I am a parent of 3 children (all in middle school right now - 6th, 7th and 8th grade .... yes, I know you feel my pain!). Anyway, I received a call yesterday from the "school nurse" to tell me that my son had a terrible case of bronchitis and if I had taken him to his doctor. She also added that he needed to be picked up ASAP. As an RN and a parent, I am pretty reasonable with my kids if they do not feel well and want to come home. But there are times when I think they use "I am Sick" as an excuse to come home and have the day off.
My son has allergies and for whatever reason he gets post nasal drip which causes him to cough. I am treating this with his normal allergy medicine. Ok - getting back to the story, when I went into the school to pick him up, the "school nurse" was irritated with me and said, "aren't you an RN? He has been coughing like this for a week now. Have you taken him to his doctor, he has a terrible case of bronchitis." Of course, her tone was totally inapprorpiate and I asked her if she had listened to his lungs? She said, "well no, but you can tell by the way he is breathing. I then looked at her name tag and it said "Clinical Assistant." I asked her if she was a nurse and she responded no. I then asked her what qualified her to make a medical diagnosis and was she aware that there are children that have allergies.
To make a long story short, I took my son to the doctor and of course, he told me to continue the course of treatment that he had been on and wrote a clear note to the Clinic Aid, that my son was suffering from seasonal allergies and NOT bronchitis.
My question and reason for the post is to ask REAL school nurses .... what is happening to the school health clinics? Are they being staffed with UAP more now than in the past? Also, are these people giving our children medications and a treating illness in our schools? Also, how they can represent themselves as "Nurses?" In NC, in order to use the term "Nurse" you need to be licensed in the State as an RN or LPN.
Just was wondering if anyone out there has an opinion on this. I am sure there is a thread similar, but I did not see it. Thanks for your input. Patrick