No phone call, no relief


Paul Szmanda

A standard bandage on a standard paper cut.

It’s a familiar experience: you’re walking down to the nurse’s office to ask for a bandage — you were organizing your worksheets and got a paper cut on your finger. It may not be bleeding much, but it stings and it’s an excuse to miss five minutes of class.

However, once you get to the office, the nurse tells you to call your parents first before she gives you any kind of bandage. It feels a little absurd to call your dad in the middle of his workday to tell him about the boo-boo you got on your pinkie.

This ritual is not just limited to bandages; students also need to call their parents when they come in with other minor afflictions. One student said they went in with a stomach ache and asked to lie down, but they were told to get in contact with both of their parents before they could do so.

The policy that requires students to call their parents during non-vital visits to the nurse is a nuisance and should be changed.

Getting your parents to answer their phone while at work can be a challenge in and of itself. My mom works in an office building where she is regularly in meetings, and she always silences her phone before they begin, so getting in contact with her is a matter of luck. My dad, meanwhile, is a mechanic and doesn’t carry his phone on himself at work because he would likely damage it.

Finally, after three to four calls to each parent, one of them picks up. Now that they have become dismayed to see you calling them in the middle of the day, you feel awkward giving them the anticlimactic news that you got a paper cut.

Not only does this call distract them from their day at work, but the challenge of getting them on the line eats up far more than five minutes of your class time.

In addition, helping to ease a student’s pain should be prioritized over having them inform their parents that they are in pain. Perhaps if the student was allowed to lie down for a minute then their pain would be relieved quicker and the problem would be resolved.

Granted, the school does have an interest in notifying the parents of a student who got sick or hurt in school; in instances in which all the student needs is a mere bandage, this could be done with an automated voice message as opposed to an immediate phone call to work.

Calling your parents about minor visits to the nurse’s office is a nuisance for both the student and their parents, and it’s a policy that should be ended.