I met the new school nurse last week.
Each time gets easier, though.
As she gets older, my daughter is less dependent on the nurse. By 7th grade last year, her usual interaction in the nurse' office was down to a quick 'hello.' Gone are the days of needing daily 1:1 help to check her blood sugar and give her lunch bolus. Her nurse needs are now limited to troubleshooting high blood sugars, helping with treatment of lows, occasional supervision of a site change or pump battery replacement, and ability to administer glucagon should the need ever arise.
While we want the nurse to know about diabetes and to be helpful in a true emergency, the thing my daughter needs most in the nurse's office is to feel comfortable. She needs to know the office is a safe, friendly place to go every day to check. And even more importantly, she needs to feel good about going there when she's having a problem.
If first impressions mean anything (which I firmly believe they do), this year's nurse is a keeper. She was calm. On her first day in a middle school of over 700 kids, she was calm. She was also kind, smiled easily, and asked a few very appropriate questions. She talked about making sure my daughter took care of her diabetes as independently as possible while having all of the help and moral support she needed. She seemed like the kind of nurse who will make small talk with her through a low. I don't think she'll hesitate to call me with a question.
As I left the office, the nurse had these parting words: "I'll tell her, but you should tell her too: more than anything I want her to know she's welcome to come here any time. My door is open. I want her to feel comfortable here."
I think she will.