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Teacher vs Nurse
Old 08-05-2020, 02:39 PM
  #1

I was talking with my mom today about some concerns regarding going back to school. Our provincial plan is basically business as usual, wear a mask. She said that nurses are up close to loads of potentially ill people every day and they’ve done it, so I should’t think it’s a big deal. I said that nurses knew that was part of the job when they started work, teachers didn’t. She says that nurses didn’t know there would be a pandemic. I can’t imagine being a nurse right now, but am I wrong for thinking that there is a difference between what a nurse might realistically expect to encounter at work vs a teacher?


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Sorry to say....
Old 08-05-2020, 02:47 PM
  #2

but I think you are both right. Nurses never expected to be working in the conditions they are being subjected to now. Even though you know there will be medical emergencies, most healthcare professionals never have worked during a deadly pandemic were there is no vaccines and treatment is/was on a learning as you go basis.

I do know as a teacher, you NEVER would expect to have to teach in what is happening today with little to no support. Teachers like to plan, so you would expect the powers that be would have had plans in place for safe teaching. It amazes me that those who make the decisions are making plans now, on the fly. They had since March to get together and plan what schools would look like come a return.

There is no leadership and everyone is doing what they want, so like I said you are both right.
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Nurses vs teachers
Old 08-05-2020, 02:50 PM
  #3

Nurses don't deal with 20-35 highly energetic patients all in one room at the same time. Their patients are somewhat or entirely immobile, and compliant. Hospitals have long established cleaning and disinfecting protocols and expectations in place. All the workers have had training in following those protocols. Personal protective gear is typically provided by the hospital.

NONE of these circumstances describe schools! Plus, nurses do not have to TEACH their patients!

In addition, restroom conditions at most schools are less than sanitary and often overcrowded whereas in hospitals there are multiple clean bathrooms just a few steps away. Many, if not most, classrooms do NOT even have sinks or running water so frequent hand washing is impossible.

Last edited by Ruby tunes; 08-05-2020 at 04:17 PM..
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Old 08-05-2020, 03:12 PM
  #4

I agree with your mom. Especially here in Ontario where the risk is very minimal compared to the United States. I feel like we all need to do our part and nurses didn’t necessarily go into their profession thinking if they were going to be exposed to something that could be deadly (other than the flu).

Having said that, the province does need to provide us with the proper PPE. Unless our numbers drastically increase I think we are perfectly safe as long as we take precautions.

I went off Twitter because the number of Ontario teachers freaking out is stressing me out. We have to make sure we don’t look like a bunch of whiners. And I’m only speaking of Ontario, not places where numbers are crazy high.
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Old 08-05-2020, 03:17 PM
  #5

When I started as a para one on one special needs para positions existed. I started as a classroom para working with grade level classrooms as needed. There was an extreme budget cut and paras were reassigned to work with special needs students only. In my mind at the time, I felt as those positions were more of a nursing aid position than a para educator. It was not what I signed up for but I kept the job and continued to like what I did. It was just different. This is what I thought of when I read your post. You didn't know what was going to happen. You certainly didn't imagine to face a pandemic as a teacher. As for nursing, I do not believe the ones who chose nursing expected anything of this magnitude either. Sure, they knew they would be exposed to germs, but not something so widespread and contagious that didn't have a vaccine. I think both groups are facing more than they signed up for.


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Old 08-05-2020, 03:28 PM
  #6

You're not wrong.

Funny you started this thread because I was just thinking just yesterday about doctors, nurses, teachers, & policemen/women...none of them are that good to have as careers right now.

That's a shame that your own mother downplays any fears or worries you have about being a teacher these days. She should have a LOT more compassion for you because you're her daughter and she loves you and should hopefully worry about you while you're on the job. But, unfortunately, it sounds like she won't worry about you that much.

(Not that teachers won't have a grueling, frustrating time these days, but if we're now comparing which career is harder with much higher health risk, I'd strongly say NURSE.)
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Old 08-05-2020, 03:39 PM
  #7

Here's an article a former student of mine shared today:
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/ar..._2NN0ANpdn2_yQ

This was my response:
Veteran teacher weighing in here, and I'm in the mood to type, so sit back for a long read.
Each year, I am prepared to help my students learn and live the best they can. Over the years this has included soldiering through my annual back to school cold (sometimes upper respiratory infection or pneumonia, depending), active shooter lockdown drills, and driving on icy roads in the early morning to school when schools were not delayed/closed. It has also included unpaid overtime, buying supplies for students in need, along with food, clothing, and field trip fees.
I am terrified to be going into this year. I am scared I will not measure up to what my students and coworkers need. That I will not give enough to my family as I am consumed by teaching in a foreign, dynamic virtual environment. That I will succumb to COVID and die.
I will go to work each day knowing I am doing what I have chosen to do, and hoping the school community including parents, students, fellow educators, EVERYONE is patient, compassionate, and wise beyond measure so we can ALL do our job with grace and wisdom.
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Old 08-05-2020, 03:51 PM
  #8

I don't think you are wrong. Yes, nurses didn't necessarily expect a pandemic when they made the choice to become nurses, but they knew they would be put in positions that could have the potential to compromise their own health. For example, nurses knew they would be dealing with blood and other body fluids that can transmit disease. They are very well trained on how to do this safely as it is an expected part of the profession.

