Health Dept Issue

  1. Hi all!

    I have been a school nurse for 2 years. Today, I received an email stating that the health dept is sending an agent and their supervisor who needs to meet with me, the principal, the lead district nurse, HER boss, and another admin tomorrow regarding an urgent health matter at my school. The person at the health dept also said that they could not tell us what it was about, and did not want to give my boss their email for a calendar invite. I am FREAKED out! The only possible thing I can think of is TB, but why all the secrecy? Does anyone else have any experience with sudden health dept meetings at school?
    Last edit by UrbanHSRN on Jan 10
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  2. 25 Comments

  3. by   ruby_jane
    Breathe deeply.

    Could be an exposure to TB, you're right. In that case, you'll have a bunch of public health staff doing contact tracing and possibly testing. Perhaps on site - in my PHN days we had a large scale TB exposure in a high school but the absolute number of people who were infected (latent TB, not infectious) was small and treatment was concluded within the scope of the school year.

    Could be pertussis. Had that on campus in a vaccinated kid (whose vaccine protection apparently waned at 5 years instead of 10). Could be any STD. In either case, contact tracing and referral for testing and it's all good.
  4. by   UrbanHSRN
    I thought of TB and STDs. But why all the secrecy? Why not let us know something so we can prepare for the meeting? Is that normal for the health dept? Our district has never had the health dept set up a meeting like this before.
  5. by   NutmeggeRN
    Very curious, please keep us posted!
  6. by   Flare
    I've had the HD come in and meet with me, but never NOT tell me why.
  7. by   OldDude
    That sounds very "cloak and dagger." Keep us informed if you don't have to kill us after you tell us. I've never heard of such an approach.
  8. by   ruby_jane
    [QUOTE=maryblock;9691919] The person at the health dept also said that they could not tell us what it was about, and did not want to give my boss their email for a calendar invite. QUOTE]

    OK....wait a mo....I would call the health jurisdiction, find out if this person emailing you really works there. I just reacted at first but now re-reading this...that's bizarre. They may not tell you what specifically but not providing an email address? No. Something's off.
  9. by   kidzcare
    Interesting. Keep us posted!
  10. by   UrbanHSRN
    I did verify that they work there. They called my boss to set up the meeting. Then they called me by accident, and it was a health dept phone number.
  11. by   ABRN2012
    I was our county TB nurse for a little while so yes this sounds very shady. But maybe your state does things differently. If it is a TB exposure they can tell you that but of course cant violate HIPPA by telling you who has active TB. I do not think they would be bringing all these people in for just STDs either. What is weird is the not wanting to give an email address. I would have loved if someone wanted my contact info for a meeting. I always left my card with them and I always stated what my business was up front. Earlier this year a local high school nearby had an outbreak of mumps and it was kept hush as much as possible but that was to not cause panic of the parents. The school was fully informed. You can always contact your health dept district/regional office and ask what is going on.
  12. by   Caprica6
    Quote from ruby_jane
    Breathe deeply.

    Could be an exposure to TB, you're right.

    Wouldn't one *not* want to breathe deeply if that were in fact the case?
  13. by   ruby_jane
    Quote from Caprica6
    Wouldn't one *not* want to breathe deeply if that were in fact the case?
    BWHAHAH!!! Breathing deeply in the comfort of one's sanitary locked office....
  14. by   TriciaJ
    Quote from maryblock
    I thought of TB and STDs. But why all the secrecy? Why not let us know something so we can prepare for the meeting? Is that normal for the health dept? Our district has never had the health dept set up a meeting like this before.
    Probably because people get hysterical at the drop of a hat. If there's something happening in your school, the Health Dept. wants to discuss it with you and school admin first. You can all brainstorm the appropriate interventions, prevention and publicity before the rumour mill runs amok and you are inundated with phone calls.

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