The oddest reasons to see the school nurse

Shelby H.

Managing Editor

The nurse’s office has always been considered a student’s place of refuge, a room desperately sought by those suffering from roiling stomachs, blazing fevers, and the occasional P.E. injury. However, it is not always war-worthy wounds or the plague that sends students to the nurse’s office. At times, it is symptoms of laziness and pure ridiculousness that warrant a visit to Woodstock High School’s resident nurse Vickie Hyde.

Every once in a while, an unfortunate student is the victim of a most embarrassing and inconvenient wardrobe malfunction.  Torn shirts and pants often have red-faced boys and girls standing awkwardly in the attendance office while they call their parents, begging them for some replacement clothing. Some lesser cases, however, have students seeking a solution with Ms. Hyde. She recalls one student coming to her in desperate need of a belt as his pants sagged well below the point of decency. Another clothing-related emergency she has encountered was a student’s need for socks because she suffered from painful blisters, a result of very poor choice in footwear that day.

In fact, it appears as though plenty of Woodstock’s students have chosen to risk pain in the name of high fashion and especially good hair. Before school begins and even during lunch periods, one can NurseSH.jpgfind girls packed like sardines in the school bathrooms, fogging up the mirrors with the hot air emanating from their flat irons. It can become quite chaotic in those small cinderblock alcoves as young girls rush to tame their frizzed and unruly hair in time to begin the day or get to lunch. In all this chaos, the slightest bump can result in a painful burn. The girls who fall victim to beauty burns on their ears, necks and hands seek out Ms. Hyde for some relief, often times with only one side of their hair straightened.

Unfortunately, keeping up with the latest fashion trends is not the only dangerous activity students partake in at Woodstock. Throughout their children’s childhood, worried mothers have always insisted that their children keep foreign objects out of their mouths. This lesson did not seem to stick with some of Woodstock’s best and brightest. Ms. Hyde remembers one student who shamefully entered her office, having swallowed a quarter; she explains, “He was worried about what it would do and if he needed to go to the hospital.” Coins are not the only thing Ms. Hyde does not advise swallowing. BeFunky_Nurse SH2.jpgAnother panicked student came to see her after having swallowed a part of a pen cap. Perhaps they should have listened to their mothers’ chidings as children.

Another risky behavior that has become frighteningly popular at Woodstock is the physical abuse of lockers. These stubborn metal boxes have earned the ire of even the calmest of students, who in turn choose to punish their locker with a punch. While the locker feels no pain, these anger-management-requiring teens go to the nurse’s office, cradling bruised hands to explain their predicament and request an ice pack.

While daily life at school can be sufficiently action-packed, some students go to the nurse’s office for some less than enthralling reasons. Woodstock’s lazier students will seek out Ms. Hyde for a variety of reasons, like tardiness; Ms. Hyde says, “Sometimes students come to me when they are late, looking for a pass, and I have to turn them away.” Others will simply feign illness and seek refuge in the nurse’s office so they can avoid a test they never prepared for. On several occasions, a hungry student will pop his or her head into Ms. Hyde’s office wishing to make use of the microwave. Once again she has to turn them away, explaining, “If I let them use it, word would get around, and everyone would be in here to use it!” Such instances may not be the most exciting parts of Ms. Hyde’s career, but they still give her a chuckle.

The majority of the patients Ms. Hyde tends to remain those who are legitimately ill or injured, but there still persists that small percentage of students who come to her office for silly and outlandish reasons. However, Ms. Hyde is always there to see to the students of Woodstock High School, be it because of a simple headache or twisted ankle or due to the odder burn or swallowed coin.

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