Quote:
Nurses don't deal with 20-35 highly energetic patients all in one room at the same time. Their patients are somewhat or entirely immobile, and compliant. Hospitals have long established cleaning and disinfecting protocols and expectations in place. All the workers have had training in following those protocols. Personal protective gear is typically provided by the hospital.
In addition to the above comments, nurses work in buildings that are specifically designed and engineered to prevent and/or contain pathogens with air flow, limited surfaces that are easily disinfected, and isolation/seperation of patients. Teachers work in buildings specifically designed and engineered for education, atmosphere, and student interaction. That is a big difference.
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Old 08-05-2020, 04:07 PM
  #9

There is a difference between nurses and teachers but "not signing up for it" isn't it. Neither side "signed up for it" and both have been or are being offered as sacrifice to the great god of the economy and re-election.

All the more reason for us not to turn on each other! Arguments like this do nothing but pit two groups of people who have BOTH been historically underfunded and undersupported against each other.

I am enormously grateful to the medical professionals who risked their lives to continue serving desperately ill and dying patients while being thrown under the bus. I do not understand some of their desire to risk creating the exact same scenario over and over across the country.

I don't know if you or your mom saw this article in The Atlantic , but I've been reading some of the comments in rebuttal of it and your mom might be interested in it.

1) Nurses who can do their jobs remotely are doing their jobs remotely as are doctors. Teachers who can do their jobs remotely (almost all of us) should also do their jobs remotely.

2) The imbalance of PPE is a significant factor. In the article, the nurse says, "Well, that needs to change" when her husband points out his school never has soap in the bathroom. But it doesn't provide any solutions. Who is providing the PPE for teachers and students? Who is paying for it?

3)Patients with covid are already ill, and medical settings are being sanitized continuously. Students and teachers will be spreading disease, directly contributing to the overwhelm of medical facilities.

4)Nurses aren't seeing 20-30 patients in a small room for 6-7 hours a day, or circulating through 100+ students in a day.

5)Hospitals have HVAC systems designed to handle airborne pathogens. Some schools don't even have working HVAC systems.

6) Opening up schools is not only a risk to teachers but to ALL other staff, students, and everyone's families. Again... spreading the disease.

7)Teachers are not trained to deal with infectious diseases, and teachers are not trained to deal with potentially contagious patients. Meanwhile, medical professionals are not spending hours upon hours with dozens of those patients at a time.


Here's a rebuttal to that piece in The Atlantic: https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020...-covid-19.html

Teachers refusing to return to the building is for the good of everyone. Until the community spread is under control and contact tracing/testing are sufficiently swift, it is not safe for anyone for school buildings to re-open.

Yes, teachers need to do their jobs. And we will be. Creatively, enthusiastically, and compassionately. From a distance.
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Old 08-05-2020, 05:00 PM
  #10

Quote:
Yes, teachers need to do their jobs. And we will be. Creatively, enthusiastically, and compassionately. From a distance.
I love this!


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Old 08-05-2020, 05:11 PM
  #11

I agree with what people are saying but thereís a big difference between Canada and the US in terms of Covid. I think what most of the posters are saying does apply to the US but Iím not so sure that it applies to Canada, unless we have a drastic spike in numbers.

Iím going to tune out now, for the same reason Iím tuning out from Twitter, but thatís my thinking. I do actually think we need to go back to school in Ontario.
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Old 08-05-2020, 05:39 PM
  #12

Quote:
I agree with what people are saying but there’s a big difference between Canada and the US in terms of Covid.
Yes, though my friend in Alberta is very concerned about the plan for her children's schools, and she is a nurse as well. Her son has 40 students in his 6th grade class and they have rising numbers.

But I did not originally comprehend that FancyFish was from Canada. I just slid over the "provincial plan" part. The US has out of control community spread almost everywhere, rapidly rising case numbers/rates, and 160,000 dead. It is not the same thing at all.
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Old 08-06-2020, 03:55 AM
  #13

All of you have explained it well, but I'd like to share a brief story. All of us have been in similar situations.

About a year ago, I subbed in a small special ed. classroom. There wasn't room for more than eight students, but these students needed a great deal of one-on-one help. As we know, one-on-one usually means sitting or standing close, and at least half of the students that day were blowing their noses, sneezing, or coughing. I did what I could, trying to maintain some type of distance, not touching my face, and using hand sanitizer constantly. The room didn't have a sink. In spite of my best efforts, I picked up whatever it was that was going around, and was sick for at least a week.

I have a great deal of respect for medical personnel, but as others have pointed out, they can go in with N95 masks and gloves. Until this year, it would have been unthinkable for a teacher (with a few possible exceptions) to wear a mask or gloves in school. As soon as medical personnel are finished with patients, they can take off the gloves and wash their hands well with sinks that are everywhere. As we know, that isn't the situation in many schools.
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