What happens when the nurse is sick?

  1. Hey school nurses, I have a question.

    What happens when you are sick? Does the school just not have a nurse that day (but then who gives kids their meds)? Are there substitute school nurses? How does that work? I can't imagine that a substitute school nurse would get called much unless they were in a large school district and subbed for the entire district.
    Last edit by Brian S. on Sep 29
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  2. 36 Comments

  3. by   moreoreo
    I feel like I can never call in because my district has only three schools, so no pre-arranged subs, and a call-in would result in health aides covering one of the schools alone (and although our buildings are few each one has a lot of students so I feel that’s not fair). For long term leaves like maternity leave a long term sub is brought in but there’s really no good plan for unanticipated events like illness.

    I know of larger districts in my area with 10+ schools that have full time subs, which is interesting.
  4. by   BethG73
    Our district has a handful of subs. That's actually how I got my foot in the door.

    If they can't get a sub for me then the secretary, building assistant, and/or bookkeeper covers for me. I can delegate & train certain things to them as an UAP. Thankfully, we have very few kiddos with issues. Other district nurses are just a few minutes away, if necessary. And, of course, there's always 911.
  5. by   peacockblue
    We have one reliable sub. If she is not able to work, we have to do double duty and run between buildings just to get the daily meds given. Other needs get unmet. Not many people want to sub. The pay is low and inconsistent. That is why most of the nurses in my district will drag ourselves into work half dead.
  6. by   aprilmoss
    We're in a fairly large district so one of the supervising "area" nurses fills in.
  7. by   SullyRN
    I'm with Oreo, calling in here is harder on me that when I worked in the hospital. We have one sub, and she has a full-time job...So, we only get her if the absence was planned a month or two in advance.

    Our office staff is trained to give medications but cannot give insulin, so someone from another school or the boss lady has to come out twice a day if I am out to dose my diabetic kids.

    If I am out or have to leave early, or when we had our health screenings, I send out a school wide email to teachers letting them know I am out. I tell them to handle anything they can in the classroom, and to make sure they send up their daily medicine kids on time and that our front office ladies appreciate it!
  8. by   AdobeRN
    We are a large district and our nurse sub list is awful - maybe about 20 people on the list to cover 65+ schools. I have a couple of backup UDCA's and our school secretary will step in to pass out medication if needed.
  9. by   dakotadenise
    My district is one school, one nurse. If I'm sick, I normally medicate myself and power through If its too bad, I try to find my own sub. I have 3 on my list, but two of them have full time jobs, so its tough most days. We do have two staff trained as med aides that I have utilized before to give a med if I had to leave early, but never to cover the whole day.
  10. by   Amethya
    I'm suppose to have a sub service come when I'm not here, but apparently they don't need to come even if we ask for one. I took a day because I was sick and I came back the next day and she never showed.
  11. by   WineRN
    I am lucky to be in a very large district. We work with two agencies and have 2 salaried float nurses to cover absences and emergencies. If they are all busy my boss steps in.

    I posted in the spring about how my principal actually came in and asked me to go home sick because I had a rough sounding cough and it was scaring the teachers (they are all hypochondriacs). I still hate leaving though. My whole life I have always gone to school as long as it wasn't a fever or vomiting. I tell the little ones here ALL THE TIME we don't go home for colds.
  12. by   scuba nurse
    I am in a large district and we have a lot of subs. That being said....I NEVER call in sick unless it is true emergency! If I need a day off, I put in ahead of time so I can get coverage.
  13. by   HyzenthlayLPN
    I am the only nurse for my district. Right now I have a sinus infection and the doctor wanted me to be off until Monday. There are no subs for the nurse and I have a Type 1 diabetic...with no one else to give her insulin shots. Guess who is at work today? LOL
  14. by   OldDude
    Quote from HyzenthlayLPN
    I am the only nurse for my district. Right now I have a sinus infection and the doctor wanted me to be off until Monday. There are no subs for the nurse and I have a Type 1 diabetic...with no one else to give her insulin shots. Guess who is at work today? LOL
    I think this is in the majority.

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