Does your child's school have a school nurse? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Does your child's school have a school nurse?
Yes 49 50.52%
No 29 29.90%
Yes, but only part-time or on certain days 17 17.53%
Obligatory other 2 2.06%
Voters: 97. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 59 Old 03-18-2009, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD will be attending a small charter school next year. There is no school nurse. When asked about this, the principal pointed out that due to recent funding cuts, none of the other schools have school nurses either. ::

I find this shocking. What about kids with diabetes, asthma, epilepsy? Kids who need to take meds? And even just kids who get sick and need somewhere to lie down and some TLC before someone comes to get them? What about playground accidents??

Do your kids have nurses at their schools?

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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#2 of 59 Old 03-18-2009, 12:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by loraxc View Post
DD will be attending a small charter school next year. There is no school nurse. When asked about this, the principal pointed out that due to recent funding cuts, none of the other schools have school nurses either. ::

I find this shocking. What about kids with diabetes, asthma, epilepsy? Kids who need to take meds? And even just kids who get sick and need somewhere to lie down and some TLC before someone comes to get them? What about playground accidents??

Do your kids have nurses at their schools?
Amen sista! I am a school nurse and we are spread thin!! There are so many issues that an RN is needed for, it's too bad there aren't more of us Now in our state a house bill is trying to be passed, it's all about funding and they want to replace us with LPN's. Of course none of us agree with this!!

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#3 of 59 Old 03-18-2009, 12:16 PM
 
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There is a full-time RN at DS's public school.
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#4 of 59 Old 03-18-2009, 12:17 PM
 
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I find this very interesting and thought all schools had a school nurse even if it is only PT.
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#5 of 59 Old 03-18-2009, 12:17 PM
 
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I don't have kids, but I am a kindergarten teacher, so I thought I'd vote. We do have a full-time school nurse, and I'm very thankful for it.

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#6 of 59 Old 03-18-2009, 12:25 PM
 
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None of the schools here have school nurses. The schools here are regular public & catholic public.

I work in our school.

There is a room with a bed for kids to lie down in, it is across from the office. The secretary has a clear view of the room at all times. They are checked upon alot by the secretary, various EA's & the child's teacher.

If the child is not sick enough to lie down they can sit in the office while waiting for a parent, though if they're sick enough to go home they're usually in the bed.

There are 3 kids who regularly take pills at school. 1 a parent comes & gives it to him. Another goes to the office & the secretary or principal/vp(usually the secretary) gives it to him. The 3rd I think she takes it with her, not quite sure on that one.

There are kids who have inhalers for asthma, they have inhalers in the office but they usually keep a spare in their backpacks too. The school is small, it takes less than 2 minutes to get from 1 end to the other without rushing.

There is 1 diabetic for sure, she is not on any meds or anything at school, just watches her diet.

there was a child with epilepsy last year. She had 1 or 2 petit mal seizures at school last year. the teacher called the parent & the parent picked her up.

Playground accidents - 1 of the 2 outdoor supervisors will bring the child in & the indoor supervisor will take the child & clean/bandage.

99% of playground accidents are bumps or small scrapes that a bandaid will fix.

We had quite a few wasp stings in the fall. They never did find all the nests so we may be dealing with those again before school is out.

We had 1 kid break his leg last year on the school ground(jumping off of swings which they aren't allowed to do). The outdoor supervisors kept him still while 911 was called.

We have had 1 for sure, maybe 2 broken noses(1 by a tire swing & 1 by a hockey stick). Parents were called in.

gym accidents are dealt with by a free TA, the teacher, secretary or principal/vp, basically any staff member who is free at the moment. We had 2 serious ones a couple of weeks ago in the same class. They didn't run into each other, but it happened at hte same time & involved the gym walls somehow. The 1 girl sprained her knee, the other kid they weren't sure if he broke his leg or not. They called the principal and/or vp down to the gym. They checked his leg out & were deciding whether to call 911 or not, but he started to put weight on it & such. Both parents were called in & the one who they weren't sure if he broke his leg or not did go to the hospital with his parent.
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#7 of 59 Old 03-18-2009, 12:29 PM
 
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Yes, a full-time RN.

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#8 of 59 Old 03-18-2009, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Gosh, Carrie, it seems to me like this is quite a lot of extra work for teachers and staff.

I just can really easily imagine many situations where a child needs a dedicated adult to help him/her for at least 15 minutes with a medical need. It seems like it would be awfully hard to always have someone available for that at the drop of a hat.

