Nurse ABC 7,986 Views
Joined Jan 4, '12.
Posts: 439 (42% Liked)
Yes, it would be teaching health related material. It's good hear others in this type of role enjoy it! I think you're right about the reason I keep searching. I'm going to go for it! Thank you for helping me decide! Praying I get it!!
Every job has its ups and downs. Nursing is very physically demanding and stressful. When I graduated from high school I didn't have the internet to really learn what all nursing entails. I had an aunt who tried to talk me out of it but her reasons were silly ones (like having to wear a uniform (I didn't care-I hate to dress up), working holidays/nights/weekends (no big deal when you're young), dealing with blood (didn't bother me), etc. Nursing school does not adequately prepare you to handle 5-10 patients at a time. The most we ever had was 2 in school. It's scary when you realize it's up to you to make sure they stay alive! Doctors only round once a day. I have had so many more bad experiences in nursing than good. Some from patients, some from families, doctors, and other nurses/staff. I did love OB but I was risking my license every day. There was one nurse for labor and delivery no matter how many patients we had. I got out of the hospital and went into school nursing. Much less stress but still so much crap from people-just teachers and parents this time instead of doctors and patients-but still a lack of respect. So I ended up taking several years away from nursing to stay home with my kids. After they all were in school I missed working and decided to go back. I subbed as a school nurse and also took some part-time hospital jobs in a different hospital. The good news is the hospital was much better and people much more supportive than the other one I'd worked at. I wish I would've started out there instead. The bad news is still too many patients per nurse. Now everything is computerized which takes 10X's longer to chart I think and there's so much more of it. However it does help catch mistakes which is good. You will spend more time on the computer than with your patients every day. There are now so many more drug seekers that will make your day miserable yelling about needing more and more pain med. However, even though I liked this hospital better it was still very stressful and being older it was very hard on my back, knees, etc. because you work 12 hrs now and you really rarely sit down all day! I was exhausted the days I worked and the next one off. I ended up going back into school nursing because it was physically easier and there is also more respect for the nurse there now as well. I do sometimes think about going in teaching nursing. I've always wanted to try that so we'll see.
If I were you, I would call a local hospital and tell them you're a student deciding if you want to go into nursing and ask if you can shadow a med-surg nurse for a few hours. You need to see how things are on a basic floor-not the specialty floors because most of the time you have to work med-surg first and if you can handle that you can handle anything. Talk to the nurses. Read the boards on here from new grads. Make sure if you do go into it you do with open eyes. Also, my advice would be to get your master's degree as soon as possible too. That will open up so many more doors esp if you get tired of working at the bedside. We need good nurses and the nice thing about nursing is there are so many places you can work as a nurse but most nurses have to get that med-surg experience first. Some areas of the country it's very difficult to get a nursing job but other areas it's easier. Try to get a hospital internship which will help get your foot in the door. Make a great impression on all the nurses while you're in school. When we'd have awesome students come through that we loved we'd put in a good word for them and they usually got hired. Always act professional and respectful and show that you're a hard worker. We'd have students hogging our computers and get mad if we asked them to borrow our own computer back because we had a med due and you would not believe the number of eye rolls we'd get. Don't do that. Don't hide in the nurse's lounge whispering when other students are out on the floor learning. Show initiative and ask questions. Whatever you're afraid of (inserting a catheter, starting an IV, a bed bath, etc) do it as much as possible to get over that fear and you will once you've done things enough. If you don't know something ask, don't wing it and hope for the best. If you have a tough skin and can handle stress well then by all means go for it. If it doesn't take much to stress you out then do the OT because you'll still be helping people but with much stress!
If you actually are already asleep by 10:30pm you're only getting around 7 hrs of sleep. If you're like me and start getting ready for bed at the time you want to be asleep then you get even less. I cannot function well without at least 8 hrs of sleep. Try to go to bed earlier or just give yourself a 30 min power nap after work to give you energy for the rest of the eve to exercise or do a hobby you enjoy. I think both will help.
I quit calling parents with these notes unless the student has a fever, vomiting, diarrhea, horrible cough, etc. (the same reasons I'd send anyone home). If the student says they were vomiting or running a fever last night I will call parent to clarify and if they did have those issues I make them pick them up due to our 24 hr without rule. Sometimes I will wait until the student leaves my office and call parent to let them know student was in my office and I don't feel they need to go home if they are a helicopter parent. I've never had a parent call and complain I didn't call them right away except once and I explained they didn't meet the criteria to be sent home and that if they truly felt the child was ill they shouldn't have sent them. Parent understood and no more issues because student just said they were sick and I wouldn't call. I could see how with some parents this could become an issue but most parents say that because they are pretty sure their kid can make it but the kid is making a fuss about not wanting to go to school.
