Any school nurses doing things differently?

  1. Is there anyone who is doing things differently due to the swine flu outbreak/hysteria? (IMO it is equal parts of both!)

    I of course send kids with flu-like symptoms home, but I do not usually require a doctor's note for them to return, as long as they are fever-free. I am considering asking for a doctor's note on any kid I send home with flu-like illness, although I would pretty much have to allow them back without it if they are symptom free. My thought on it is that it might help in identifying the spread quicker if it does turn out to be swine flu.

    Has anyone ever required a student to wear a face mask while waiting to be picked up? I have not, and I have a feeling that the parents would be offended if I did. Just curious if anyone else has done this.

    Any extra education efforts going on? I sent out a lengthy email to teachers/staff and have made the offer to come and talk to the classes about hand hygiene and flu prevention. We'll see if anyone takes me up on it. I might ask admin for a mandatory class if enough teachers don't take the offer!

    Stay well, everyone!
  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   Flare
    Just trying to keep this from reaching the fever pitch. I have already handled a handful of phone calls. Give the people something to dwell upon and they won't let you down.
  4. by   Purple_Scrubs
    Yep, I sent my email out by 8:15 and by that time I had already had 3 people ask me about it! There is definitely an element of hysteria. I hope it does not derail into an anti-Hispanic thing. I already had one teacher worried because a Hispanic student went to Mexico for spring break (5 weeks ago), and who has shown NO signs of illness of any sort.
  5. by   Aneroo
    I'm not worried. I sent out an email with the link to the CDC's website called "Swine Flu and You". It's a great Q&A section. I reminded them it is treated with medicine that is readily available and that the prevention of spread is as simple as with influenza- good hand hygiene.

    I wonder if it's been around much longer and it's been mistaken as influenza?
  6. by   NurseLoveJoy88
    Health Services sent out a memo to everyone. The sx they gave are so vague... Everyone now days have" Flu symptoms" however to say its Swine flu ???
    Not sure, but so far ( maybe because of where I work ) we haven't had any phone calls.
  7. by   SchoolNurseBSN
    I am in Texas. My school is 98% Hispanic (kids and parents frequently crossing the border). I have a student as we speak - fever, body-aches, cough, uncle came from Mexico 3 days ago sick with a fever.

    Saw 3 other students this morning - but none had a fever!
  8. by   Purple_Scrubs
    SchoolNurseBSN, I am in TX too with a similar student population - what are you doing about the student with the fever?
  9. by   SchoolNurseBSN
    Quote from Purple_Scrubs
    SchoolNurseBSN, I am in TX too with a similar student population - what are you doing about the student with the fever?

    Student sent home. She must be tested and cleared OR be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school. Ohhh, and it is TAKS week on top of it! Plus, most of my kiddos do not even own a thermometer!

    I feel a long week coming on.......
  10. by   luvschoolnursing
    I haven't even been asked about it! I was all prepared this morning with the CDC FAQ's and info form our local health department along with my handwashing/good hygiene speech and not one person asked. Who'd have thunk it?
  11. by   NurseLoveJoy88
    Just had a teacher come in and tell me to watch out for the student that just came from a cruise from down south. I was like... ??? okay ?
  12. by   Purple_Scrubs
    Well, the hysteria has began at my school. First an administrator tells me there are two cases at a school in a nearby district (I can find no conformation of this anywhere, I think she misunderstood whatever inflammatory news report she heard).

    Next, a teacher wants me to take her temp because she is afraid she has or will get it. No fever.

    Next, same teacher sends me two brothers who returned from a trip to Mexico for a funeral (not anywhere close to Mexico City, they were just over the border). Neither had any complaints of illness, both were stumped as to why teacher sent them to me. Both had temps of 97.1

    She has also sent me another student already this morning. Again, no fever or other sign of illness.

    And, to top it off, I just got sneezed on by a kindergartener. Right on me, while I was trying to take her temp. It is going to be a looooong day.
  13. by   SchoolNurseBSN
    Thank goodness - my student had a negative flu test!

    However, 2 schools in a neighboring district shut down because of 1 case each! 1 case - I think that is a bit of an overreaction! The cases in the U.S. have been mild (comparable to regular flu).
  14. by   JudithL_in_NH
    Luckily, in my state most public schools are on spring break this week, so the situation has time to play out and we can develop a plan of how to deal with it.

    Our School Health Department has daily advisories. We always exclude any kid with fever for 24hrs after resolution--though parents don't really comply with it (I get kids in all the time with "I had a fever this morning and mom gave me Tylenol . . ."). I do want to send out a stern email before we go back stating this must be enforced.

    Health Department has recommended daily temp checks of any children who have been in areas where there are confirmed cases over break--again, we'll be dependent on self identification. They have already prepared a letter for parents about swine flu--two dense pages long, and I worry most of our parents will barely read it and assume "OMG, it's in the schools!"

    I have a couple of real PIA teachers who always think half their kids have scabies, or lice, or whatever, and can be, shall we say, very persistent in repeatedly sending the same kids for eval, telling me I don't know what I'm talking about, the kid "obviously" has the disease du jour, etc. Before we head back, I want to clarify all exclusion criteria with my principal, so I can just send the PIA teachers straight to him, if (really, when--cause I KNOW it will happen) they challenge my evals.

    So, I'm prepping myself that going back will be miserable, hopefully I'm wrong. I anticipate that a few individuals --parents as well as teachers-- will make the first week back entertaining.

    Good luck to all!