Staff that are frequent fliers

  1. I work at a middle school, and have been exhausted DAILY, by staff members (teachers, paras, etc) that frequent my office.

    They typically want advice, their temps taken, they want to know if they have strep throat (yes, really) or if I think they should "go home and rest".

    Several also stop in numerous times to visit...and end up asking my students why they are in my office, and what for.

    This is really taxing. I have pulled several adults aside, and explained HIPPA, but they seem to forget this, after time.

    I would really appreciate any ideas with tactful ways to handle this issue!

    Thank you!!
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    Joined: Sep '13; Posts: 1


  3. by   Nurse ABC
    Oh man, what a pain! I have one or two teachers at each school like that but not half the staff! Part of our job is caring for staff needs as well. It's nice they trust you enough to ask your opinion. That being said you should set some boundaries. I'd sent out a memo that you're number one job is to take care of student needs and that although you're happy to be there for the staff you need to limit staff visits to either before school, after school, or whatever small block of time you pick. Then stick with it! If they show up during another time gently say you're sorry but due to the new policy you are unable to see them until...and that you're expecting a student any minute (which is true-they are always showing up).

    Maybe have a small area for staff somewhere in the building (away from your office) with a thermometer, band aids, automatic blood pressure cuff, etc so they can take care of themselves a little.

    Another idea is to institute a pass policy for teachers. If they want to see you they must fill out a request and stick it in your mailbox and when it's convenient for you, then you will get with them.

    i would get with your principal with whatever you decide to do and ask they back you so that when a teacher goes to them to complain you didn't drop everything for them the principal will take your side and reinforce your new policy. Maybe they could address it during a staff meeting. Let them know you need time to catch up on charting, immunizations, follow-ups, screenings, etc when kids aren't in there and that you don't get a planning period. This way they understand just because you don't have a student in there you are still busy.

    Hope this helps!
  4. by   tictac
    I'm more than happy to take their temps, but they're adults and should be able to make their own decisions on what to do with a 99 degree temp. I bought a wrist BP cuff and showed my frequent fliers where it is and how to use it. If you want your BP checked, feel free to come in and check it yourself if I'm busy. Because you know they just plop down, no matter how swamped I am, and say "I need my BP checked". Ugh.
  5. by   Tina, RN
    Same here. My office is like the free clinic for both students and staff. The students, I expect. But the staff?? In emergencies, yes. But when they are piling in here to "save a $20 copayment"...??!! For some reason, I find that so offensive. I can't seem to verbalize why, though. LOL Maybe because I have to pay my stupid $20 copayments whenever I want advice... The thing is, I always say, "It can't hurt to have your doctor check it out." So, it's not really helping them much, anyway!

    The blood pressure checks drive me nuts! Staff seems totally oblivious to the swarms of kids waiting to see me when they march in and announce that they need their BP checked because "2 weeks ago it was 120/80 at the doctor's office, and that is high for me." Then they look perplexed when I motion to the crowd and say, I'll have to do it later... I also hate when they say, "I stopped in on my lunch so you can take a look at ABCD for me". But that bugs me because I don't get lunch breaks.

    I am an adult. I know when I feel too sick to be at work. I know when I feel feverish. I also know how to recognize when my BP feels high. If I need my BP checked, I have a battery powered cuff. If something hurts, I can decide whether I should wait and see, or go to the doctor. I don't need someone to justify these things for me. I have no authority to send staff home sick anyway! Maybe I just need to be meaner to everyone. LOL

    Ahhh, good vent.
  6. by   coughdrop.2.go
    I suggest having a "staff only" time. Have a 30 min. or 1 hour block where you can take care of non-emergency staff visits and be very, very strict about it! Don't give any exceptions!
  7. by   CuticleCare
    It's just so nice to know everyone has the same problem. After hearing me say "I'd talk to your doctor about that" or something similar for the most part of 10 years, my staff has gotten the clue. At least the majority. If I have a student, they have to come back. Just say "I'm with this student right now, but if you can come back when no one is here........"

    Stand up for yourself. No one else will.
  8. by   CuticleCare
    It's just so nice to know everyone has the same problem. After hearing me say "I'd talk to your doctor about that" or something similar for the most part of 10 years, my staff has gotten the clue. At least the majority. If I have a student, they have to come back. Just say "I'm with this student right now, but if you can come back when no one is here........"

    Stand up for yourself. No one else will.
  9. by   Spidey's mom
    That doesn't happen to me. I'm there for the students, not the teachers/staff. Of course, in an emergency, I'd respond.

    I did have one teacher take me aside and ask about HPV. Another staff member talked to me about pregnancy-related info as she was pregnant. But otherwise, if they are sick, they take their own temps and call their own docs.
  10. by   coughdrop.2.go
    Also, one thing from staff that I get a lot of is, "Can you check my sugars?". Check with your State, but in California I cannot check blood sugars without a Doctor's order so I tell all my staff no. Blood pressures I don't mind because these are adults and may have high blood pressure. I prefer manual BPs, but I have an automatic one at every school in a Staff only area with a little instruction card so they can use that without bothering me (if not a serious issue) or if I'm at another school site. I also have a thermometer in the main office for when I'm not there and staff can use it if need be.
  11. by   NurseKitKat
    I've heard about needing a drs order for BG checks as well...but who exactly do we check with?
  12. by   MsAng
    It is our district policy that school nurses are hired for students ONLY! Per our policy, we cannot see/treat staff. However, if there is an emergency.... obviously I will do what I can to help. I do not mind doing a BP here and there if a staff member is symptomatic. But for the most part, faculty/staff are aware of this policy and generally don't bother me much at all. If this is not a policy for your district, perhaps you can advocate for it to be written in.
  13. by   Songbird,RN
    In our school district, I am responsible for taking care of our approximately 80 staff members in addition to the students (700). I am glad to help them, as it gives me a chance for some health care teaching and also a chance for comeraderie. I do keep documentation of their visit, and ALWAYS end it by stating, "you may need to check with your physician."
  14. by   amoLucia
    Thread is a little late but recent answers got me to thinking. I don't do school nsg; do LTC. But I have some concerns about those freq flyers/staff who request fingersticks. I would equate them as like family/friends/visitors in my NH.

    Fingersticks are INVASIVE procedures. What would happen if the performing nurse were to accidently sustain a sharps accident post- lancet use? Who would cover the protocol for the nurse's injury as it was NOT being performed in the 'line of duty/on-the-job"? MD/ER visits and meds costs with time off could occur - who would be responsible to pay??? Also, could the staff member be obligated to test? I don't think so?!?

    And would your malpractice cover you if that staff member were to sustain a problem from the performance of the fingerstick?

    I've worked with co-workers whom I knew were insulin-dep diabetics. If I found anyone of them symptomatic or passed out, I most surely would suspect diabetic problems and I would perform a fingerstick in the line of my emergency assessment & first-aid assist.
    For non-pts at work, I'd be calling 911 and performing supportive ABC care until 911 arrived to take over.

    As for PP, Songbird,RN, I'd have to see that staff is specifically included (ie WRITTEN) in the job duties. Just because I got to thinking...