I did something wrong. Help!

  1. Please do not post on Facebook.
    Everything was fine today but I got a letter about a student that is coming back from recovering from mumps. My AP asked me to ask our supervisor on what we should do, as for protocol. I didn't remember at the time but I remember I got a first letter of this student a few weeks back but didn't think on it because it just said he was tested positive and he was going to be out for two weeks. I remember thinking he was out since Harvey, so it was fine. But now I'm panicking because my supervisor is requesting the forms they sent. What should I do? I forgot and I didn't know what you're supposed to do when you get a note like this. What should I do or say to them?
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  2. 41 Comments

  3. by   OldDude
    A letter from who?
  4. by   River Song, RN
    Was it a letter from the Health Department?

    I had a possible mumps case my second day on the job (reported to me by a parent) and when I called the Health Services Supervisor of our district, I was told that *if* the test was positive, the medical office/ER would have to contact the Health Department as it is a reportable disease. The Health Department would then notify the school, and after we received the official report from the Health Department we would send out exposure letters to the rest of the class with information on the disease/signs/symptoms. So in my best case scenario based on how long the lab work takes, I would have been notifying the class a week after the child went to the ER.

    I would just be honest about the situation as I think that's generally the best approach. It sounds like you should have spoken to someone higher up and asked what to do after receiving the letter but you forgot. I would own the mistake and try to learn from it. The reality is that kids were either exposed at the time or not and receiving a letter (or not) telling them a classmate had mumps wasn't going to change that fact.

    In my office on the wall, I have a list of all of the reportable diseases .... everything from pertussis to measles and generally if it's reportable to the Health Department - we are going to report it to the families at school as well.
  5. by   Amethya
    It was from the doctor's office and it had the test results too. The first one was given to me a few weeks ago and we got another one yesterday. I already called my superior and she was not happy. I do understand I did something wrong, but to be honest, I'm at a lost what is the protocol for this? She asked me to write an incident report on this and she will call me with further instructions.

    I'm just worried I'm going to get fired for this.
    Last edit by Amethya on Oct 19
  6. by   JenTheSchoolRN
    I call my local public health department when I get letters like this. They will advise me on all the steps I need to take, letters to sent out.

    Like someone else mentioned above, I have a list of reportable illness on my bulletin board posted with my DPH phone number.
    Last edit by JenTheSchoolRN on Oct 19
  7. by   OldDude
    This is a state reportable disease. Mumps must be reported within one day. Readmission criteria is 5 days from the onset of the swelling.

    Was this part of the training you were provided by your school district?

    If so, yes, you could be held accountable in some way but termination would be extreme.

    If no, forget about it. You aren't responsible for knowing to train yourself about stuff you don't know exists.
  8. by   Amethya
    Quote from OldDude
    This is a state reportable disease. Mumps must be reported within one day. Readmission criteria is 5 days from the onset of the swelling.

    Was this part of the training you were provided by your school district?

    If so, yes, you could be held accountable in some way but termination would be extreme.

    If no, forget about it. You aren't responsible for knowing to train yourself about stuff you don't know exists.
    No, it wasn't and I was just told this too.

    But my supervisor is upset about this because I didn't report it.

    I already called the Health Department and they are investigating the matter, but apparently the doctor's office didn't reported it either. So I'm not sure what's going on.
  9. by   Amethya
    Even if I didn't know, I am still being blamed for this. Because their reasoning is that it was negligence in my part for not reporting this to anyone or asking for help.
  10. by   OldDude
    Quote from Amethya
    Even if I didn't know, I am still being blamed for this. Because their reasoning is that it was negligence in my part for not reporting this to anyone or asking for help.
    HaHa...good one, dream on!! Forget about it.
  11. by   Amethya
    Quote from OldDude
    HaHa...good one, dream on!! Forget about it.
    I can't because now it sounds I may get fired or in trouble for this.

    My supervisior's reasoning for this is because she shared forms on our google docs and a big poster that says this. I didn't read these.

    And my AP said it was my job to report it to the Health Department, not the doctor.
    Last edit by Amethya on Oct 19
  12. by   WineRN
    Quote from OldDude
    You aren't responsible for knowing to train yourself about stuff you don't know exists.
    I think OldDude said it best. If you were not trained on what and how to report certain diseases, you aren't at fault. You are not a nurse, so they cannot claim you are negligent about something you have no background knowledge in.

    But if your supervisor is claiming that she has sent you material that has this information to review, and you did receive it before these letters started coming in, you most likely will be held accountable.

    At this point all you can do is stay focused on work and hopefully this won't be as bad as you think
  13. by   tamarae1
    I could be wrong, but isn't the person who diagnoses the one who reports to the health department? If you were the first one to assess and suspect then you would be the one to contact the health dept with a suspect case, and then the health dept would follow up with the parent/child and doctor for confirmed diagnosis. Right then and there I would be calling my supervisor and the administration of the building, with answers prepared.

    Nurses don't diagnose. (Unless you are advanced practice)

    However, back to protocol - I'm going to ask questions so that you can learn (and I'd have to look them up in my own setting if it happened, too, and make phone calls) what do you do when someone does test positive and has been exposing people in your school? How do you notify so that those who are not vaccinated for whatever reason can be monitored and excluded appropriately to keep the rest of the population safe. Always use everything as a positive learning experience, every day. Try not to panic and keep your head high. I wish you the best, my school friend.
  14. by   Amethya
    Quote from tamarae1
    I could be wrong, but isn't the person who diagnoses the one who reports to the health department? If you were the first one to assess and suspect then you would be the one to contact the health dept with a suspect case, and then the health dept would follow up with the parent/child and doctor for confirmed diagnosis. Right then and there I would be calling my supervisor and the administration of the building, with answers prepared.

    Nurses don't diagnose. (Unless you are advanced practice)

    However, back to protocol - I'm going to ask questions so that you can learn (and I'd have to look them up in my own setting if it happened, too, and make phone calls) what do you do when someone does test positive and has been exposing people in your school? How do you notify so that those who are not vaccinated for whatever reason can be monitored and excluded appropriately to keep the rest of the population safe. Always use everything as a positive learning experience, every day. Try not to panic and keep your head high. I wish you the best, my school friend.
    1) That's something I don't know. If I report it to my admin or to my supervisior.

    2) I'm not sure. That's something I wasn't told what to do, I was just told to notify, but not how. I guess call the parents?

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