I agree my biggest pet peave is parents sending obviously sick child to school (sometimes with a fever but they just had Tylenol so they'll be ok when that kicks in right?!) and then not available to pick them up. Also, the parent that just sends student back to school on bus that had lice day before trying to sneak them back in without being rechecked.
The statement about teachers thinking we work for them is SO true!! Not all of them but several. Stand up for yourself, be super nice but firm, and go out of your way to talk to the teachers and get to know them so when you have to do something they aren't thrilled with they won't freak out as bad. Make it a point to eat lunch with them, go to their room instead of always calling, ask them questions about themselves, etc. Also always be respectful even if you don't agree.
It's ok. I'm sure you will find lots of answers on school nurse forum if you look back. The pay is usually teacher pay (much less than hospital). The trade off is better hours, summers off, no holidays or weekends, etc. We do have a lot of after hours work at the beginning of the year but then it calms down. Some days though you just don't have time to chart until school is over. Our state requires a BSN plus a school nurse certification. I do sometimes regret leaving the hospital and all the different options of part-time work, different specialties, career growth, etc. You will find less politics I think and that the board of education cares more abt you than the hospital ,however, I also feel school nurses don't get as much respect by teachers as the hospital staff. Reason being, they just don't see or understand us. A kid walks into our office having trouble breathing and we are immediately assessing the situation just by looking at color of lips, can they talk, how fast are they breathing, are they wheezing, is it an allergic reaction or asthma, etc but all a teacher sees is that we just pulled an inhaler out of the cabinet and gave it to the kid-so easy. Then they don't see all our charting to cover ourselves (after all they don't have to) or the care plans, Medicaid billing, etc. I get really offended when teachers tell me I have a cushy job. I also really feel left out because there is no other nurses I work directly with-just teachers and they are cliquish. I usually become friends with the special Ed teachers-they usually understand what we do better and have more respect for us. Oh and the secretaries usually love the nurse because if we aren't there then they have to deal with the sick kids.
You will never be able to cure it completely but here's things I've tried that help. (I do all of them.) First require teachers to fill out a pass every time with reason for student visit. This will stop SOME teachers from sending kids for every little hangnail if they have to stop and fill out a pass instead of just sending them with a generic hall pass. I also send a note at the beginning of the year explaining reasons to see the nurse and criteria I use to send them home. Second, I sent home a copy of nurse pass with what I did (our nurse passes have are a 2 ply that shows what is written). Thirdly, after a certain amount of visits for stupid stuff that obviously shows they are trying to ditch class, I call the parent and express how concerned over the amount of class time their child is missing and if it continues I'm going to require a dr's visit to rule out a true medical issue. Finally, I haven't started this yet but if all else fails I was going to see if principal would back me and get involved if all the above steps did not fix problem.
One school I was at, I noticed there were just a handful of teachers that literally did not care when or why their students came down and let them for every stupid reason under the book. Of course some parents don't care either so I kept track of how many visits I received from each class for a couple of months and there was such a huge discrepancy the principal got involved and spoke to the teachers involved. However, I've found in every building there are always those teachers that will send them for any reason because they either literally don't know how to say no or because they don't want the parents to get on to them for not sending kids. There is no reasoning with those ones (believe me I've tried) and I just do all the above.
However, you must be careful because if a student is coming down all the time .Sometimes there's a reason like they need/want attention from someone who acts like they care because no one does at home or there is in fact a medical issue or possibly some type of abuse issue. I've had students dx with diabetes, pancreatitis, anxiety, asthma, neglect, abuse, etc from frequent visits that I requested/required dr visit.
All in all its extremely frustrating at times. I LOVE the teachers that put their foot down because I know if I'm seeing one of their kids it's important and I even had one teacher that would give her kids detention if they tried to fake an illness to go home! There's more of the other ones though!
I'm a school nurse-best of both worlds. However, if I had to do it all over again I would have just went with teaching. It's hard to be a nurse in a school-I always feel a little on the outside. Nursing school is extremely tough. While all my education major friends were partying and having fun, I was constantly doing homework or studying. That was without raising kids. Nursing itself is a tough gig. Between the long hours, the lack of respect, the stress of keeping people alive, and the physically demanding aspect of lifting and turning people and being on your feet all day, it's overrated. If it were only about "helping people" it would be great but you have to deal with a lot of crap to do that. Some people thrive in it and you may be one of those people. If you're truly set on thinking nursing is for you then by all means shadow a med-surg nurse for 12 hrs straight because that will most likely be where you will start-or maybe a nursing home. My kids hated when I worked at the hospital. I wouldn't get home until their bedtime the days I worked. I also had to work summers and holidays. They didn't like that one bit. Yours won't either,esp if they are used to you being there. Just read all the boards from new grads and you'll see how tough it is. At least with teaching, if you don't find a job right away you can always sub. Nurses don't have that option.
