Don't they teach interpersonal skills at school nurse academy?

I don't see why people have to be condescending, or rude. The past month or so, I have been struggling with the nurse at my daughters school.

I first approached her at an event before the school year began, trying to explain that we were new to the country, and facing trouble getting insurance. I just wanted to know exactly what shots Mini Madam would be needing, and she cut me off:

Her: "Oh, I don't deal with the pre-kindergarten."

Me: "It's the new program, starting in fall?"

Her: "I don't deal with it. You'll need to talk to the park district."

So I went and found the park district table, and they were clueless, because... They didn't deal with the preschool program. I gave up, and mentioned the problems again to the director of children's services, who assured me that everything would be okay, and to get the shots as the need came up. She also advised we could waiver if we wanted to.

Jump to three weeks ago, and the problem that triggered my vaccine article. A letter from the school nurse demanded the missing shots by September 15th, or Missy would be excluded. An argument ensued. I was told a religious waiver might not be approved by the state of Illinois, and I was basically coerced into having my children receive vaccines that we didn't want, and that we could barely afford because of a problem with obtaining insurance (more about that to come).

They had the shots. You'd think that would be the end of it, but no. Because the UK don't immunize against Hepatitis B in children, she still had shots outstanding. So I received an email, informing me she will be excluded from September 16th. I understand this can be prevented by either:

1. Making appointments with the doctor and providing proof of those appointments. Or;
2. Submitting a religious exemption.

I called to enquire about how to submit a religious waiver - even though we are atheist, and was told to send in a signed letter. No problem.

I also tried to explain to her again about our situation with insurance and that we likely won't have proper coverage until January. The problem there was, she wouldn't let me. Every time I tried to speak she spoke over me, so I tried to tell her I had attempted to approach her in person back before the year began. She didn't want to listen to that either!

I got so mad, I raised my voice. These are my exact words: " Could you please stop being so bloody rude to me and listen to what I have to say. If you won't listen, I don't see why I should pay to send her to your school."

All I got back was her talking to somebody else, telling them I was screaming down the phone at her, and she hung up! She talks to me like she's better than me, because she seems to have got it into her head that I'm below her, and in am anti-vaccine. I'm not. I'm a big believer in people doing what's best for them, through their own choices.

I understand her position and that it's her job to maintain the welfare of the school's students. What I detest is that I felt horrible because of her; because of the way she chose to treat me - without compassion or respect. I don't think it is at all conducive to upset one of the parents of the school that much, that the parent spends the afternoon in tears wanting to withdraw their child.

I'm sick of people treating me like I am an idiot. I'm not. I'm doing the best job I can, and if people want to have a pop at me, then I'm not going to take it lying down anymore.

I submitted a complaint about the nurse's treatment of me. For a moment after I sent the complaint, I felt slightly guilty, and like she's going to hate me, but then I thought, screw it! She already does! The director of student services called me, and apologized on behalf of the nurse, and we came to an agreement to have the exemption letter submitted on Monday morning.

Even that was a hoohah. TH needed to print the letter, so I called the nurse again to let her know it would be in Missy's bag before school the next day (the day of threatened exclusion). I'm beginning to suspect the nurse is just a grumpy battle axe, because she was like:

Her: "I was told today."

Me: Yes, Miss. But we don't have a printer. Would you like a handwritten copy?

Her: "Can't he fax it to me?"

So I asked her to email her fax number as I was walking. She did - no subject, no comment - just her email signature. It turns out TH can only e-fax anyway, so - not wanting to call her yet again - I did a handwritten copy in my best cursive scrawl I could muster, took it to school and gave it in, smiling as I did so.

Going forwards, I delegate my wonderful husband to liase with the nurse. If I never have to speak with her again, it will be too soon. She has the interpersonal skills of an onion - the more contact you have, the more irritated you become.

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