Non-Nurses calling themselves a Nurse - page 4

The school district my child goes to has a CNA in the school clinic, who refers to herself as "The school Nurse". I thought she was either an LVN or RN until last week when she had me come pick up... Read More

  1. by   jill48
    Quote from calla2114
    I had been reading this thread with interest the last couple days...as this is my ds first year in school and I had never even thought about his "nurse" not really being a nurse....Then I go and pick him up today and another mother, who volunteers in our kids room, says to me..."You know "A"...I say sure...well she had a seizure in class today...they called her mom and had her come pick her up!! WAIT...WHAT!!!! She has a new onset seizure..no history...and they did not call 911...seriously!! If that girl had seized on the way to the hospital in her mom's car...ohhhh I cannot imagine!!! So I also get a note today from the "Nurse"...or Health Associate...whatever that is...I have to do some e-mailing and find out the credentials of this person that is making health decisions for my child while he is at school!!!!
    If this was the first seizure this little girl had, then you are right and 911 should have been called. But if the child has a diagnosis of seizure activity, such as epilepsy and the like, there is no reason to call 911 every time someone has a seizure. Unless of course they sustain an injury during the seizure. If they are prone to seizures, all you can do is make sure there isn't a lot of stuff around them that they can hit, just make room for them. I know that sounds scary if you are not used to it, but there is really nothing 911 can do for a seizure. I had a neighbor once who's teenage daughter had seizures and she called 911 every single time. I suggested following her physicians advice and actually taking the depakote he prescribed and actually going to get the levels drawn at the appropriate intervals. But i'm not a school nurse and they may have rules that say 911 must be called, I don't really know. That is a good question though.
  2. by   Lisa CCU RN
    Quote from jjjoy
    Not quite the same thing, as I'd imagine that the formal policy is that the aide or secretary would have had some kind of instruction in administering a routine medication to a child with a stable, chronic condition. One could argue that parents aren't qualified to give their children such routine meds, either. Or that a responsible, capable child would need a licensed professional to administer their routine meds for them. I'm not saying that it's okay to not provide licensed personnel in the school. I'm only saying that it's not the same as housekeeping personnel happening into a hospital room and administering a medication.

    I do agree that school districts should provide for licensed school nurses.
    I was waiting for someone to make this point.
  3. by   DesertRain
    I have a friend that applied to the school district where I live to be a school nurse as an RN and was turned down. The school district only employed BSN's as school nurses. Initially I felt bad for her as this was something she always wanted to do and then, thinking of my own children, I thought that that was a good call on the school district, especially considering that they are the only medical staff on site and the first line of action should something go wrong at the school, which unfortunately wrong things happen at school time and time again. I, having done CNA training cannot understand how someone with minimal medical training can be responsible for children? How is a CNA authorized to diagnose a problem. And, there is no "wingworm" section in the CNA program, let alone in my RN studies so far. As a fellow parent I agree that action must be taken. Perhaps this is something the media should know about as well? I am so sorry you had to deal with this.
  4. by   NeosynephRN
    Quote from jill48
    If this was the first seizure this little girl had, then you are right and 911 should have been called. But if the child has a diagnosis of seizure activity, such as epilepsy and the like, there is no reason to call 911 every time someone has a seizure. Unless of course they sustain an injury during the seizure. If they are prone to seizures, all you can do is make sure there isn't a lot of stuff around them that they can hit, just make room for them. I know that sounds scary if you are not used to it, but there is really nothing 911 can do for a seizure. I had a neighbor once who's teenage daughter had seizures and she called 911 every single time. I suggested following her physicians advice and actually taking the depakote he prescribed and actually going to get the levels drawn at the appropriate intervals. But i'm not a school nurse and they may have rules that say 911 must be called, I don't really know. That is a good question though.
    I agree...but this was her first seizure...had no history still have no idea what caused it...they say she was dx with Strep Throat....yes I would agree if she was an epileptic and had a hx then it may have been appropriate to call mom...in this case not so much...IMO. If my kid has a siezure at school...and they called me I would say call 911 and I will meet them at the hospital...but that is just me!
  5. by   VegRN
    OMG, this is scary.
    On another note, might the state medical board be interested in this one? Some medical boards have been upset about NP's making dx, I wonder how they would feel about an NA Dxing a person?
  6. by   jill48
    Quote from calla2114
    I agree...but this was her first seizure...had no history still have no idea what caused it...they say she was dx with Strep Throat....yes I would agree if she was an epileptic and had a hx then it may have been appropriate to call mom...in this case not so much...IMO. If my kid has a siezure at school...and they called me I would say call 911 and I will meet them at the hospital...but that is just me!
    I agree 100%. If this child had never had a seizure before, or even if the school wasn't aware of any previous seizure activity, I would be calling 911 pretty darn fast and I would hope they would if it was one of my children.
  7. by   NikRN
    I was visiting a small town in Colorado. My boyfriend and I went to a local bar and was talking with the bartender. We were busy talking about the town and then started discussing medical facilities in the area. She proceeded to tell me she was a Nurse and was making really good money. I replied with more questions about the pay and such and informed her I was also an RN. She got quiet and said "well, actually I am a CNA for home care." Wow.. that is a huge difference to me! I felt kinda upset at first because I had worked really hard to get through school and earn my RN status. It made things a little uncomfortable for a bit, but the conversation continued.
  8. by   RNsRWe
    Quote from NikRN
    I was visiting a small town in Colorado. My boyfriend and I went to a local bar and was talking with the bartender. We were busy talking about the town and then started discussing medical facilities in the area. She proceeded to tell me she was a Nurse and was making really good money. I replied with more questions about the pay and such and informed her I was also an RN. She got quiet and said "well, actually I am a CNA for home care." Wow.. that is a huge difference to me! I felt kinda upset at first because I had worked really hard to get through school and earn my RN status. It made things a little uncomfortable for a bit, but the conversation continued.
    It's unfortunately all too common. I'm not sure I even like the term "CNA"; the public hears "nurse's aide" and thinks they actually "aide" us in doing all our same work, just like an assistant, or that they are nurses in training. And the reality is, they don't, and aren't (as a job description, that is). A great CNA is like gold, but the public confuses them with who is doing their assessments, who is checking their orders, who is administering their meds and hanging their IVs, doing transfusions.