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#9 of 59 Old 03-18-2009, 12:35 PM
 
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I am not a nurse, but I do that job at my dd2's school where I work as the admin. We have a little girl who is diabetic, and I've done her insulin for years. Her parents trained me.

I have no idea if my other dds' schools have school nurses on staff or not. A school not having one wouldn't deter me at all. As moms, don't we take care of the high majority of hurts/illnesses that our kids get? Why couldn't a school employee who has tons of experience parenting, working with kids, likely has had multiple first aid/CPR classes take care of the hurts/illnesses that come up at school?

If it were really bad, the kid would go to the hospital whether there was an RN on site or not, right? If it was bad, more than a scraped knee or something treatable at school, the parent would likely be called to come get her - RN or no, right?

I do think that having an RN on staff is great in an ideal world. I just understand how not everything fits into the budget, and an RN on staff at every school seems like an unused resource much of the time.
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#10 of 59 Old 03-18-2009, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Why couldn't a school employee who has tons of experience parenting, working with kids, likely has had multiple first aid/CPR classes take care of the hurts/illnesses that come up at school?
If there was a designated school employee who was trained and had this as her stated job, I might be okay with it not being an RN. It seems very strange to me to just have it be like, "Oh, whoever is around can handle it."

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#11 of 59 Old 03-18-2009, 12:46 PM
 
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Nope, no school nurse - and I never had one as a child either.

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#12 of 59 Old 03-18-2009, 12:50 PM
 
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No. There wasn't one when I went there and none of the schools in this area have nurses. Our school's office has a pretty big staff and they handle anything. Its usually just a call to the parent while the kid hangs around the office.
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#13 of 59 Old 03-18-2009, 01:07 PM
 
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Our school definitely has a nurse. DS has already been there a couple of times. I let her know if he wasn't crying, it was no big deal, but if he was crying, to pay attention. Given DS's personality and fearlessness, I'm VERY happy to have a nurse nearby.

Our nurse does other stuff too. She's already done vision and hearing screens for all the Kindergartners, for example.
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#14 of 59 Old 03-18-2009, 01:12 PM
 
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Nope, no nurse at my kid's small private school. Not sure about the public schools around here. Y'know I don't even remember one from my childhood and I'm old (44), but maybe I just never went to the nurse's office ?!

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#15 of 59 Old 03-18-2009, 01:26 PM
 
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No thank goodness,(my DS was traumatized by a school nurse in his previous school in kindergarten). If a child gets sick, they call the parents to come get them, while they wait they sit with the admin director, who happens to be one of the 3rd graders mom, she also handles the playground cuts, knocks and scrapes. I honestly don't know what they do about administering medicines, I guess the same person does it. I should ask, but for us it is a moot point as we don't utilize pharmaceuticals. My son goes to a small private elementary school.

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#16 of 59 Old 03-18-2009, 02:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc View Post
Gosh, Carrie, it seems to me like this is quite a lot of extra work for teachers and staff.

I just can really easily imagine many situations where a child needs a dedicated adult to help him/her for at least 15 minutes with a medical need. It seems like it would be awfully hard to always have someone available for that at the drop of a hat.
No it isn't. Seriously 99% of what happens takes less than 2-3 minutes of care. In a 30min playing time outside, on a bad day you'll have 4 kids come in with a scrape needng a bandaid. on a good day you'll have none. I've goen an entire week without having to do anything.

There is 1 indoor supervisor whose job is to deal with these kids who get hurt. There are at times a few kids inside, but unless it's super cold or raining most of the kids are outside at the same time. All the kids in the school(240) go outside at the same time.

Quote:
If there was a designated school employee who was trained and had this as her stated job, I might be okay with it not being an RN. It seems very strange to me to just have it be like, "Oh, whoever is around can handle it."
That's not what it is like at all. It isn't whoever is around, but who is scheduled for that week to be in that job. The only time it's whoever is around is if a kid is puking sick. It doesn't happen that often. There have been less than a dozen times we've had a puking kid at the school.

Most of what happens does not require any training.

most kids here do not require medicines & in order to have a staff member give them there is a certain protocol & papers to be filled out. They prefer to NOT give them, to come up with other arrangements if necessary. The only kids who are given meds at school on a regular basis are taking it long term.
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#17 of 59 Old 03-18-2009, 02:14 PM
 
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We have one but, I don't really understand the purpose. No offense to school nurses but, I just don't get why there needs to be one?

