How to get parents to cooperate with immunizations?

  1. Hence title.

    I been trying to fill up my database since day 1. I got them done on time but some of these students were compliant at the time. Now it's been a while and I gotten these kids all on the system but some are missing some info and I haven't gotten it. I been calling and calling, some of them say they will do it as soon as possible but then I got some that say that I already asked for that and I was sent the record, but I don't have it.

    I'm just not sure how to get them to cooperate and how to be assertive enough to them to understand that their kid can't be in school until I get that record. What methods do you use? And what can I do if nothing works?
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    About Amethya

    Joined: Aug '16; Posts: 1,262; Likes: 1,498


  3. by   halohg
    Get your administration involved and send home an exclusion letter if they are non compliant. Either proof of an appointment or the paperwork or they are out! Depending on the state administration could face state fines if audited and found to be non compliant with regulations. No exceptions period. Any time I threaten to have a student pulled from school somehow the paperwork appears as if by magic. This year in the middle school we held schedules until proof was supplied. There is also a very passive aggressive conversation I have if need by as I explain that if we do not have proof little johnny will be excluded and if he is not in school, then CPS will be called and you could be found medically negligent and I would hate to see all that happen as my hands are completely tied. This is not new information you knew what was coming and expected. If I can I pull from my state database and help out and I will share information of where they can obtain free immunizations if they do not have insurance. There is only so much you can do! Good luck
  4. by   meanmaryjean
    Not a school nurse- but one local district did exactly as halohg did and - voila' - compliance! But administration was the 'bad cop' to the nurse's 'good cop'.
  5. by   AdobeRN
    In my state it is a state law that kids need to be up to date/on schedule or have an exemption on file to be in school - check your state requirement. As previous poster stated - get your admin involved. Our admin finally back us up - took us nurses a few years to get them on board, didn't have much compliance until our principal was told from admin above him that students need to be in compliance in order to be in school. Ever since that came down he is on my side and will enforce the rule. It is amazing how fast I get the documentation I need when I have my principal call the parent to tell them to come pick up their child and that their child will be counted as unexcused absence until we have the proper documentation.

    This school year I would just do your best to get everyone caught up as much as possible but starting with the next school year - try to get it enforced that they can not start unless you have all your documentation in order. It is so much easier to start the school year out excluding those without the proper documentation than to be chasing them down all year.

    Does your state allow Exemptions? Here in Texas families can "Consciously Exempt" from immunizations - if I find I am getting resistance from parents for whatever reason (delayed, medically necessity, or just plain laziness on the parents part) I give them the exemption information and tell them to request it from the state, have it notorized and get the info back to me ASAP. While as a nurse I would prefer that everyone be least with the Exemption documentation I have my paperwork all in order and I am in compliance.
  6. by   Amethya
    Same here, I'm in Texas. I had called parents about this, but I talked to my admin and they told me that I need to tell them to do this or we will not let them in school. That we need to send an letter and then call them about this. If the child is at school, we need to get their parents to pick them up until they have this settled.
  7. by   DowntheRiver
    Does your state have a shot database? Some of the school nurses I work with just pull what we call a 680 directly from the database. Also, at least how it works in my state, all the Health Departments have Vaccines for Children (VFCs) programs that are available for those uninsured or underinsured. However, NO child is ever turned away.

    I despise religious exemptions. Wish I lived in California only for that reason.
  8. by   Flare
    i don't let them start without the right paperwork. sorry - no shots, no school. No iou's either, because someday never comes. If they're are already there, send a letter with a hard deadline and then Kick them out.
  9. by   KKEGS
    Our students get 6 weeks from the first day of school to either get their immunizations or get a conscientious objector waiver signed and notarized or they are excluded from school until one of those steps have been taken. We send out a strongly worded letter signed by myself and my principal.
  10. by   Amethya
    We have this, but it varies. Because if the clinic/ Dr's office didn't post the immunizations they did in the database, it won't show up. So some students may have them in there, but like maybe 3 of them that they did at a Texas Children's mobile clinic or somewhere that did post them.
  11. by   Amethya
    I should of been more stricter in the beginning but I honestly didn't know well enough. (1st year school nurse), so now I'm stuck with some parents saying yes I am doing this as soon as possible but now I have no immunizations for some of these kids. So Now I seriously need to be strict as hell and tell them, do what i say or your kid is out.
  12. by   tamarae1
    I send 3 letters home along with a list of local clinics, make a phone call, they get a final warning signed by myself and the principal and BAM they are out until vaccinated. I am also in Texas. I hope someday we will be able to exclude from admission until they are up to date.
  13. by   Cattz
    Quote from Amethya
    I should of been more stricter in the beginning but I honestly didn't know well enough. (1st year school nurse), so now I'm stuck with some parents saying yes I am doing this as soon as possible but now I have no immunizations for some of these kids. So Now I seriously need to be strict as hell and tell them, do what i say or your kid is out.
    Does your state require a yearly report of the immunization status of your students? If so, and the date isn't already passed. This worked for me (for a student that slid under my very-strict- radar, and didn't have all the required shots)...I told mom that I had to send in a very important report to the state that shows the status of all my students. Mom gave all the excuses and asked about exemptions. I directed her to the Health Dept. to ask about exemptions. I didn't budge. Mom sounded like she was not going to get them....BUT, magically, the next day, the kid got the shots! (I would guess that it was my emphasis on the "report to the state")
    Good luck. It is a long long learning curve. Keep moving forward with the process. Bottom line, you probably will have to draw a line in the sand, and threaten to exclude. I promise this part of the process will get less difficult to navigate. Generally, it's about how to deal with parents.
  14. by   Flare
    so here's the amazing thing. We have a law here in my state that requires a flu shot by 12/31 for pre k kiddos. I send out 2 notices. almost 2 months apart. I decide to go the extra mile and call the afternoon delinquents today to say "provide or you're gonna have to pick up." I even give ideas to the people that gave me the "oh, we don't have an appointment" excuse of places they can go THAT morning to rectify the situation. One being the health dept on the cheap. My delinquents didn't show up for school. Did they expect me to pick them up and drive them?