    So when someone like this bartender states to everyone in earshot that she's a nurse and then supposedly "comes clean" by saying she's a CNA, it doesn't clarify it for anyone BUT a nurse. To them, she's "almost a nurse" or just like a nurse anyway because she's been doing it for a long time and she's their first assistant....right?
  9. by   edgwow
    In the area where I live, there is an undercover investigator that runs a weekly series on TV called "What's buggin' you". 2 points clear, your child had a rash tht is contagious and should have been home until you followed up with the doctor regardless of who told you, an /LPN/NA/RN, you followed up with a physician, as any prudent parent would. But as a former school board member, of a small district in NJ for 7 years, I have an issue with this person running the school clinic, as some others have said, practicing medicine without a lisence. This is a set up for a lawsuit. I would not leave this alone. You are an advocate for your child and all his/her friends and classmates. Let everyone know at the PTA meeting about your experience. Make sure to go to the Board of Education meeting, to let the Board be aware of this unethical practiceby this school. Research the laws in you state. If you can't find the info you seek, call the Department of Education in your state. I work in a state(NJ) where the minimum requirement for school nurse is a post baccalaureate certificate, if an LPN?RN work, they must be on the same campus as the certified school nurse. Also, I would call the state board of Nursing, find out who "Certifies" the CNA's standing for certified nursing assistant, and find outt if this type of work is out of their scope of practice. I would bet it is.
  10. by   jjjoy
    Quote from kuskwah
    I think you are assuming that the secretary, etc., does have training.
    I'm assuming that a school that formally designates an aide or secretary to be responsible for a child's medication during the school day would try to legally protect themselves with a formal policy on it that includes "instructing" that person on the administration of that medication. In practice, that instruction might not be more than "Here, keep this in your drawer and give it Johnny if he asks for it." Again, I'm not saying it's right or safe. I was just pointing out that it wouldn't be a strong argument to say "If your child was in the hospital, you would have a fit if the cleaning lady came in the room to give your child their medicine."
  11. by   Gromit
    If they DO have a uh, policy of instructing, such info should be available upon request (and your lawyer could easily get that). I'd be impressed if they are instructed, tho.
  12. by   sarajasmine
    Thank ALL of you for your support and posts!! I still haven't finished reading them all yet!-The main concern I have is what most of you have said...a child OR a teacher could be improperly assessed due to the CNA's lack of training and end up very sick or even dead!?
  13. by   nursejoey05
    I considered applying for a job as a school nurse, but I felt that it was a huge responsibility and I didn't have enough (any ) experience. Well, guess what--it is a huge responsibility! Duh! There was a child in our school district that had kidney problems, nobody knew about it. Guess who figured out there was a problem--the school NURSE. (can't remember if it was LPN/RN). Anyway, the nurse strongly suggested that parents follow up with an MD, turned out that the kid needed an emergency kidney transplant. Good call nurse! School nurses might be the only healthcare/health education that some of these kids get. I'd definitely follow up on this. I'm sure there are plenty of other situations when a school nurse "saved the day."
    Last edit by nursejoey05 on Mar 16, '07 : Reason: ok, so I can't spell--one of my pet peeves...

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