Nurse stresses to stay home if sick


Nurse Mikeska works to keep the school healthy in regards to preventing and treating illnesses.

Megan Lin, Guest Contributor

Wingspan: What’s the procedure for when students are sick and what do you normally do if they’re not severely sick?

Mikeska: “First, an assessment is made. I will check their temperature and based on their complaints, we’ll kind of review what they’ve done, like if they’ve taken medications at home, or anything like that. And just based on the severity of it, I will make a decision of whether they can stay or go home.”

Wingspan: What’s a red flag?

Mikeska: “Certainly, for me, a red flag is first fever. We will send home for anything over a hundred degrees, but based on symptoms, if there is certainly multiple symptoms, all pressing and it’s looking like-let’s talk about flu symptoms: if they’re presenting a sore throat, coughing really bad, kind of general body aches and pains, but if I take their temperature and it’s kind of like 99, I would be on the safe side and send them home, before it gets too bad.”

Wingspan: When should students stay home?

Mikeska: “The general district policy that we’d like to follow is if you have fever, before you return to school, you should be 24 hours fever-free. And that means at that point, without using any anti-fever medication. No Tylenol, Ibuprofen that’s keeping your fever down because that can certainly mask the temperature. And then, a lot of illnesses sometimes require at least 24 hours worth of antibiotics. So I’d like for students to follow those guidelines. I do see lots of students who come to school saying that they have to take a test and I’d like for them to really consider that if you’re sick, are you taking your test at your fullest potential? If you’re that sick, are you thinking correctly, because some of the medications can affect your mental status; they can make you groggy, and things like that and just feeling so bad-if you’re really, really ill- could certainly affect your performance. My next concern is that it only then potentially exposes you to other people who aren’t sick and then, we run that risk of then transmitting, and spreading- a lot of things are spread respiratory-wise, through the air, and that’s how we transmit easily. And we’re in an environment with lots of people, small rooms, crowded hallways, and things like that.”

Wingspan: What kinds of students do you see frequently?

Mikeska: “I see all sorts of students. Probably the number one thing I see students for is the typical complaint of headache or stomachache. So I just unfortunately, I can’t just freely hand out medication and treat these things. The parent needs to provide the medication and then I’ll keep it store here, and if you need it, I can dispense it then to you. So those are kind of the basic rules for that, but I see a variety of illnesses here, hopefully if kids aren’t feeling good, they’ll come and visit with me and get things checked out. I do sometimes have lots of kids who do go home and never do come through me, so I really don’t know what’s going on with them, why they’re sick. But I’m here if you need me to check you out.”