I started my first school nurse position in September. At first, I loved it! Now, I am getting pretty burned out, to be honest. It is an elementary school, grades K-6. There are approximately 350 students. I was told during my interview that this school was very "needy" with lots of "frequent fliers". I also knew that this particular school has had a really high turnover of nurses. I believe it was something like 3 nurses in a year. I was up for the challenge, not knowing exactly what to expect, since I had never worked in a school before. Other nurses in the district told me, "You'll see..."
I receive approximately 65-70 visits every day. This isn't even counting meds or doing fingersticks/insulin coverage with my diabetic student. Many of the visits are from the same students, who come to see me 3-4 times per day. Every day! Does this seem excessive?? Teachers have said to me, "Well, in teaching school, we are told that if a child says he needs to see the nurse, we have to allow it." I have no idea what it'll be like when cold/flu season really starts up, and I am dealing with kids that are actually sick, instead of fooling around.
Then there is the bathroom issue. All students at lunch come to use the bathroom in my office. Apparently, this is the way it's always been, since mine is the closest to the cafeteria. At any given time, there is a line of 2-3 kids waiting to use the bathroom. In addition to this, there are several kids that are permitted to use my bathroom *only*, since they "can't be trusted to use the regular bathrooms". Apparently, they dawdle and fool around too much. So, somehow, walking to my office to use the bathroom is a better idea? Don't they still get to stall that way, since they have to walk farther?? Am I nuts here?? LOL One of these students actually comes to my office 8 times per day to use the restroom! Yup, I keep track. Again, as it is the sick kids in my office can't get into the bathroom. And cold/flu season hasn't even fully begun!
Each teacher seems to have a few kids that drive them crazy. So, they send them to me for every little thing in order to get few moments of peace. So, I get them from the whole school! My office is like the dumping ground for all of the kids nobody wants to deal with!
I have not taken a lunch break in 2 months. The flow of kids is constant, and between sick visits and bathroom visits, my office is never empty. My day begins at 8:50, but kids start coming in to my office even before that! How will I ever get my screenings done?? In theory, I love the job, but the reality of it is so frustrating. I'm planning to take my concerns to the principal (who is also new to her position). But in the meantime, I wanted to get your thoughts.