthy relationships, STI’s/HIV/AIDS education, human sexuality/teen relationship issues, and safety.  This program is presented to the sophomore class as a full-day workshop, which features community guest speakers.  All of our presenters focus on safe and healthy choices as well as encourage communication with one’s family/parents.

All 10th grade students will need to pick up and take home a permission slip (they have been posted in the hall outside of the office) for parental review and signature.  Student’s who do not have a signed permission slip will attend regular classes for the day.  Attendance in either Sophomore Day or the regular class day is required for attendance in Activity Night.  Permission slips need to be returned to Nurse Wendy by Tuesday, April 12th, 2010.

Sophomore Day will be on Friday,  4/15/2011; ASD buses will transport all students.  We will depart promptly at 8:45am and will return to Steller at ~2:15pm.

If your student does not bring home a permission slip, please download it here.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding Sophomore Day or any of the speakers, please feel free for contact me at 742-4963.