When She Who Must Be Obeyed, and I, and our family had moved to another school district, we, surprisingly enough, registered our children in that new school district. We were provided a sheaf of paperwork to be completed, and, in leafing through my homework assignment, noticed a physical form for each child.
I examined it, and noted that, at the bottom, it required the signature of a “Licensed Health Professional”.
I pointed this out to SWMBO, and she asked me what I intended to do with this insight.
“Well, I’ll perform physicals on our children, document them, and sign the forms. Save us the hassle of a doctor office visit!”
She protested that I was an RN, and that they meant for a doctor to sign the form. I invited her to point out where, on the form, it so stated.
She turned it this way and that, and, finally, was compelled to admit that it did not so state explicitly, “but that is what they meant!”
“Perhaps, that is what they should have said!”, and I went off to retrieve my stethoscope and children.
I performed all the diagnostic maneuvers required, documented my findings, and, at the bottom, where it called for the “signature of a healthcare professional”, I signed it Reltney McFee RN, BSN.
Several days later I took the kids to school for registration and walked into the office. The woman there told me she needed some documentation of address so I gave her a utility bill. She needed some ID for me, and I provided my driver’s license. She needed a phone number, and I provided it. Next she asked for the School physical forms. She examined them, and asked, “Who is this?”, indicating the signature.
“That’s me!” I said. She asked me if I was a physician, and I replied, “No I’m not. I’m an RN.”
“You cannot sign this form!”, she informed me. I leaned over the counter, pointed at my signature, and observed, “Yet, it certainly appears that I have signed it!”
“But, you have to be a doctor to sign this form!”
“No”, I corrected her, “it requires the signature of a licensed health professional. I am a registered Nurse, and am therefore a licensed health professional. Hell, I’m even licensed by the Bureau of Health Professions!”
Unswayed by my logic, she informed me, “Nurses aren’t health professionals!”
I picked up a phone book. “Oddly enough, the Board of Nursing seems to think that nurses are health professionals. It’s a local call: why don’t you call the Board of Nursing in the state capitol, and straighten them out? I’m sure they’d enjoy having you correct their little misunderstanding!”
And then I smiled.
She stuttered a little bit, looked flustered for a little bit, went into the back office and then came back out and said “We’ll take it this time.”
I smiled and said thank you and went on my merry way. Next year the kids came home from school and had these physical forms that need to be filled out. I looked at them: there at the bottom of them it said “signature of Nurse Practitioner, MD, DO, or Physician Assistant”, none of which I was.
My nursing school instructors would have been so proud of me! I was an agent for change, and the school system had changed their forms at my instigation!