Nurse ABC 9,527 Views
Joined: Jan 4, '12;
Posts: 438 (42% Liked)
; Likes: 429
I have been a school nurse for 12 years. I've been a nurse since '92 so I've come and gone from school nursing over the years. I've worked full-time, part-time, and subbed as a school nurse. If all my experiences (or any) were like tallgirl's I may not have ever left. I want to work where she does!! If you look through this board you'll find lots of answers to your questions!
Overall it's a good job, less stress, nice to be in charge of your own office, nice to have all the weekends/holidays/summers/snow days etc off. If you have kids it really is ideal! I do enjoy working with kids and making them feel better.
No job is perfect however. You will take a pay cut most likely. It may be huge. Only you can decide if it's something you can live with or make work somehow.
School nursing has it's own stressors but nothing like the hospital. If you thrive on making life and death decisions this job is not for you. It can be quite boring and monotonous at times. Lots of paperwork, charting, checking immunizations, and entering stuff on the computer. That stuff doesn't bother me too much.
I feel more like a social worker sometimes. There are more poor children whose parents don't provide what they need than you can imagine so you will have to encourage parents to take their kid to the dr, get immunizations that are required and then threaten social services or exclusion to get them to do it sometimes. This is very frustrating.
You will have many teachers that try to tell you how to do your job. Many will not respect your opinion. Many think you should just do as they say. You have to learn to stand your ground. You are the only medical person and sometimes they just don't get why you freak out over stuff like low blood sugars or a dizzy child that just got hit in the head but they freak out over vomit and lice and don't understand why you don't. There's A LOT of lice. It truly never ends.
A typical day involves seeing kids for illness/injury (many just want out of class or to go home so they fake it), passing meds, blood glucose monitoring, etc. We are also responsible for making sure kids have the correct immunizations, Medicaid billing, care plans, teaching staff, educating students on issues like dental health/hygeine/puberty etc, screenings, staff wellness programs, getting dr orders needed, and other things.
I always suggest subbing to get a taste of it before jumping in full-time. I think it's worth a try because you may love it!!
I had a similar job except my commute was 40 min and they started making me work extra shifts. I didn't mind the drive but 12 hr days are usually 12 1/2 if you don't get paid for your lunch which most places don't. Plus we we almost always had to stay over a little for either report, charting, last min stuff etc. Plus you have to give yourself extra time to get there and find a place to park, get to your locker, get ready, etc. So,all in all, most of my days were at least 14 hours away from home. That's a long day. There were several people I worked with that commuted an hour. My first day off I was so exhausted I had no energy to do anything at all. I felt like I'd been hit by a truck. I now do the 5 days/8 hrs a week. I like the fact I'm home every eve with my kids but I miss my days off with my husband who works shift work/weekends. I'm still tired but not exhausted. The ONLY reason I even considered this schedule was due to the fact I have all holidays (a week off with major holidays) and summers off with my kids/family. I don't know how people work the typical bank hours with 2 days off a week, two weeks vacation a year, and one day off for their holidays unless they just love their job. I feel like all I do is work. With 12's, if you have a bad day you know you only have one more day or you're off the next day which is great. The downside, if you have a patient you really don't like, it makes a long day longer. Are you planning to have kids anytime soon? Will you be able to have family watch them on the days you work? Can they make you work more shifts or call you off the shifts you have for low census? Will you have to drive in on days off for meetings and inservices? Will you have to take call? These are things to check into and consider. Everyone says this is a job too good to be true but as you can see no job is perfect. I'm not saying you shouldn't take it, I just want you to know some of the things that came up that I was not real aware of. Only you can decide what's best for you. I prefer the 12's, just not the environment I was in and not at this time of my life with my kids. Good luck, sounds like a good option!
Those that don't have to deal with it are so lucky. They send them to me because it's a hygeine issue plus it's a central location for extra clothes. We have a couple who I swear are just not potty trained. At one school I have a church that donates extra clothes which is wonderful. If I start running low I call the parent to bring clothes if I can reach them. One kid pooped his pants big time and thankfully I reached mom who comes in and literally tries to hand me his clothes. Um no thank you! I'm like you can take him to the bathroom down the hall. On that note, they are installing diaper changing areas for pre-k next year. The teachers will have fun with that. Potty training will no longer be a requirement for new preK. I think that's insane. It's going to turn into a free daycare for many!
