Saturday, October 24, 2009

Let the Pen Speaketh

I have been known to put pen to paper in order to have my voice heard. This year, school's been bad in many ways. The kids? Hell, I can deal with them. You make nice-nice, you get to know them, you engage their attention, you make them see how much you care.

Whammo. They love you back and will do whatever you ask.

It's the adults with whom I have reached my limit.

Take a look-see at the letter I sent, on Friday,to the school board chair in my city.

Dear Mr. School Board Chair Guy,

I am alarmed about several issues teachers within Name of My City Schools are currently facing. Among my greatest concerns is my current situation involving a report I made for workman’s compensation after I was injured while working earlier this month.

I arrived for an appointment to see a Name of My City Schools workman’s compensation-approved doctor, Dr. Quack, yesterday afternoon in order to be assessed for an injury which occurred while I was breaking up a fight at Name of my Middle School.

I took a half day of sick time in order to attend the appointment. I had been told that I was the first appointment of the day, would be seen promptly, and would be able to make my next appointment within plenty of time. I was not seen until almost 30 minutes after my arrival. My consult with the doctor lasted all of 10 minutes and consisted of him looking at x-rays I brought with me from my primary care physician by holding them up to the light in the ceiling and of me being asked to take my arm out of a sling, raise and lower my arm, and push my hand against the doctor’s hand. Dr. Quack told me I shouldn’t be in a sling, had a contusion to my shoulder, and should be moving my shoulder in order to “gain mobility.” These comments were made while he took note that I am only able to raise my arm in one direction 20% of what a healthy arm and shoulder is capable. He told me to complete pendulum and wall-walking exercises and to come see him again on Monday, October 26. In order to do so, I will have to take another half day of sick time as well as prepare plans for a substitute.

I had an appointment, previously scheduled through a referral by my primary care physician, with Dr. Who Knows What He's Doing at Name of my City Orthopedic directly following my appointment with Dr. Quack. Again, I brought along my x-rays which were looked at by Dr. Who Knows What He's Doing prior to his arrival to my examination room. I was chastised for not wearing the sling provided to me by my primary care physician and was told I had to wear it because I couldn’t move my arm and was using my neck and shoulder blades to support my arm. Dr. Who Knows What He's Doing said I should neither bear weight nor complete any exercises on my right side at this time. He also ordered an MRI in order to get a better picture of the possibility of a deep bone bruise, possible break not showing on the x-rays, and other injuries associated with my ligaments.

I am dismayed that two doctors would have such conflicting diagnoses and treatment plans. When this injury first occurred I didn’t report it because I’ve dealt with many situations like this during my tenure at Name of my Middle School and always bounced back after a short time. I did the best I could in a volatile situation by diffusing the fight between two students and redirecting them to their classes. I reported my injury after realizing that my shoulder was continuing to worsen and was met with what I took as doubt from Nurse Ratchet, the employee nurse who handled my report.

Through my contacts with Nurse Ratchet and Dr. Quack I can only conclude that there is doubt and mistrust in the teachers and their reporting of injuries with the city schools. Additionally, the care provided to those of us who have incurred injuries as a result of our employment in the city schools is substandard and arbitrary. I will continue to use my own insurance and sick days as a result of this experience so that I don’t lose use of my right shoulder. According to Name of my City Schools, teachers are Priority Three. My recent experience leads me to believe it is even lower than that.

My Damn Name
Teacher of the Year 2009
Name of my Middle School
Name of my City Schools


Melissa said...

Ugh I hate workmans comp doctors. They are there merely to try to save the company money while still soaking them for as much money as they possibly can.

Last March, I was injured on the job, also was told it was a contusion, but told to keep it in a brace and not use it, blahblahblah... It didn't get better...they sent me to a OT...didn't get better...keep it in a brace...blahblahblah. It was not getting better, but instead of actually doing an MRI or checking further into it, they just kept telling me to keep it in the damn brace.

I finally got fed up with it, started working with it and dealing with the pain...took the brace off and you saw the pics on FB of the results of that issue...

Now, 2 months later, I'm dealing with possible staph infections in same arm, from the reaction that I had, from having to wear the brace for so long...

Welcome to the world of workman's comp.

Big Pissy said...

...and yet another reason to leave teaching.... :(

Not Afraid to Use It said...

Good god, woman. Does it never end? I hope you get a decent response, but sadly I am not holding my breath.

So Not Wishy Washy said...

Melissa - if I end up in the position you have, I will tender my resignation. I mean it.

Pissy - you speaketh the truth.

NATUI: Amen to that.

Everyone: I HAVE heard back from the chair and know the next step I must take. It's not an easy one, but I'm willing to do it because there are so many people who are not. This will effect so many people in my division. Send some kind thoughts and good energy my way. I'll probably need it!

Melissa said...

LOL the "good news" was that a week after I was injured, I was terminated...So I left that job while dealing with the injury - which made my old-new job that I took back then difficult, because I had to work around my new schedule and couldn't miss work because of follow ups, they didn't care, they weren't the ones that caused it, iykwim...

CPA Mom said...

whatever you end up doing, I commend you for writing the letter in the first place. Bravo!

amber said...

Lots of good thoughts coming your way on handling the situation. Such bullshit!

Jennifer said...

And WHY am I considering entering this profession??? Talk me down, quick, before I spend any more money!!

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