Did I handle this wrong?

  1. 1 I am an LVN and a first year school nurse. The other day a student was brought to me by the coach assistant around 3pm (school lets out at 3:20). The assistant stated that the child (4th grd) fell during pe and hit thier face on the concrete.

    The student walked to my office fine, was not crying and showed no s/s of concussion. The student had an abrasion to the top of the left eye and to the left forearm. I cleaned up the abrasions and spoke to the student during the process and then we walked together to the kitchen to get ice. I then asked the student if they knew the number to Mom and Dad and they said "no but sister does". I replied by saying that's ok let's leave sister in class and pull your file from the computer.

    We walk back to my office and look up the students info, and call Mom. No answer so I leave a message detailing the abrasions and care that was given. Student then heads back to pe and maybe 5-10 mins bell rings school is let out. Well the next day I am approached by the mother who yelled at me in the office about how she didn't appreciate the care that was given to her child and that when she to the child to the hospital they were appalled at his condition and my actions.

    The child was given a ct-scan and nothing was found he was sent home with a bump to the head. The mother stated she demanded that action be taken against me because I didn't do my job. When the child's file was pulled up it showed the number I called to get ahold of her and she stated that the number showed was disconnected and that I should have pulled her other child out of class to get ahold of her.

    Apparently the time from when the student left my office and the 40min it took her to pick the student up the left side of the face had swelled. Even though I explained that swelling will occur with any injury she cut me off and (still yelling) stated that I should have asked the child what happened to him (though I don't see how the story would have been different than the adult's story that brought in the student) she continued stating that she hoped that I didn't have children and if I did that she hoped they weren't treated this way at home.

    This all took place in the counselors office and the counselor sat there with her head down the whole entire time and when the principle showed up I was excused from the office and sent back to work.

    Principle has yet to talk to me about the incident but I feel that my nursing judgement is shaken. That whole day I seconded guessed myself and found myself calling parents for EVERY child that came through the door. I don't have many nursing friends so I don't have someone to re-evaluate the situation except the teachers that know what happened and they say that if I followed protocol (which I did) then its the parents fault for keeping current info with school. Any thoughts? Thanks
    Last edit by Joe V on Mar 7, '12 : Reason: spacing
  2. Visit  Talljt05 profile page

    About Talljt05

    Joined Mar '12; Posts: 5; Likes: 1.

    15 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  cyzow profile page
    7
    In my opinion you did the right thing. The child had no s/s of serious head injury, besides kids get hurt or hit their heads all the time and are fine (which in this case he was). CT scans for every time a kid smacked their head would be expensive and wasteful. The child is old enough to be able to describe symptoms to you. You tried calling the number that was on file and left a message. It is the mother's responsibility to make sure that is up to date, not yours. The mother was probably just shaken up a bit because her son had some swelling around the injury and wanted to take it out on someone, which unfortunately ended up being you. It also sounds like she may be embellishing her story about hospital staff being appalled at the care he recieved. Asking him to tell the story may have helped you get a better idea of what happened. I would have agreed with your nursing judgement though. That is pretty much what I would have done. I wouldn't sweat it. You made the right decision, it's just that the mom had to vent and you were the unlucky target. Hopefully that helps with your situation. Good luck
    KimberlyRN89, intheweeds, HazelLPN, and 4 others like this.
  4. Visit  mc3 profile page
    6
    Quote from Talljt05
    I am an LVN and a first year school nurse. The other day a student was brought to me by the coach assistant around 3pm (school lets out at 3:20). The assistant stated that the child (4th grd) fell during pe and hit thier face on the concrete. The student walked to my office fine, was not crying and showed no s/s of concussion. The student had an abrasion to the top of the left eye and to the left forearm. I cleaned up the abrasions and spoke to the student during the process and then we walked together to the kitchen to get ice. I then asked the student if they knew the number to Mom and Dad and they said "no but sister does". I replied by saying that's ok let's leave sister in class and pull your file from the computer. We walk back to my office and look up the students info, and call Mom. No answer so I leave a message detailing the abrasions and care that was given. Student then heads back to pe and maybe 5-10 mins bell rings school is let out. Well the next day I am approached by the mother who yelled at me in the office about how she didn't appreciate the care that was given to her child and that when she to the child to the hospital they were appalled at his condition and my actions. The child was given a ct-scan and nothing was found he was sent home with a bump to the head. The mother stated she demanded that action be taken against me because I didn't do my job. When the child's file was pulled up it showed the number I called to get ahold of her and she stated that the number showed was disconnected and that I should have pulled her other child out of class to get ahold of her. Apparently the time from when the student left my office and the 40min it took her to pick the student up the left side of the face had swelled. Even though I explained that swelling will occur with any injury she cut me off and (still yelling) stated that I should have asked the child what happened to him (though I don't see how the story would have been different than the adult's story that brought in the student) she continued stating that she hoped that I didn't have children and if I did that she hoped they weren't treated this way at home. This all took place in the counselors office and the counselor sat there with her head down the whole entire time and when the principle showed up I was excused from the office and sent back to work. Principle has yet to talk to me about the incident but I feel that my nursing judgement is shaken. That whole day I seconded guessed myself and found myself calling parents for EVERY child that came through the door. I don't have many nursing friends so I don't have someone to re-evaluate the situation except the teachers that know what happened and they say that if I followed protocol (which I did) then its the parents fault for keeping current info with school. Any thoughts? Thanks
    No, I don't think you did anything wrong. It is parent's responsibility to make sure the school has the correct contact information, not yours to go chasing telephone numbers around. Mom should have provided the correct phone number. This has happened a couple of times to me also but not as bad as what you describe. It does shake your confidence, for sure. If you called every parent whose child came through the door, you would spend your day making phone calls instead of taking care of kids. If you used good nursing judgement, and your principal is satisfied you followed correct procedure, just try and let it go. There are some crazy parents out there who have issues far beyond what we can see. I mark their child's medical information sheet to call home for everything, and that seems to help. Just make sure to document, document, document everything that happened, for your own sake. BTW - I think behavior like this is unacceptable and should not be tolerated, from anybody. I do hope your principal backed you up. Oh, and I'll bet this isn't the first unpleasant contact the school has had w/this Mom.....
    mc3
  5. Visit  Talljt05 profile page
    0
    Thanks guys y'all really helped me put my mind to rest about this situation.
  6. Visit  Flare profile page
    4
    I call these types of parents "mother bears". No matter what you do, it will never be enough. The way they act, you'd think they'd be model parents but no... these are the parents we need to chase down for updated phone numbers, immunization records and such. They are the parents that want to be called each and every time their little darlin' comes in your office, but will only pick up their kid if it's conveneint for them, other wise they feed you a line of bull crap.