Yes most definately! Lol! Those are the ones whose parents just live "right down the street" yet somehow manage to take an hour!
No we have our own team that has a leader who is in charge of all of them. They basically just consult me if there's a medical issue to sit in on a few of them. You should not have to case manage and should be able to defer to a teacher if you aren't needed. I don't usually sit in on ADHD ones even if they're on meds because that aspect is already being managed by the dr unless a parent is having an issue med related and needs advice.
I had a parent call me back after picking up his sick child and ask how long he could expect him to be sick. I'm like a day or two, possibly longer. It made him happy even though I basically said I don't know.
Oh wow everyone is so diplomatic! I guess I just never really thought about how I should answer that. If it's illness related and I've had 2-3 cases I always just say yes because for some odd reason it makes the parents calm down. If I say no not really I get a million questions like what could it be, where could they have gotten it, do I need to take them to the dr, etc and they are so worried. If they know it's going around they're like ok then it's just a bug they'll be ok. If I'm not 100% sure it's a virus I tell them they need to follow up with dr if such and such occur.
Now if it's lice however, I usually say no. In my experience, most students contract lice from other family/neighbors/etc the kids have been hanging around at their house and I don't want the parent using the school as an excuse. Nine times out of ten when I check a class no other students have lice. The times another student may have lice is usually a first timer who may have gotten it from the student whose parent keeps asking how many in the room have it! Of course there are always exceptions but they are rare for me.
Take the job. Almost all jobs come with a probationary period. If during that time you get offered the ER job you can decide then if you're still interested. If you do get offered the job and decide you want it you can inform the state you have been offered a job that will fit you better. Besides, even after offered a hospital job it usually takes at least a month before you'll start working there.
I get you! Yes it's inconsiderate. Could you maybe approach your manager privately and say that although you live closer than others you feel as if your somehow getting punished for living close because even though you don't have as far to drive it's still very slippery and makes you nervous when the roads are bad so next time would she please ask if you feel you need to leave early. She's obviously just assuming since you live close you'll be ok. I'd also mention you did spin on the road last time so now you want to not wait as long to leave if possible.
Oh and mine is not cozy-no blanket and no pillow. Don't want them to get too comfortable!
Sometimes when kids are complaining of a belly ache and I know they aren't just sleepy I let them lie on the cot for a few minutes. It's amazing how quickly they get bored and ask to leave if they aren't really sick!
Those lice treatments can really dry out the scalp plus with the dry winter air that doesn't help. I can usually tell by feeling the hair if a student was just treated. The hair feels very dry as well. That can make them itch for quite a while. Conditioner can help in these instances which is not something a lot of kids have access to that I take for granted!
Lice do not jump. They are very fast and will retreat from light and the air hitting them. They like to stay snuggled warm in the hair esp around the nape of the neck area and back of the ears where it's warmer. You will definately be able to know what it is when you see one. If you spend enough time parting several sections you will usually find one if in there.
They are right about the nits. They won't come out unless you pull with your fingernails or a lice comb. They also feel kind of firm unlike a piece of dandruff. There's plenty of info on the net and You Tube as well!
Update: Well luckily I was able to get a hold of former nurse that held the job and compare differences. Her advice was to stay put where I am now since I have it much better than she did. I decided to take her advice. I didn't even apply because I knew I didn't want it. They were ready to offer me the job and just assumed I wanted it so it was already being spread around I was taking over! Even though that's flattering, my instinct told me to stay put. Even my kids thought I would be happier where I am now. Also, my long-term goal is to go back to part-time as soon as feasibly possible and that's not even an option in this other district. Thanks for all the advice!
No I haven't and since I've had no kids complaining or anyone with severe latex allergies I'm not worrying about it. I'm just glad that in my area those the interest in those things are dwindling!
I also only attend the ones with medical issues. What's the point of being there otherwise? If there's a question about a student possibly needing medication or some type of medical need then sure but otherwise no.
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