Parents Please Do The Paperwork!

  1. It never ceases to amaze me that parents who knew their kiddos needed paper work filled out every year starting in PRE-K, for their inhaler and asthma action plan, their Epi pen and allergy action plan, their insulin, glucagon and diabetic care plan, seem to forget this when they are in HS.

    As many non school nurses visit this awesome forum, I would really love some feed back as to what your perspective is on this. Do you feel as though this paper work is not needed/unnecessary in high school? Do you have the flexibility in your jobs to blow off paperwork regulations?

    There are rules and regulations and policies for us. Are you allowed to give meds without orders? How do you handle it?

    Blows my mind every year. I mailed out diabetic care plans and allergy action plans (relatively small numbers) and they are still dribbling in. I have not even attacked the asthma plans...

    This is in addition to already having posted it on the website and reminded parents in the opening of the year email updates the parents get. The forms are available on line. I'm not sure what more I can do.

    Thanks for listening!!
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   JenTheSchoolRN
    Ugh, I hear you.

    The previous district I worked required parents to only fill out an emergency form and OTC permission form ONCE and it would be valid for the entire time the student was a high school student. If they wanted anything to change, they needed to submit a new form or we went with what we had (and specified so). I am pondering if that is the way to go.

    This, of course, isn't an option for medication orders or action plans that often change. And in my population, parent phone numbers change very often, as to the emergency contacts if I can't reach a parent. So I continue poking.
  4. by   AdobeRN
    We like the Action plans and encourage parents to have them completed and signed by the doctor but it is not a requirement. Only requirements we have is to have our general medication consent form signed, the medication be properly labeled with a pharmacy label & parent/guardian must drop off the medication.

    I send out action plans via email at the beginning of the year, usually do a phone call or email followup and leave it at that - I do not go chasing them down.
  5. by   MrNurse(x2)
    I notice my upper school (middle) students are far less likely to have the paperwork done, too. When I contact parents, I find they send it in, the breakdown is the student handing it in. I am in a private with engaged parents, so it may not correlate, but that is my finding.
  6. by   JenTheSchoolRN
    Quote from MrNurse(x2)
    I notice my upper school (middle) students are far less likely to have the paperwork done, too. When I contact parents, I find they send it in, the breakdown is the student handing it in. I am in a private with engaged parents, so it may not correlate, but that is my finding.
    Oh, the student messenger is often the missing link. I call a lot of parents, they tell me they did actually send it in and lo and behold, I find it crumpled up on the bottom of a student's backpack. I'm hoping to more electronic means soon.
  7. by   peacockblue
    It is a struggle to get paperwork. The parents know I won't withhold meds like insulin, epi pen or an inhaler if I don't get updated info, so they just don't always bother to send. Then there are the parents who drop off all paperwork and supplies on the first day of school. I love them.
  8. by   OyWithThePoodles
    Same as Nutmegge, we REALLY WANT our action plans turned it, but they are REQUIRED. The only requirement is the medication authorization.
  9. by   moreoreo
    We require a medication authorization form signed by both MD and parent unless it's an inhaler with prescription label (then, only parent signature is needed).

    My mission for this year is to get paperwork on all food allergies, even wrote a letter in English and Spanish with a simple: mark yes or no if still food-allergic and please describe reaction if allergic. I included all relevant paperwork (md food sub form, food allergy emergency action plan, med auth forms). I have gotten ONE letter filled out with meds and all forms completed by parent and doctor out of like 30+. But I suppose that's better than none. One parent whose child had meds in the health office last year responded when I called to inquire, "I was waiting for the teacher to send forms home." We sent new forms out at the end of last year and they know we are there every day if they would just take the step to ask.

    In any case, I try not to chase parents around because we have a very school-dependent community and parents need to be held accountable. Just hate for a child to be at risk because the parent is not taking initiative.
  10. by   grammy1
    I've gotten so frustrated trying to get forms back. Our action plans and medical management plans are REQUIRED.

    Last year I got marked off on my inspection by the health department for not having an MMP on an allergy student. I had documented the 8 times I contacted the parent trying to get the information. This year I said screw it, I started faxing them directly to the physician's office (got the info from last year's forms), and I now have a really high return rate. I have only 1 office that has not faxed a form back yet. Our emergency cards do have a sentence in there about being allowed to contact the doctor's office, so I have taken full advantage of that.

    I know I shouldn't have to do that, but I just got so tired of fighting with parents....I think I need to retire.
  11. by   moreoreo
    Quote from grammy1
    This year I said screw it, I started faxing them directly to the physician's office (got the info from last year's forms), and I now have a really high return rate. I have only 1 office that has not faxed a form back yet. Our emergency cards do have a sentence in there about being allowed to contact the doctor's office, so I have taken full advantage of that.

    I know I shouldn't have to do that, but I just got so tired of fighting with parents....I think I need to retire.
    That has been my approach for food allergy management. I want to courage parent independence but if it means a student has meds and an allergy plan then so be it. After a certain period has passed you know it's not going to happen unless you do it (which sadly promotes that kind of irresponsible behavior but it probably wasn't going to go away anyway. Those who are prudent will always be prudent- if a parent isn't prone to take caution for his or her child naturally then I don't think we can make it happen.)
  12. by   Caprica6
    Is there any way that you would be able to send a notice to all parents stating that if the required forms are not filled out the following will occur:

    1. The school nurse WILL NOT give any medications.
    2. If the students medical situation requires interventions that necessitate the use of medications, 911 will be called. The parents may be responsible for the costs incurred by the use of the EMS system.

    Sometimes, making people fiscally responsible can serve as a powerful motivator. Just bear in mind, that you may have to follow through on the 911 calls a time or two...
  13. by   NutmeggeRN
    Quote from Caprica6
    Is there any way that you would be able to send a notice to all parents stating that if the required forms are not filled out the following will occur:

    1. The school nurse WILL NOT give any medications.
    2. If the students medical situation requires interventions that necessitate the use of medications, 911 will be called. The parents may be responsible for the costs incurred by the use of the EMS system.

    Sometimes, making people fiscally responsible can serve as a powerful motivator. Just bear in mind, that you may have to follow through on the 911 calls a time or two...
    Um, This girl is NOT withholding an Epipen or inhaler, ever....What would YOU say as the parent of a kid with a presribed MDI or EPI pen and I did not give it due to a lack of paperwork?
  14. by   Amethya
    I had that issue last year, now this year is a bunch of papers signed with nothing on them, because parent didn't read that it was only for medication that is needed at school and must be signed by parent and physician, not if I can have permission to give medication to your child. So you can imagine how many parents were a bit angry when i called when their child felt sick and I told them I can't give them any medication. "But I signed that paper!" That still doesn't count, ma'am.

    But I did get the papers signed for actually NEEDED medications. I had them all signed and taken care of.

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