I am trying to negotiate an hourly pay...what is typical for school nurses...with NO benefits?! I make almost $36/hr with benefits at the hospital... I know I will take a paycut I just can't go as low as $25
In our district we are required to have a BSN and obtain our school nurse certification. Never known anyone to be considered over-qualified to be hired. They encourage staff to get Master's degrees and National school nurse certification ( on top of regular school nurse certification). They also require 2 yrs experience as school nurses are the only medical person in the building and the only one there for all medical emergencies until paramedics arrive if needed so they prefer someone who has either ER, peds, ICU, or med-surg experience.
Same here almost. I have abt half hour before and after school without kids. We are required to work teacher workdays but it's nice because you can get a lot done without kids there. The principal usually sets the hours we begin and end.
Check out pintrest for school nurse decorating and bulletin board ideas. There are some really cute health themed ideas for different months/seasons.
There are teacher stores in our town. There are school nurse and teacher catalogues that have things as well.
Never known anyone in our schools to do pamphlets as those #1 would come out of our own small budget or pocket and #2 whenever we've had a few free pamphlets from conferences or whatever no one wants to take them. Kids this age seem to be embarrassed for anyone to see them having a pamphlet on anything usually unless they were passed out to an entire class and made to take one.
Congratulations on your new job! I think it's a great idea to stay per diem at the hospital. It gives you a back up if you decide school nursing isn't your thing and keeps your skills fresh. If you decide after a while you love school nursing and don't plan on ever returning to the hospital, it's fine to give that up if you don't need the money. Good luck!
Like the ER, you never know what your day will be like but here's what it's like for the most part. I get to work at 7:30 and go to my office. I unlock all my cabinets and go fill up the ice bucket. I say hi to the secretary and principal and chat for a sec. I turn on the computer and bring up email and get my mail. Then by that time the doors are opened for students to come in the building. From then on, I alternate seeing kids for visits (everything from med passes, diabetic checks, first aid, and mostly lots of vague complaints like stomach aches, headaches, etc) and answering the phone, checking email, and doing my computer work. There's LOTS of desk work! Everything from entering immunizations, screenings, care plans, health problems, Medicaid billing, etc. Then somewhere in there we have to work in vision screenings as they come up. Lots of lice checks, calling parents to notify of things, etc. I have to be the bad guy and threaten (and sometimes actually) exclude kids because they don't have immunizations needed or dr visits after repeated requests. Have to call CPS occasionally. Lately, lots of potty accidents which take up lots of time either finding clothes that fit or getting a hold of parents to bring something. We communicate with dr's offices a lot trying to get right paperwork for med orders parents can't seem to manage. Also, have to teach some classes and arrange for guest speakers, conduct staff wellness programs, go to student meetings, teach staff how to handle student emergencies, put out little fires all day long that are no big deal to nurses but freak teachers out like bedbugs, snot, lice, stinky kids, etc. It's so much less stressful than the hospital but we are still very busy. It's not usually life and death busy. You have to be flexible and able to prioritize and have a few balls in the air at once all the time. (Like the ER!) You don't have to have everything done by the end of the day. What's not done is sitting there waiting on you the next day and even though we have deadlines, unless it's serious, the deadlines are more time frames and several weeks long. If you live for the adrenaline rush go elsewhere. Your biggest rush will be getting called to the playground and even then it's 9/10 times nothing major. You will have broken bones, chipped or knocked out teeth, black eyes, low blood sugars, seizures, etc but again, it's not life and death. The hardest part of this job is the teachers (their lack of understanding abt what we do and say) and parents (either the over-protective but more often not the neglectful ones that like to give you a hard time for insisting they do what should've already been done.) I enjoy establishing relationships and working with the kids, the laid back atmosphere of the school environment, the schedule (it's awesome), and I love when I help a student get something they needed whether it's shoes, a new coat, glasses, medical care, or whatever it may be and you see the look of appreciation on their faces (we live in a lower income area). It's not perfect (the low pay, mean and lazy parents, some teachers, feeling more like a social worker than nurse, frequent flyer students, lice over and over and over, etc) but I like it!
Around here it was $2 less an hour to sub without benefits as a brand new grad nurse in the hospital. So our new grads start off at $24 and it was $22/hr.
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