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I. Am. Batman.

School Nurses: Our Not-So-Dark Knights

Have you ever been mistaken for Superman? Wonder Woman? How about Batman? Retired school nurse Alison Inkley has. Her story, Batman for a Day, explains how this school nurse hero got mistaken for a fictional one. Enjoy her story below.

Join Alison Inkley, a contestant in our Henry Street Story Contest, by submitting a story of your own. School nurses across the country have an opportunity to win a Nurse Mates® Ultimate Signature Traveler with a Pediatric Dermatology DDXDeck by submitting a story by March 31.


Batman for a Day

When you work as a school nurse, every day brings surprises. You may go to work expecting to follow a closely laid out plan for vision and hearing testing and end up tending to a room full of vomiting kindergarteners or driving a teacher to get a broken ankle x-rayed instead.

During a monthly Safety Team meeting, we were working on the plans for the newly-established school’s second fire drill, which was scheduled for that day. A map for evacuating the older, sprawling building identified all the exits, but the VP suggested someone observe the process from the roof to get a more complete picture of the execution of the plan. For some reason, everyone looked to me as the right person for the job.

On this cold day, I wore my warmest black pants, black boots, black parka and matching black hat and gloves. The custodian, who looked doubtful about having me on the roof, led me through the back reaches of the building to a ladder that reached a skylight. I unlatched the light and climbed out onto the roof. Once there, I memorized the bubble shape of the skylight so I could find my exit after the drill.

When the fire alarm sounded, the brilliance of the vice principal’s idea was easy to see: I could see streams of children leaving the building from each exit, and bottlenecks and possible safety hazards were easy to identify. I wandered the vast platforms of connecting roof structures making mental notes.

When the drill ended, I looked for the bubble skylight that would take me down the ladder and back into my warm health office. Unfortunately, I had failed to note that there were several similar bubble-shaped skylights scattered along the roof. Eventually, I found the right one, much to the relief of the custodian, who was waiting to help me down.

That afternoon, during our weekly staff meeting’s shoutouts to staff members who went “beyond and above” that week, the VP praised my roof feat. The description of my efforts caused a first-grade teacher to snort and say, “now I get it!”

Here’s why: when her class returned from the drill, the students wrote short, nonfiction pieces as part of their study of the differences between fiction and nonfiction. One student wrote about Batman keeping an eye on students from the roof during the fire drill. When his teacher explained that his story was fiction, the student insisted it was true, and therefore nonfiction.

When you work as a school nurse it is hard to predict how you will end up spending your day. You might even get to be Batman for a few hours!


What are Henry Street Stories?

MacGill’s Henry Street Stories are written by school nurses for school nurses. These touching, funny or inspiring stories reveal new ideas and perspectives and provide connection. “A Long Way from Henry Street” is a two-volume collection of stories written by school nurses and published by MacGill School Nurse Supplies in 2003 and 2012. The series gets its name from the Henry Street Settlement, a humanitarian organization that funded the first school nurse in 1902.

MacGill collects and shares stories to create a place for school nurses to connect with their community and inspire each other.

Ideas and Examples

You’re a school nurse, not a writer? No problem! Our marketing team will serve as your editors and will ensure that you sound polished without changing the meaning of your story.

Check out these examples for inspiration:


Visit our blog for contest details and ideas. Sharing your stories inspires other school nurses and helps to bring together the school nurse community. Sending a story by March 31 is your entry to win a Nurse Mates® Ultimate Signature Traveler with a Pediatric Dermatology DDXDeck.

Even if the students at your school do not confuse you with Batman, all school nurses are superheroes in their own right. Send your stories of times you’ve saved the day. And in the meantime, remember that according to Batman, “A hero can be anyone.”

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