Kids manage to get through daily life all the time without medical personnel present. If there is an emergency, the school can call 911. If the kid is sick, they can call a parent. If the kid has a cut or bump, a teacher or other school personnel can put ice or a bandaid on it.

Given how school funding is being cut, really, I'd rather this money be spent on things other than nurses.

That being said, our school has one and I grew up in private schools that always had school nurses.
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#18 of 59 Old 03-18-2009, 02:17 PM
 
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I always do wonder what our school nurse does all day if there are no sick kids.

For those that don't have a nurse on site at all times, I'm pretty sure the school has to have so many people trained in medication administration. It's pretty thorough so it's not just some random person using an epi-pen or giving abx if they are needed during the school day.

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#19 of 59 Old 03-18-2009, 02:37 PM
 
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Our small private school (125 students) does not have a school nurse. The secretary has first aid training and covers all the usual bumps/scrapes/sports injuries. There is a room near her desk equiped for students to lie down in. She also administers regular medications. Chidren with epi-pens keep them in their classrooms and each teacher knows how to use them. I know there is at least one diabetic child and I believe the secretary supervises her insulin.

I'm very comfortable with this arrangement. I suspect I would want a school nurse if the school were more diverse and might have children who had no regular health care and/or parents who might not be as available to respond to a school incident. However, I know that school nurses are being cut from local public schools as a budget measure.
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#20 of 59 Old 03-18-2009, 03:17 PM
 
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We have a full time school nurse. In addition to sick and injuried kids, kids on meds, etc. she keeps track of our states extensive requirements for not just vaccines, but dental and eye exams, etc. for all the kids in the school. She also does screenings and referrals for things like hearing checks.

Her room is where sick children can lay down until some one can come get them, and since most of the kids in our school either have two working parents or just one parent, this a little bigger deal than calling June Cleaver to stop baking cookies for a minute and come pick up the Beaver.

Our school is economically diverse, and I suspect that the school nurse is the prime health care provider for many kids, helping parents decide what is a big deal and what isn't, what over the counter treatments are appropriate, and possibly helping parents access the health care system who don't have insurance.

<<Kids manage to get through daily life all the time without medical personnel present>>

Because their parents aren't there. I would much rather have someone with actual medical training than a secretary in the event my DD needs something. It's 35 hours a week.

If I LOVED the school but they had no school nurse, I would want to know how many people on staff had current first aid/CPR training and what kind on emergancy policies they had in place. I would not have my child in a school where they didn't at least have all the people who "handle whatever comes up" Red Cross trained. It's a weekend course. If they can't take my child's safety that seriously, then I wouldn't leave my child with them 35 hours a week. You can't even be a Girl Scout leader without getting first aid/CPR trained.

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#21 of 59 Old 03-18-2009, 03:29 PM
 
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Just wanted to say as a school nurse we are important! These are typical situations in our school district and why we are important!

Understanding asthma, listening to breath sounds and knowing what needs to be done for the child. It's nice to know when the squad needs to be called or not!
Understanding diabetes, what the symptoms are of hyper/hypogycemia, how to treat each.
Providing routine health screens, to many of our student's we are the only health care professionals they see!
Checking vision and hearing, providing referrals.
Helping families use resources for health care, they may not know where to go for issues they are dealing with.
Giving a tube feeding, changing a dressing, catheterizing.
We are part of a community wide disaster response team.
We help our pregnant students receive prenatal care.
We have "mobile units" from our hospitals that come directly to our schools to assess sick children, provide sports physicals, and provide routine prenatal care(staffed with RN's, MD's, nutritionists, etc.)
Assess blood pressure.
Part of school wellness teams promoting positive health practices.
Assessment of injuries, can be more then bandaids!!
Be able to administer CPR,Heimlich, and use the automatic defibrillator when needed.
Assessment of suicidal students.
Browse MDC at times, lol

THESE ARE JUST A FEW THINGS WE DO!
Many staff members are really grateful for us!

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#22 of 59 Old 03-18-2009, 04:14 PM
 
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At the public school that my DD1 used to go to (the same one I went to as a child) there was no school nurse. Both when I was a child and currently, the lady in the front office handles meds, sick kids, injuries, etc. The entire school system (elem, middle school, and high school) is like that here.

Leigh

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#23 of 59 Old 03-18-2009, 04:16 PM
 
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No and it's one of the many reasons why we homeschool.

