School Nurse Incident in Orlando. What Would You Have Done?

  1. 0
    I'm not a nurse yet, so I only know how I feel about this. What should this nurse have done? What would you have done?

    Nurse refuses student inhaler during asthma attack

    School says medical release form lacked parent's signature
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on May 26, '12 : Reason: Added news article title

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  2. 70 Comments...

  3. 0
    Called 911 and done my ABCs? Called the pt's emergency contacts (MD, parents, etc)?

    Apparently this nurse didn't. We don't have the whole story, either. Why did she lock herself in the room? Did the teen get violent in order to get to his inhaler? Was she protecting herself?
  4. 4
    I think there is probably much more to this story than is printed. It lost credibility to me when they said she locked the door and let the kid lie on the floor. I won't pass judgement yet because this story smells a bit fishy to me.
  5. 0
    I agree there are absolutely holes in the story. I was just curious about how this should have been handled.
  6. 3
    as the daughter of a mother who occasionally had life-threatening asthma attacks, my first totally emotional reaction as a daughter is
    "what the <bleep> happened?" that nurse should be strung up by her thumbs.

    on the other hand, my reaction as an rn is the bulk of the story is just more of yahoo's sensationalism and overgeneralizing. i have to wonder whether the student is a behavioral problem, or panics easily, or cries wolf??

    i would hope that any reasonably prudent nurse would use critical thinking and assessment skills and if he had been in the thros of a bad attack, give him the inhaler and straighten out the paperwork later. an inhaler can be a maintenance drug as well as an emergency rescuer for many asthmatics.
    DizzyLizzyNurse, lindarn, and danarooo like this.
  7. 0
    My initial thought having asthma myself would be to give the dang inhaler, but as an RN I don't have all the facts so can't really say with any degree of certainty. It's too easy to demonize the nurse for the general public, but as a nurse I want to see the school policy under which she was working regarding medications AND hear her assessment of the situation and her rational in order to say what I think.
  8. 5
    I can understand the policy of needing to have a signed release before allowing a student to carry the medication with him in school. That's what the article states the medical release was for. However, it doesn't say whether a medical release is needed to GIVE the medication- just to allow the student to carry it. Many medications are kept in the nurse's office and given when needed.

    I'm also curious how much time elapsed between when the inhaler was confiscated and when the asthma attack occurred. The nurse could have called the mother at the time it was taken and explained that they need a signed release. The nurse could have also called the mother at the beginning of the asthma attack and obtained verbal consent (with a witness) to give the child in inhaler until a written consent could be signed. We obtain consent this way for surgical procedures- I'm sure it could have been done for a medication.

    School nurses have it rough. On the one hand, they are hung out to dry if they don't do something in a medical emergency- even without consent of the parents. On the other, they are hung out to dry if they do something but the parents don't agree with what is done. This nurse was probably afraid of the consequences that could have come from giving a child a medication without parental consent.

    Of course, it seems that 911 would have been appropriate as well. But hindsight is always 20/20, so it's hard to judge from just the information in the article.
    wooh, Esme12, Meriwhen, and 2 others like this.
  9. 0
    What Ashely said
  10. 1
    I would do my ABC's, call 911 and emergency contacts.
    Quote from Ladylynn6
    I'm not a nurse yet, so I only know how I feel about this. What should this nurse have done? What would you have done?
    Purple_Scrubs likes this.
  11. 1
    Called 911. Shared in the responsibility because the signature should have been obtained. Nurse's responsibility to inform the parent that a signature is needed. Doubt this was a new prescription.
    lindarn likes this.

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