Nurse ABC 9,527 Views
Joined: Jan 4, '12;
Posts: 438 (42% Liked)
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Depends on the area you live in. Around here I never had trouble returning to the hospital after years of school nurse experience-they trained me like I was a new grad. Some parts of the country I've heard it is hard because they have all these new grad nurses that recently interned in their hospital they hire first since school nursing experience isn't hospital experience and they'd have to train you like a new grad anyway. If you aren't getting hired in any hospitals anyway and like the thoughts of school nursing then you may as well try it!
Wow-no benefits AND low pay?!? How could you pass that up?!? We get great benefits. We aren't technically paid for our summers either. We are contacted for 200 days but they spread our pay out over 12 months if we want. Your job offer sounds more like what our subs get. The pros would depend on your situation more than anything. Do you have a job now, how well is it working for you, do you have benefits now, will this job be enough money to make it, etc. You could work part-time or per diem until all your kids get in school and probably make more money and be able to be home more for your little ones. School nursing is a job and all jobs have their degree of stressors. It's not a perfect job but it'd less stress. Good luck on your decision.
We have personal days we're allowed to take off during the year for any reason we want. We get full benefits including sick time, health insurance, retirement, etc. We don't get vacation time since we're off all summer and a week at each holiday but if we were to accrue our personal days we could use those for a week off during the year.
Ok good to know! I was told we are entitled to a 30 min lunch break but none of the school nurses ever get a planning period. I'll have to look into that. Thanks!
These are all very good points I will bring up if I'm asked. I will definitely not be doing this!!! I never even thought of a couple of these points. Now makes me wonder why others have done and continue to do it. Thank you for your advice!!
Congrats on your new job! Yes you are in for a huge chance. Some good advice: be flexible, friendly, and don't try to make teachers "get you" and all you do because they won't. You're new so you're going to be tested. Stand your ground. Require passes with student name and reason for visit! Always listen and trust your gut!
Also, you do not have to "fix" everything now. If a student complains of not feeling well and you check them out and they seem ok then it's fine to just send them back to class. In the hospital you would figure out if they needed a laxative or antacid or if it was related to another medication or surgery then call the dr and give your imput awaiting for new orders, etc. You don't do that now. There are no patient satisfaction surveys and this is a healthy population for the most part. Sometimes kids just need to feel like someone cares! Sometimes they just want out of class.
Be prepared for the laid back atmosphere of a school compared to a hospital. You will be busy but it's not the same! Teachers will consider lice and vomit emergencies and often overlook a diabetic whose sugar is low. Just because you will not be using the same skill set in ICU does not make you less of a nurse. Sometimes you may feel that way so be prepared.
I work with a nurse who just left the ICU and she said this was one of the hardest jobs she's ever had! I really like it but it took a while because you have to change your whole mind set. You're part social worker, part mom, part counselor, and part nurse in this job among other things. Don't worry if it takes a while to get it all down. As long as your keeping all the kids alive you're doing well! Best of luck to you!
I'm allowed as a staff member and covered like they are. I can also get a million dollars in liability insurance. They aren't cheap and our state one is almost $400 a year. I don't know whether to just stick with nurse liability insurance, take this in place of that, or have both? Does anyone have any advice? Thanks!
There are times I haven't been able to reach a parent (which is usually for lice) and I've learned that some of the nurses in our district have taken kids home if needed. It's always cases where they know the parent is home (just out of minutes on their phone, asleep, etc). I don't feel comfortable with this. First of all, I don't want to take the chance of a louse getting in my car (the kids at my school enjoy picking them out!) . Secondly, I worry about the liability. What does everyone else think?
When I worked in the middle school, if a student had a parent show up because they were sick and the student did not have a nurse excuse that student got detention. Students were not allowed to call parents to pick them up on their own. Also our principal was a die-hard-if no fever or witnessed vomiting they did not go home-period! So all those whiny kids that insisted their mom sent them to school sick-too bad.
I found middle school kids 10X whinier than grade school kids. They were so emotional and would literally cry a lot more. There was more bullying, emotional issues, peer pressure, etc. Of course it all comes out in headaches and stomach aches. You're right-they play rougher too. I prefer grade school kids any day!
You just need to stand your ground and get your principal to back you. That way when you have a student crying and arguing because you won't let them go home you can tell them to go talk to the principal-that's the rules. Once word gets around and the kids figure out they can't go home then there won't be as many "fakers" trying to get out of school. Those excuses that are over the top of blood in urine or stool you can either give them a sample cup and make them prove it (and unless they are actively bleeding a lot no need to go home right away-could just be hemmorhoids or a period) I'd call the parent and insist student can't return to school without a dr note.
I agree with schooldistrictnurse. These are adults capable of meeting their own needs. The staff can act like such drama queens/kings. They get mad they can't have something they want when they want it. That could be start of a whole new topic! I got paged to my office one day after school to put a bandaid on a teacher. The band aids were sitting out and it was her leg that she could reach-tiny scratch-hello!! I had one tell me she didn't have time to deal with a wet student because it was her lunch time which just happened to be during my lunch time! I had another mad because I didn't have Tylenol and she was pregnant and that's all she could take. The secretary gets griped at all the time because the candy dish is empty from people who don't help contribute. Do they think there's a special candy fund that comes out of the school bank account? If it were me I'd get rid of it. That's how it would be if I provided meds to staff. Plus there's that whole legal issue...
I can relate to so much of this! So glad it's just not me. I had a teacher come to me and said a parent called her and yelled at her because her son caught an illness at school, wanted to know who else in the room had something, and what she was going to do about it! She said she was speechless. I said welcome to my world! You can't argue with stupid!
We don't have school nurse teachers in our state. I would enjoy that though. I don't have lots of extra time to teach as a school nurse-too many other responsibilities. Not much "rush" as a school nurse or a teacher. You could always get your master's degree as a nurse educator and become a nurse instructor. I know some nurse instructors who also work part-time at the hospital. Almost all of nursing has lots of teaching so if you find a unit you enjoy working on then you'll always be teaching your patients and that may cure your teaching bug along with the "rush" of a fast-paced unit. You could always get your hospital rush when you're younger and go into teaching when you get older. Lots of options. I think you just need more experience to find out what you will really enjoy.
I find that I get dumped on quite a bit for this. Our kg aides will take care of the issue if the child has clean clothes at school. If not they send them to me to find some or call the parent. I always try calling the parent first. If no one available we make due with what we have. I have the child clean themselves up. Unfortunately this is almost a daily issue as we have a lot of parents not sending in clothes OR answering their phone even though they know their child has a chronic issue with accidents.
I'm very content not being around any dr's or techs. Dr's always telling you what to do right now and always having to tell techs what you need done and hope they don't get irritated-don't miss that at all. I sometimes miss working side by side with another nurse but we can always call another nurse in our district to vent or for help. I enjoy being on my own and not micro-managed. I don't feel lonely, I feel part of the educational team. Most of the staff at both of my schools is very friendly. I talk to teachers frequently about certain students and issues, the weather, the whining kids, the teacher's families, problems, etc like you would any co-worker. When I want to vent about school-nursing I call another school nurse or get on here!
26 school days for us! I'm so jealous of the shorter ones-I'm SO ready!!
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