Am I overreacting?

  1. Ok so this is my first year as a school nurse, 12 years of previous NICU nursing, I'm just having a hard time with all the requests/demands i get from my admin, like calling a parent for a toothache cause the kid has emotional issues, or my admin calling a parent to pick up a student after i had already seen the kid for a stomachache and sent him back to class. Just alot of undermining. I don't feel like i should baby these kids, then they'll all be in my office. And I'm not here to baby irresponsible parents. I'm here to keep kids in school. I came from a place where i was very well respected. Sorry for the rant I just need to vent
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   ruby_jane
    Vent away - we're your safe place.

    So, when you say "administration" - do you mean the principal or other staff? We're on our 5th principal 6 years. When I interviewed I asked the principal (who hired me) "What are your expectations of me?" His answer: keep the kids in school. When he was promoted we had another principal rise from the ranks and her expectation was "you'll call every parent of a kid who hurts him/herself at school." OK, then. I do.

    You can't care more than the parents do. I got yelled at the first year by a lot of parents when I pointed out the absence policy. It was more important for them to please the little darling than it was for the student to be in class and learning. OK, then. No problem here. Too bad so sad when your kid has to come in every Saturday in March and April because she absence failed (true story!!!)

    If it's your principal doing this - you serve at his/her leisure. Make it through the year and find another gig.

    If it's really a secretary - make an appointment with your principal. Bottom line: parents are getting inconsistent messages from the school and you're the only one on campus with nursing judgment. If a kid is sent home for non-medical issues by non-medical staff, it should be coded that way.

    Good luck!!
  4. by   nmr79
    This is my first year in a school, too. I definitely feel like I'm the low man on the totem pole, compared to how I was when I was in charge on a busy hospital unit. I just keep reminding myself of the awesomeness of the schedule, and the fact that most of the students are great kids.
  5. by   Cattz
    Take a deep breath. This sounds normal, unfortunately. Keep doing what you are doing and use your nursing judgement. It can take some time to get established as a Nurse in the education setting. I know I am preaching to the choir here, but this is the perfect example of why the world of School Nursing is a "horse of a different color, or maybe even a Zebra )Everyone from Admin down to the Kindergarten/preschoolers (or whatever age range you have), will soon learn what you will and won't put up with. Be consistent. When you have time, visit with teachers, staff, admin., so they can get to know you as a person. Hang in there.
  6. by   Cattz
    Quote from nmr79
    This is my first year in a school, too. I definitely feel like I'm the low man on the totem pole, compared to how I was when I was in charge on a busy hospital unit. I just keep reminding myself of the awesomeness of the schedule, and the fact that most of the students are great kids.
    And your long Christmas Break will really make you appreciate it even more.
  7. by   WineRN
    Vent away.

    It is an adjustment from going from a place where everyone is of a medical mindset to somewhere where they think 99.0 is a "low grade fever" and a bloody mouth is a medical emergency.

    As Cattz said, consistency is key. It is YOUR office, you need to meet the expectations of your principal and/or health manager, but day to day you lay down the law in your office. I had a rough start with a lot of my staff and some of the parents because I came in after a number of different nurses after one made a large medical mistake. But there have been a few larger medical emergencies since I've been hired that have solidified my role and my purpose here.

    I still feel like the odd man out during the staff meetings because I am not of the educational mindset, but I do my best to be present in everything I can for my staff which in turn causes them to like and respect me more (most of the time lol)
  8. by   nmr79
    Quote from Cattz
    And your long Christmas Break will really make you appreciate it even more.
    Exactly!
    I worked Christmas Day last year. Anything is better than that!
  9. by   JenTheSchoolRN
    Vent away!

    I found out at my school the three magic words are "lost instruction time." When I use those, folks listen.
  10. by   scuba nurse
    I feel your pain, and that is one reason why I changed school a little over a month ago. Granted I could do that as I work in a big district and have 5 years seniority, and there were openings at other schools, so that may not be an option for you. But just keep doing what you are doing, you are the medical person in the building. Maybe meet with the principal to discuss her expectations of you and how you plan to run your office.
    It is a great job, but can be very stressful, and people do not understand that. Hang in there! It will get better!! These people on here are AWESOME too!
  11. by   MrNurse(x2)
    I am far more lenient with my K-2 than my 3-8 students. Very few K-2 hate school, they have to be feeling bad. I am at a small school, I know almost all my students and their personalities, helpful when it comes to fakers. I have an extremely supportive administration, one Principal's mom was a nurse. It helps that they knew me as Mr.Parent(x2) before MrNurse(x2). As others have said, stay consistent, explain your methodology to your Principal and explain that over time it will show results.
  12. by   Cattz
    Quote from WineRN

    I still feel like the odd man out during the staff meetings because I am not of the educational mindset, but I do my best to be present in everything I can for my staff which in turn causes them to like and respect me more (most of the time lol)
    "Educational Mindset"- This rings a little bell in my school nurse brain. Something that I have most definitely learned over the long haul of these past 20 years is this: Even though my mindset is Medical, for me, I have found that it is vital that I get really good at learning to "meet in the middle" of where our Medical and the Educational Mindset is. I am where the rubber meets the road, and this is obviously a very unique position to be in. I have my standards and there is a very distinct line between what I will and won't put up with. Advocating for kids is very near and dear to my heart.
    Perfect example just last week- Teacher stops by my office to tell me quickly about some concerns with a student. Another teacher of this student had had contact with the parent. This parent told her that they had discovered some abuse by another family member. But had assured the teacher "that they had taken care of it". I told the teacher and my Principal (not my Hubs), that my gut feeling was to Hotline. Neither of them did it. That evening, I just couldn't shake my gut feeling. I went ahead and made the call and it was taken as a Report of Abuse and Neglect.)
    My husband is the Principal at one of my other schools and this has helped me get a better understanding of the big picture of Education. But, with that being said, sometimes--- I still have to do what I have to do.
  13. by   nicunursem10
    Thank you all for your input, I've decided I'm going to change schools next year, I'm just gonna have to suck it up till the end of the year here. Thanks again
  14. by   Cattz
    Hang in there. Glad you have come to a resolution. How many days til Christmas Break??

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