parents won't pick up sick kid!

  1. I have never had this happen before, and don't know what to do. The parents and both secondary contacts refuse to come get a sick child from school. They say that none of them can leave work. This child is 8 years old with a 103* fever. I told them they need to find someone to pick up the child, they say they have no one else to call. What else can I do?
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  2. 80 Comments

  3. by   MHDNURSE
    I have had that happen and the kid ended up getting motrin and sleeping in my office. There was nothing else we could do after all "emergency contacts" failed to answer the phone. It stinks. I felt bad for the kid.
  4. by   nursekoll
    I would probably be okay with that, but I'm not at that school today, I'm 15 miles away! The para is the one who started the calls, and I made some calls as well. She can't stay with the student all day.
  5. by   ohiobobcat
    Time to get administration involved. That's what I was told to do if I ever had a parent who wouldn't come get a student that clearly needed to be dismissed for medical reasons.
  6. by   nursekoll
    Thanks, I did! Someone will be picking the student up before noon. Gah, at least that's better than all day!
  7. by   OyWithThePoodles
    I'm glad they finally decided to come in. I understand parents have to work. And with some they "can't" leave. I use that term loosely because even when I worked as a nurse in the hospital, if someones kid got sick, they called in other staff or we did what we had to do if the school said they had to be picked up.

    Also, maybe list an emergency contact who can pick up your kiddo. In our district we cannot give OTC meds without a signed authorization from the physician and parent (on each kid, each med). So that kiddo would've had to sit unmedicated in our office.

    I do feel for single parents who really have no one. Honestly I do. I can't imagine being the only support system for my child and having to decide whether or not to keep a job or pick up my sick kid. But it sounds like this kiddo had several contacts that could've picked him up.
  8. by   nursetlm
    We have a student liasian officer that will go to their home if I cannot get a hold of them in a reasonable amount of time- which has happened with parents who have run out of phone minutes or have no emergency contacts listed. : -(

    I've had parents tell me they "just sat down to lunch at Red Lobster" or "just sat down to watch a movie."
  9. by   BeckyESRN
    Now to make sure the kid isn't back tomorrow morning spreading germs...
  10. by   MHDNURSE
    Quote from BeckyESRN
    Now to make sure the kid isn't back tomorrow morning spreading germs...
    Ha! I was just about to type this!
  11. by   nursekoll
    Quote from BeckyESRN
    Now to make sure the kid isn't back tomorrow morning spreading germs...
    EXACTLY!
  12. by   MHDNURSE
    It's funny b/c I am having total flash backs of when I was 9 and fell off my bike outside in the park. Luckily a good friend who lived two blocks away was with me and her step dad carried me inside. My ankle was clearly broken. No one could reach my mom (parents were divorced and have no idea if they tried my dad or even knew how to reach him). They took me to the ER and left me there in a wheel chair an no one would touch me b/c they didn't have parental consent. I think I sat there for like 4 hours until my mom finally showed up, waltzed in like she was late for a tennis game or something. Said she was in a "meeting". Horrifies me now that I am mom.
  13. by   Farawyn
    Quote from MHDNURSE
    It's funny b/c I am having total flash backs of when I was 9 and fell off my bike outside in the park. Luckily a good friend who lived two blocks away was with me and her step dad carried me inside. My ankle was clearly broken. No one could reach my mom (parents were divorced and have no idea if they tried my dad or even knew how to reach him). They took me to the ER and left me there in a wheel chair an no one would touch me b/c they didn't have parental consent. I think I sat there for like 4 hours until my mom finally showed up, waltzed in like she was late for a tennis game or something. Said she was in a "meeting". Horrifies me now that I am mom.
    This. Sucks.
    I'm so sorry.

    This topic sparked a massive FB response last year, if I'm not mistaken, from parents who said it was our responsibility to watch over their SS with illness of this level.

    Be prepared for the backlash if AN puts this up.
  14. by   moreoreo
    I have to admit that in my first weeks of school nursing, I was shocked at how our lead nurse would start itching to call EMS when a parent would take a long time to pick up a feverish child. To be fair, we do not give OTC meds without an MD order here/there is no "stock Tylenol." To be more fair, as I have spent more time here I have seen that fevers can continue to rise despite hydration and cool cloths and that a parent who says "I will come" will often forget to add "in one hour" and say "really soon instead." (To be fair to them, I understand not everyone is hanging out at home or working very close to the school.) So nowadays, when a student has a fever and is symptomatic, I let the parent know upfront, if they say it will be a while, that I will call an ambulance if the fever continues to rise or the student's condition warrants it. I have found that even a parent who is completely stuck somewhere will find someone to come when I give them that head's up.

    One of my least favorite school nurse situations is when I have two kids come in at the same time, one is clearly more ill than the other, but the perkier child's parents are attentive and available while the sicker child's parents' phones are out of service without any emergency contact. I always feel so sorry for the child who ends up needing to wait all day.

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