I have a child with life threatening food allergies. At six-years-old he isn't quite ready to self-administer his life-saving meds.

I think that school nurses should be full-time in all schools. Teachers should not be expected to handle all of the medical issues we have in schools today.

Homeschooling mama of four fantastic kids and wife to one great guy.
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#24 of 59 Old 03-18-2009, 04:20 PM
 
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I voted part-time. I think she rotates around 6+ schools.

Growing up we did not have a school nurse. We had a principal and a secretary. The secretary handled these issues. It was a k-8 catholic school with a pool used for gym class (that just seems relevant right now) and about 350 children.

You don’t owe them an explanation, just a response.
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#25 of 59 Old 03-18-2009, 06:19 PM
 
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Quote:
We have a full time school nurse. In addition to sick and injuried kids, kids on meds, etc. she keeps track of our states extensive requirements for not just vaccines, but dental and eye exams, etc. for all the kids in the school. She also does screenings and referrals for things like hearing checks.

Her room is where sick children can lay down until some one can come get them, and since most of the kids in our school either have two working parents or just one parent, this a little bigger deal than calling June Cleaver to stop baking cookies for a minute and come pick up the Beaver.

Our school is economically diverse, and I suspect that the school nurse is the prime health care provider for many kids, helping parents decide what is a big deal and what isn't, what over the counter treatments are appropriate, and possibly helping parents access the health care system who don't have insurance.

<<Kids manage to get through daily life all the time without medical personnel present>>

Because their parents aren't there. I would much rather have someone with actual medical training than a secretary in the event my DD needs something. It's 35 hours a week.
Thankfully I live in Canada. Vaccines are not necessary & therefore not kept track of by the schools. Public health does & when they do vax's in Grade 6 a form is sent home to all the kids & the parents fill out what vax's they've had/need and/or whether they want them to have any. Then PH comes in & deals with that.

Also unless the teacher beleives a screening needs to be done they do not screen for dental, vision, etc. If one needs to be done, they call in Public Health. PH is trying to get dental into the schools again & I will NOT EVER let my kids be part of that.

I understand in the US that alot of kids do not have dr's/healthcare & such, but here in Canada most(if not all) kids do as we don't have to pay for to go to a dr. Dental & vision is different. In some provinces you have to pay for your kids to see a dentist & otheres you don't. Same with vision, you may or may not have to pay for the screening. For general health going to a dr or ER isn't a problem so we don't really have a need for that in our schools.

OUr school is economically diverse too & most families do have 2 working parents or are single parents. If they can't get in touch with a parent the child stays in the infirmiry. Most kids who go into the infirmiry for feeling sick end up going back to class after they feel better. Alot of the feeling sick is from foods they eat(like the 1 girl who threw up after eating 2 pogos for dinner - blech) or the tire swings make alot of kids sick.lol Most kids have 2-3 different contact numbers & an emergency contact person if they can't get in touch with a parent & it's a true emergency.

While yes in school they're there for 35hours, the rest of the time & when they're off from school most kids do not have a nurse present 24/7 JIC something may happen.
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#26 of 59 Old 03-18-2009, 09:21 PM
 
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didn't have one as a child and only 2 schools I've worked in as a supply (substitute) teacher have one and that's because both of those schools have a very high special needs population- in fact one of those is a dedicated special needs school.

in most schools there's no need. Most injuries at school can be 'fixed' with ice or a bandaid. There are lots of first aid trained staff in schools. Medications are handled by admin or EA's and are tracked.
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#27 of 59 Old 03-18-2009, 09:30 PM
 
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no school nurse here-there is a room with a cot off the office for sick students to wait for parents to come pick them up.
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#28 of 59 Old 03-19-2009, 01:00 AM
 
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#29 of 59 Old 03-19-2009, 02:45 AM
 
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yes she does.

Deanna

Wife to DH since August 01 mom to a bubbly girl October 2002 and our newest gal March 2010
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#30 of 59 Old 03-19-2009, 02:23 PM
 
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My child isn't school age yet & we'll be homeschooling so I'm not sure I should be replying here, but I have checked our schools since my daughter has a genetic condition which can cause her to have easy dislocations of her joints. Our schools do have a nurse in each one thankfully. If at some point I was unable to homeschool it's nice knowing she wouldn't have to just sit with a dislocation until 911 or I got there, that someone would be there to immedatly reduce it & relieve her pain
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