Doctor's notes

  1. I am amazed at what physicians are sending in for illness notes. They are almost all form letters that state child is NOT contagious and may return when feeling better. These are parent appeasement notes and do not really meet the requirements of exclusion from school. I have sisters who have family that are teachers and have missed over 5 weeks now for non-chronic illnesses. My administrators concur that these are not acceptable, but how can we weed out unexcused absences when doctor's offices don't even take it seriously?
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  2. 26 Comments

  3. by   WineRN
    I have a few parents who have admitted to "doctor shopping" to find someone who would give them what they want. ie: doctor's recommending 504 plans that would require construction in the school, a week long excused absence for allergies, no physical activities d/t allergies (even though little one just has a snuffy nose).

    It is frustrating
    Last edit by WineRN on May 17 : Reason: spelling
  4. by   ruby_jane
    I feel your pain.

    If I think it's something egregious, I'll likely call the doctor's office and if I get a friendly nurse who's willing to work with me, sometimes I find out that there's more to the story.

    Then again....they've done what's required (whether it's appeasement or aiding and abetting by the provider, can't say). If the administration isn't going to put teeth into the policy, I don't have much else to offer.
  5. by   MrNurse(x2)
    The best is, this is the doctor I use for my children. I will bring it up during well visit and allow him the info that these girls have missed more than 20% of the school year. At least give him info to make an informed decision.
  6. by   SullyRN
    Yes! We have a form that has to be filled out by the doctor after EVERY absence over 10 medical absences. For your parents who run the kid to the doctor just for the note. There is a space that says "was an all day absence necessary". Some doctors will actually check "No" but most check yes, even though the kid is fine and back the next day.

    I honestly think it's because the doctor knows they will just go to another practice who will do what they want. Sad.
  7. by   MrNurse(x2)
    Quote from ruby_jane
    If the administration isn't going to put teeth into the policy, I don't have much else to offer.
    My administration is willing to do something, but unfortunately we ask for a doctor's note and this is what they give us. The parents have jumped through the hoops we have made to keep students in the seats and the doctor's judgement technically shouldn't be questioned. They are at a loss how to deal with this. Youngest sister came in and she said that they were out with bad allergies, "sinus infection" without AB Rx, for 4 and 5 days. SMH!
  8. by   NutmeggeRN
    I love when they write

    Was reported as having....XYZ...

    and the parent wins. It is a note from the doctor which says NADA!!!
  9. by   AdobeRN
    Quote from WineRN
    I have a few parents who have admitted to "doctor shopping" to find someone who would give them what they want. ie: doctor's recommending 504 plans that would require construction in the school, a week long excused absence for allergies, no physical activities d/t allergies (even though little one just has a snuffy nose).

    It is frustrating
    I have been going round and round with a parent of a kid with extreme seasonal allergies - she wants us to keep him indoors - no recess or outdoor PE. Finally brought in a doctors note but the doctor didn't wright it how she wanted either - "physical activity as tolerated thru the end of school year". What is funny is that we have field day coming up - kids are outdoors pretty much the entire day - it is Ok for him to do this because she doesn't want him left out but doesn't want him outside for 30 minute recess or 60 minutes of PE (PE is only 3 days week) the other days.
  10. by   MrNurse(x2)
    Quote from AdobeRN
    I have been going round and round with a parent of a kid with extreme seasonal allergies - she wants us to keep him indoors - no recess or outdoor PE. Finally brought in a doctors note but the doctor didn't wright it how she wanted either - "physical activity as tolerated thru the end of school year". What is funny is that we have field day coming up - kids are outdoors pretty much the entire day - it is Ok for him to do this because she doesn't want him left out but doesn't want him outside for 30 minute recess or 60 minutes of PE (PE is only 3 days week) the other days.
    My administrators went hardline on a student with cyclical vomiting syndrome because he could muster strength to do field day and field trips. They made a rule that an absence within 3 school days of anything would preclude him from activity. It worked.
  11. by   OldDude
    A few years ago one of our local pediatric offices fired the clerks working the front desk. They were writing notes willy-nilly as to what the parents were requesting. The physicians had no idea this was going on. A few months ago a clerk at another office did the same thing; wrote for a kid to return to school the following day when the visit was for fever. I called the office manager and was told that was NOT what the doctor had written, the kid should have not been allowed to return to school the following day, and "the situation" would be taken care of (but of course, by this time the perfect attendance record was not affected).

    So, if it doesn't make sense, medically, it probably isn't legitimate.
  12. by   NurseBeans
    Quote from OldDude
    A few years ago one of our local pediatric offices fired the clerks working the front desk. They were writing notes willy-nilly as to what the parents were requesting. The physicians had no idea this was going on. A few months ago a clerk at another office did the same thing; wrote for a kid to return to school the following day when the visit was for fever. I called the office manager and was told that was NOT what the doctor had written, the kid should have not been allowed to return to school the following day, and "the situation" would be taken care of (but of course, by this time the perfect attendance record was not affected).

    So, if it doesn't make sense, medically, it probably isn't legitimate.
    This is what I was thinking. Maybe the doctor didn't actually write it? I have not had issues with the school but in the military I have seen letters from doctor's offices with weird/sketchy diagnoses, and very strange restrictions.

    I spoke with a surgeon off the record once and he confessed that a Soldier told him he was being deployed so the doc wrote that he had a medical condition that would make deployment impossible...the doc said he wouldn't be able to live with himself if that Soldier was deployed and got hurt or killed.

    I can see either a doc getting suckered into writing a letter that wasn't necessary or another staff member writing in the doc's stead.
  13. by   JerseyTomatoMDCrab
    I had a student who is on doctor's note only for absence excuses. Her NINE day absence was excused because of...

    Diarrhea.
  14. by   zombieghoast
    I work for a ped's office. I never include the illness unless it is asthma or something communicable. Most parents bring their kids in to get an excuse for school and I type what the doctor tells. I had a parent call me to see if I can write up a letter excusing the son for the absences. He has over 30 unexcused absences.

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