Do you ever NOT give out ice packs?

  1. I feel like I'm becoming some sort of icepack Nazi! I have literally gotten so low on icepacks that I'm now hoarding the few I still have for those instances where ice is NECESSARY and not just wanted as a comfort.

    A few of the complaints I haven't given icepacks for include:

    *Getting hit in the forehead with a plastic Frisbee (no marks, no swelling, no bruising...looked like a normal forehead)
    *Ankle that hurts when I step on it like this: *contorts foot to unnatural position*
    *I got hit in the head with a rock (rock was flat and about the size of a quarter. Again, no mark, no swelling, skin intact, no bruising, student not in distress AT ALL)
    *My finger hurts (once again...no swelling, bruising, etc.)
    *I'm hot
    *My pencil eraser "BUMPED" (exact words, mind you) my face

    These are just a few of the things I've had in my office just today. I feel bad for telling them no, but they are HORRIBLE at returning my icepacks. They're not even busting them or anything! They're just setting them down and then they get lost in translation throughout the school. Plus, I mean really...some of the reasons they want icepacks are just plain ridiculous. I've already had one instance where a student NEEDED ice for an ankle injury after falling and I had none to give her. I ended up breaking into my "go bag" for an instant icepack so they could have some relief until their ride got here.

    Anyone else hoarding their icepacks??
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  2. 55 Comments

  3. by   WineRN
    I am starting to horde my reusable ones, I had 12 in January and now I have 2.

    But I will admit that I over use ice packs. I've had little ones burst into hysterics when I told them that they didn't need it ("But the other nurse ALWAYS gave me one"). I've also had teachers send students right back with passes that say "please give him an ice pack".

    So now everyone gets one.
  4. by   Nurse in MT
    Only when needed. They know this nurse doesn't baby anyone.

    In the middle school they actually have to check out ice packs, and if they don't come back, the secretary gets after them! Otherwise, our middle school would be out within a few weeks.
  5. by   C.MackeyRN
    Quote from Nurse in MT
    Only when needed. They know this nurse doesn't baby anyone.

    In the middle school they actually have to check out ice packs, and if they don't come back, the secretary gets after them! Otherwise, our middle school would be out within a few weeks.
    Well this is a genius idea!!! I'm going to start doing that so I know who is losing my icepacks! I have to admit, at the beginning of the year, I was very free with who got icepacks. So, I'm pretty sure I've created my own monsters
  6. by   C.MackeyRN
    Quote from WineRN
    I am starting to horde my reusable ones, I had 12 in January and now I have 2.

    But I will admit that I over use ice packs. I've had little ones burst into hysterics when I told them that they didn't need it ("But the other nurse ALWAYS gave me one"). I've also had teachers send students right back with passes that say "please give him an ice pack".

    So now everyone gets one.
    Same here! We had about 10 at the beginning of the school year and I've replaced a few after Christmas break. Now I have 2. But icepacks are like bandaids! They fix almost anything! Its an easy fix for a kiddo who just needs some TLC. But man oh man do I miss my icepacks!
  7. by   MrNurse(x2)
    I am starting to ask if they would use one at home. I have one staff student that comes EVERY DAY! Really gets old. My wife and I get ours free from the LTC's we work at from the RX deliveries. Just gets really old with the truly stupid complaints.
  8. by   SassyTachyRN
    They actually have to have a mark, swelling, or bruising to get an ice pack from me. That's the purpose of ice, right? Otherwise, I tell them they'll be just fine! If they're hot, they can get a drink of water from the fountain and go in the bathroom and splash cool water on their face, just like everyone else. Once you give one kid an icepack for being hot, they will ALL want one!
  9. by   ctate
    I give out baggies with ice and not actual "ice pack". We have a "student store" that has ice and i get mine from them.

    I have said no to ice packs before, but I am on a high school campus. However, when I fill-in on the elementary campus we do use ice packs. We will keep them in the office for a few minutes and then send Little Darling back to class without ice pack.

    I have only once had to refuse to give a student an baggie of ice once. Little Darling thought it would be fun to open the bag and through it at other students. For the next 2 years he did not get anything but an instant cold pack.
  10. by   moreoreo
    I work PK-5 and am down to my last ~30 ice packs when I JUST ORDERED 3 CASES OF 24 LAST MONTH! It's an epidemic. Teachers and students alike believe that the students will not be cured of "pain" without an ice pack. I once had a student state, "I bumped my head on my desk yesterday and it still hurts because I didn't come and get an ice pack." Some teachers seem to endorse this belief, and send passes that literally say "ice pack." And I have contributed as well since I started in January. I have counted and there are days I gave out 20+ ice packs. My one naive goal was to help students feel comfortable and happy at school so that they can learn, and I felt that "resolving" the pain would indeed help them not to be distracted in class. However it has gotten to the point that they come here in droves for the smallest things like "my hand hurts from writing" or "I bumped my heel on a chair," hoping to get an icey badge of honor for their "injury." Enough is enough and I have resorted to giving out cool wet paper towels instead. My numbers have increased to the point that it gets unmanageable and it's embarassing to feel like I've stooped to the level of "ice pack distributor." The district nurse tells me that it has been an issue before I ever got here that ice packs were used a cure-all (we did not have RNs until recently) so I know it's not all on the teachers.

    I anticipate some push back but the fact is that we are not required to dispense these, and students need to learn to tolerate small discomforts without making a huge fuss for an ice pack. It's hard because staff and students have been so appreciative of me and think I am so great with the children, but I have discussed with my district nurse and we agree that the health office is not a place to come to get goodies, it's a place to come when you are in need of actual care. So as hard as it is to turn them away disappointed, my hope is that I am teaching them good life lessons.
  11. by   BeckyESRN
    I say no to ice packs all the time. No redness, no bruising, no evidence of injury means no ice. I'm in elementary, so I'll sometimes use cold magic boo-boo cream aka aloe from the refrigerator. It works well for the kinder and 1st grade crowd.
  12. by   WineRN
    Quote from moreoreo
    Some teachers seem to endorse this belief, and send passes that literally say "ice pack."
    This is the hardest thing for me. Because this usually happens when I send them back without an ice pack.
  13. by   OldDude
    I hand out more than I should but I don't want to fight the battle and ensuing Facebook crucifixion with the irate parent the next day after their child goes home and tells them they suffered a severe injury while picking up their pencil off the classroom floor and "the nurse" didn't do anything. Although the injury was invisible and the parent would have done nothing about it at home the child suffered greatly and could barely drag themselves out of the school at dismissal.

    I fought it for many years but...no more.
  14. by   tamarae1
    I had the nice gel ice packs at the first of the year. They disappeared so fast. So now I'm hording the few I have left to use as warm compresses on ear aches and instead have taken to giving out ice from the ice machine in a baggie. They leak. But they work for about 10 minutes then go in the trash. I've given up fighting the ice pack crowd. I assess properly, then hand them the magic ice that fixes everything. Back to class, now go learn.

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