Do I ever get to be off duty? No, seriously?

  1. Why should I have to use up vacation time when I am doing work anyway? Took the day off to chaperone my daughter's last field trip of the year and was called and asked 1) how to deal with notifying the people who need to know that one of our students has Fifths Disease (don't know why she bothered asking since she involved the principal, the director of student support services and the freaking superintendent!), 2) calling the grandmother of said student to let her know she can return to school tomorrow because she has been cleared by her doctor and 3) that my health aide will be out sick tomorrow and since we can never get a sub at the last minute I get to use one of the last days I have left in this school year to hand out bandaids and ice packs instead of finishing the mountain of paperwork and planning I still have left to do before summer school starts. I TOOK THE DAY OFF PEOPLE!!! Normally my health aide, who was trying to deal with all of this, would call one of the other nurses but none could be found. That's right. Out of SEVEN nurses she couldn't get a hold of a single one.

    I think I picked a bad week to give up drinking. Ugh. 12 more days and then I'm not only done for the summer but I'm done with this district. Does anyone else deal with this type of stuff? I know things happen "off hours" but am I seriously expected to basically be on duty 24/7? And, if i was making the big bucks I'd just suck it up and deal with it but I'm not.
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   kidzcare
    That is very frustrating. Since you are leaving, I don't know if it would even be worth talking to your supervisor about but that'll be up to you.

    I felt very taken advantage of in my last district and I was irritated all the time. I feel your pain. I hope the 12 days pass quickly!!
  4. by   MHDNURSE
    That's frustrating. My work hours are 9-1:30 this year. I don't answer any calls from school before 9 am or after 1:30 pm unless I specifically tell them they can call me. I was at a training a couple weeks ago and told them they could call me if they need something urgent. My phone didn't ring once. I was shocked.

    Sounds like a good thing you are leaving the district.
  5. by   ruby_jane
    You may indeed have picked a bad week to give up drinking...

    You've just highlighted a critical gap in your district's safety net. An aide couldn't find an RN? What would we have done in a (gasp) real emergency if you seriously hadn't been available via phone?

    As far as the unlicensed person calling everybody up the chain....Oy. Bless their hearts.

    Why does the district allow your campus to go sub-less, or at least go without an on-call nurse? I am guessing you don't feel like pointing out the need for a phone tree and critical response teams to your current supervisor - and I can totally understand why. Hang in there.

    Do you remember in "Shakespeare in Love" where the one guy says "Things always work out?" And Joseph Fiennes' character asks "HOW???"

    "I don't know. It's a mystery."
  6. by   NurseBeans
    True story time: I was on a day of military leave this past fall and got a sub with whom I was not familiar. My cell phone rang in the pocket of my gear while I was on a LIVE FIRING RANGE, literally a loaded gun in my hands and the sub is calling me...to ask where I keep my ice packs. WHERE I KEEP MY ICE PACKS. She had not looked in the freezer yet.

    I wasn't even trying for a day off, I was trying to fulfill my obligations to Uncle Sam...and I have to answer my phone to tell a grown woman to look in the freezer for a frozen item.

    I feel ya. There is no rest for the weary! And no such thing as "off duty" for a school nurse.
  7. by   MrNurse(x2)
    Quote from NurseBeans
    True story time: I was on a day of military leave this past fall and got a sub with whom I was not familiar. My cell phone rang in the pocket of my gear while I was on a LIVE FIRING RANGE, literally a loaded gun in my hands and the sub is calling me...to ask where I keep my ice packs. WHERE I KEEP MY ICE PACKS. She had not looked in the freezer yet.

    I wasn't even trying for a day off, I was trying to fulfill my obligations to Uncle Sam...and I have to answer my phone to tel.l a grown woman to look in the freezer for a frozen item.

    I feel ya. There is no rest for the weary! And no such thing as "off duty" for a school nurse.
    I would be if I weren't
    This question is always my head tilting response one. I usually just say "where do you think ice packs would be kept?
    Thanks for your service, btw. Greatly appreciated by the wimps like me who wouldn't.
  8. by   OldDude
    I live and work in a relatively small town, where I attended High School, so the answer for me is NO, I'm never off duty. I'll get a text from some number I don't recognize, on a Saturday night, saying they got my number from a friend who said I could help them with their medical question. I'll get approached at the grocery store with, "what do you think...?" (as they glance at the 12 pack of Bud Light in my basket) I usually leave for my lunch break and get calls from the school during that time. Just a few weeks ago, it was after dark, my neighbor brought his daughter over wanting me to assess her eye injury; hit with a softball. I could say NO but I try to put myself in their position considering how outright UN-helpful the on call doctors are.

    Yesterday we had the "Senior Parade" at our campus. This is where graduating students, who attended this campus in elementary school, parade through the halls for the students and congregate in the gym to reminisce with staff who were their teachers. Of course "all" of them were my students and I was frequently reminded about encounters we had here at school and was the subject of many selfies with the graduates. So, even historically, you're never "OFF' duty.

    I think this interaction with the students, and thus the community, is one aspect of school nursing that is unique; sometimes good, sometimes, not good
  9. by   NanaPoo
    No, never!

    I work at my daughter's school & she is on the volleyball team. They practice immediately after school so I leave and then return a few hours later to pick her up or her dad picks her up on his way home from work.

    I've been in Target at 5 in the evening and received a call from Coach saying, "hey, are you here because so-and-so just fell and hurt her ankle at practice." I'm just standing there with my jaw open thinking, "dude, if it's not my kid that's hurt PLEASE say you're not calling me right now!" Then he follows with, "This kid's dad wants you to treat her then send him your usual nursing documentation." ARE YOU KIDDING ME??
  10. by   OldDude
    Quote from MrNurse(x2)
    I would be if I weren't
    This question is always my head tilting response one. I usually just say "where do you think ice packs would be kept?
    Thanks for your service, btw. Greatly appreciated by the wimps like me who wouldn't.
    Oh, ice packs, I keep them in the janitor's office with the toilet bowl cleaner!

    And ditto! Thank you!! Especially with Memorial Day coming up. The draft ended with my graduating senior class as the Vietnam era was coming to a close so they didn't come calling and I didn't volunteer.
  11. by   KKEGS
    Quote from kidzcare
    That is very frustrating. Since you are leaving, I don't know if it would even be worth talking to your supervisor about but that'll be up to you.

    I felt very taken advantage of in my last district and I was irritated all the time. I feel your pain. I hope the 12 days pass quickly!!
    Yeah I don't know if it's worth complaining about since I am leaving. I am really hoping my new district is managed better. I think it will help that only nurses (LPNs and RNs) staff the health offices. No laypeople. Don't get me wrong! I love my health aides as people but it can be very difficult having the offices run by people with no medical training besides basic first aid.
  12. by   Jedrnurse
    It's NEVER a good week to give up drinking...
  13. by   janetpa
    Happens to me all the time too. Crazy

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