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Back to school: Nursing edition!

Shutterstock | www.BillionPhotos.com
Shutterstock | www.BillionPhotos.com

Hey, kids! The days are getting shorter, the weather is (hopefully) getting cooler and school buses are running their usual routes again. It’s back-to-school time!

What does this mean for you, the nurse? If you’re going back to school yourself, it means notebooks and thumb drives and registering for classes. If you’re not, here’s what it can mean:

1. A sudden increase in colds and runny noses, both in your home (ugh) and at work. Shoving a whole bunch of children together in a classroom means novel viruses can get passed around. Stock up on cold medicine and tea…and keep washing those hands like crazy on the job.

2. More playground injuries on your unit. Like weekend warriors, kids will sometimes overdo it. Falling off the monkey bars can result in anything from a scraped knee to a fractured forearm. Luckily, this is a temporary situation, as the little ones will learn their limits pretty soon.

3. Your coworkers suddenly look more relaxed. Most of this has to do with their houses being silent and empty on their days off, with the kids at school.

4. A new set of pens or a new box of crayons begins to look strangely attractive. I’m convinced that the subliminal message of “back to school” equaling “new stuff” never completely goes away, even when you’re an adult. Want new pens? You’re grown up. You can have them. (Plus, yours are always disappearing at work, anyway!)

5. If you have children, you might find yourself packing one of their lunch packs with the apple slices and salami for your own lunch “break.” It’s easier than leftovers, tastier, maybe, than canned spaghetti and probably healthier than hitting the vending machines at 2 am.

6. One thing you won’t notice if you work typical nurse’s hours: having to slow down for school zones. That’s one thing that never changes, no matter the time of year.

Happy almost-fall, everybody…go celebrate by getting some new pens!

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Agatha Lellis

Agatha Lellis is a nurse whose coffee is brought to her every morning by a chipmunk. Bluebirds help her to dress, and small woodland creatures sing her to sleep each night. She writes a monthly advice column, "Ask Aunt Agatha," here on Scrubs; you can send her questions to be answered at askauntieaggie@gmail.com.
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