We are living in a new world people. A new world indeed. My eyes have been opened to new understandings so many times that my head is spinning. These times are full of change, and it feels very chaotic. The earth is constantly shifting under our feet. For someone such as myself who appreciates a measure of routine, this has been an unsettling time. We’ve seen it in our foreign policy, our economy, and our social structures. Can’t things just stand still a minute??
Though many middle-aged and older people may scoff at the new social attitudes, I recently witnessed a new understanding that was like an epiphany, and it made me so proud of our staff in Putnam City. I was at a school faculty meeting listening to a presentation by the school nurse. She was going over required basic first aid for diabetes, asthma and seizures so our teachers at least have some notion of what to do in one of those situations.
When she began to discuss symptoms to observe, she explained that a greyish or pale complexion could be indicative of a problem. For years, we’ve heard “you look pale. Are you feeling alright?” It’s an obvious sign of a problem. If your skin is white.
The nurse then said that if you are helping a child whose skin is darker, you should check their nailbeds and mucous membranes to see if they are pale. I have never heard that before. Not even once! Of course we need to know another method to check our children’s health if they don’t have lighter skin. How embarrassing for us to assume that all our children are white.
With just a little research, you can learn that people of color do not get the same quality of healthcare as people who are white, and a situation like this really brings that to the fore in a school setting, unless the kids are in a school with a nurse like ours. Her school population contains children of all colors, so she took the time to educate the staff on how they can be of service to all those children.
The new world we’re living in causes me to shake my head and tell people to stop being so sensitive on occasion. But getting the opportunities to see where we can improve our care for children of all colors is not that situation.