    You did everything right. You left a message to the current number on file, you gave appropriate treatment. She is the one that over reacted and exposed their child to unnecessary radiation.

    Beyond the incident with the child, that parent had absolutely no right to question whether or not you have children and question your care of your own children. It amazes me the way that parents can talk to us and treat us. It's taken me a long time, but i've finally learned how to not let a parent like that take up residency in my head. When they tear into you, don't take it to heart. Let it flow in one ear and out the other. Know that you did the right thing and that sometimes you've just got to let a jackass bray!
  7. Visit  Artistyc1 profile page
    3
    You know what is most upsetting to me as a nurse? We mostly work on the "customer service" model. In an attempt to empower our families to do right by their children, some have taken it as a license to abuse the staff. This goes for the hospital, as well as the school.
    Any parent, it appears, can lodge a complaint against the nurse, however improbable the parent's complaint may be. All too often, administration will placate the parent, even when evidence of staff wrongdoing is lacking. As much as I LOVE my job, and all the kids I work with, this is something that never ceases to hurt my professional pride. Even if there are no consequences to me d/t lack of any evidence, there is the fact that the parent feels they have been vindicated after speaking to administration that will not support the staffperson that is accused.
    Last edit by Artistyc1 on Mar 5, '12
    schoolnursejennie, Talljt05, and Flare like this.
  8. Visit  Daisy_08 profile page
    1
    i think you did everything right. we dont even have school nurses where i live, so had this happened her, a teacher would have called home and given some first aide. she is lucky to have had a health professional make an assessment at school.
    Talljt05 likes this.
  9. Visit  Arnu profile page
    1
    I think the mother overreacted. It sounds as though everything was done right, there were no s/s of a head injury, you called the parent--its HER job to make sure the numbers are correct, not her older child's job! Any parent that comes is yelling and not willing to hear you out is clearly over reacting.
    Talljt05 likes this.
  10. Visit  bsyrn profile page
    2
    You did nothing wrong. It is the parents responsibility to keep updated numbers on file. Just an FYI, I never leave any type of detailed message on a voice mail. If I cannot get in touch with a parent, I will go to the emergency contact number, If that is unsuccesful, I send a detailed note home with the student. This too shall pass Know you are doing a good job...
    HazelLPN and Talljt05 like this.
  11. Visit  caliotter3 profile page
    2
    The mom overreacted. She even blamed you because her emergency info was not up to date. I would stop worrying about this. If you find yourself with too many upsetting events such as this, you might want to consider a different nursing venue, although getting complaints comes with almost every area in nursing. Some nursing areas are less prone to sniping and complaining than others.
    HazelLPN and Talljt05 like this.
  12. Visit  Talljt05 profile page
    0
    Yea I used to work with the elderly so the aggresiveness is something new to me. Thank you all for youe encouraging words. I really love working with the kids, I just hope my contract gets renewed! lol
  13. Visit  mycsm profile page
    0
    next time this happens and you have cobvered ALL YOUR BASES, call the police, let them find her..its amazing how quickly parents change their info on the ER card when the cops get involved.
  14. Visit  Talljt05 profile page
    0
    Ok folks...update. I will be going in to speak with principal regarding what will happen next...th mom came in to the school today asking the front office secretary what my title was, was I licensed or registered, and where I went to school. She was oly told that I was an LVN and any other info would have to go through the principal. So she goes in to speaak with principal (dont know what was said) but end result was that she may or may not be coming in to make a formal complaint to the school board. Bottom line I'm scared. To me it seems she wants me fired. I will let y'all know what happens tomorrow.


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