When do you call home?

  1. 0 I am questioning myself on this. I think it's because I've gotten gun shy from getting screamed at by parents. Like every school nurse, I see many tummy aches, headaches, sore throats, ear aches, etc. I always call home whenever a child bumps his head, has a serious injury,fever or is vomiting (that an adult sees!), etc. My problem seems to be with the lower grades - K, first and second. This year I have alot of complaints from this age group regarding tummy aches. After I check them out, have them use the bathroom, take their temp, eat crackers, etc. I feel they should be able to go back to class. But part of me thinks I should let their parents know, because of their ages. I end up calling the parent in most cases because I don't want the child to go home and say I told the nurse I was sick, and she didn't do anything. Again, I've had the unpleasant experience of dealing with many angry parents that I didn't call, so now I think I overdo it. It's starting to take too much time away from other things I need to do as I have about 950 kids.
    How do you all handle these types of complaints? Again, the I have no problems calling when it's the bigger issues, but the smaller ones like this?
    Thanks,
    mc3
  2. Visit  mc3 profile page

    About mc3

    mc3 has '10' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'various'. From 'FL'; Joined Jun '05; Posts: 748; Likes: 997.

    14 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  Nurse ABC profile page
    1
    I don't call for stomach aches or general complaints like that unless they come in more than once for the same complaint. If they come in again (and they aren't a frequent flyer) I will call the parent and leave it up to them whether the student is sent home. They know their kid better. That way if the student isn't sick the parent will quickly put a stop to it (most will) and if they are you're covered. Some schools have a policy students aren't sent home unless they are vomiting, running a fever, have diarrhea, pink eye etc. I don't usually call the first time though and rarely have a parent call and ask about it. If they do I just tell them they had no n/v or fever and the teacher never sent them back so they must've been good to go the rest of the day. Earaches or sore throats I may send a note home if they are iffy. Any injury the student received at school I call. Obviously N/V or diarrhea. One school I worked at had lots of dr's kids and they expected me to notifiy them if they so much as crossed my threshold. Then they would make this huge deal about whether they needed to pick their student up even if it was extremely minor-very over-protective. That was annoying. You can always make a form letter stating that you saw so and so for what problem/when/what your opinion was and any recommendations with boxes to check even for those minor issues where the parent really doesn't need to know right away. (If it's something the parent definately needs to know just call.) Teachers send notes home for the parents all the time so nurses can too and if the student loses it and the parent gets mad you can say your policy is you send a note just for notification if you see a student and it wasn't serious or you would've called.
    mc3 likes this.
  4. Visit  NutmeggeRN profile page
    0
    Some times, depending on the student and family, I will shoot an email with an overall impression, and always encourage the parent to call if there are any questions. There are times when it is just easier to call the parent right off and let them deal with the kid who does not want to be in school (I'm in HS).

    For the kids I never see, when they come in and ask to go home, I'll support that for the most part.

    Sometimes I have to wade between the stomach virus (home) and the hangover (suck it up buttercup!) sometimes I am right, sometimes wrong!

    I usually irritate somebody when I make a decision. Oh Well! goes with the territory!
  5. Visit  Flare profile page
    0
    i will call if there is a fever, vomiting or diarrhea (for obvious reasons) or i will call if the student is really seeming uncomfortable or if the student really seems off (meaning this is a student that has never ever complained before and the student really seems like there is something brewing). Beyond that, the rest get the same treatment - use the lavatory, try to eat something, take it easy. You'll get your Mama bears that will want to be called for every little thing, and i will explain to them that i will do my best to accomodate that, but they will not get called at the time of assessment unless it's urgent or i have the time to call them. (and that sometimes their child will come home with a report before i will have a chance to call) I have a school of 800 kids and sometimes i don't have time to come up for air to make calls to my diabetic student's parents about irregular blood sugars until the end of the day, so i certainly don't have time to call about a minor complaint.
  6. Visit  Kafergie profile page
    1
    I also call if there is fever 100+, vomiting or a serious injury. On occasion I will call on a non frequent flyer who makes a few visits in one day or truly seems ill. Unfortunately, we have lots of parents who shuffle complaining kids out of the car saying 'just go to the nurse and I will pick you up'. I usually call those parents hoping they won't make that statement again

    I have a 1/2 sheet clinic note (carbon copy) that goes with every student who comes in. That way I can mark what they came in for, that they didn't have a temp and what I did. These seem to make it home with the younger kids because the teachers remind them to put the note in thier folder. Not so much with my middle schoolers, but at leats I have a copy. I use Renweb and also computer document every visit. It has an option to email the note which has been really helpful. I email any bump to the head or bone injury that seems minor, just to cover myself. I call for true sprains, head injuries, etc.

    I'm in a private school Pre-K thru 8th grade.
    NanaPoo likes this.
  7. Visit  SchoolNurseTXstyle profile page
    1
    Quote from Flare
    i will call if there is a fever, vomiting or diarrhea (for obvious reasons) or i will call if the student is really seeming uncomfortable or if the student really seems off (meaning this is a student that has never ever complained before and the student really seems like there is something brewing). Beyond that, the rest get the same treatment - use the lavatory, try to eat something, take it easy. You'll get your Mama bears that will want to be called for every little thing, and i will explain to them that i will do my best to accomodate that, but they will not get called at the time of assessment unless it's urgent or i have the time to call them. (and that sometimes their child will come home with a report before i will have a chance to call) I have a school of 800 kids and sometimes i don't have time to come up for air to make calls to my diabetic student's parents about irregular blood sugars until the end of the day, so i certainly don't have time to call about a minor complaint.
    Ditto! I have 1300 middle school - the drama is rampant in this age group. I see 50-70 kids daily. I call if they need to go home (fever, vomiting), if they continue to keep returning to my office, head injuries. There are not enough hours in the day to call more than that. There is always a parent upset about something. I had one who I called about her daughter yesterday - she got mad that I called her during a meeting, she "knew her daughter had a stuffy nose and had given her meds before school." Kid came back again today, same temp, same stuffy nose, mom had given her meds before school same as yesterday. An hour later, she calls me yelling "how dare you not call me, she texted me saying she feels sick." How can one possibly win in THAT situation?
    Tina, RN likes this.
  8. Visit  mc3 profile page
    0
    Thanks, everyone. I've been a little tougher on the little ones. They sure know how to manipulate you, even at that age! Kafergie, I like the note home idea. I'd like to try setting up one. Our secretary even said we could order them in duplicate sets, so I can keep a copy for my files. How did you set yours up? What did you say on it? I could deal with the angry parents, but if they complain to administration, the administrators will just end up saying "well, we're sorry....we'll make sure to call you from now on". They take the path of least resistance
    Thanks!
    mc3
  9. Visit  Flare profile page
    3
    Quote from SchoolNurseTXstyle
    Ditto! I have 1300 middle school - the drama is rampant in this age group. I see 50-70 kids daily. I call if they need to go home (fever, vomiting), if they continue to keep returning to my office, head injuries. There are not enough hours in the day to call more than that. There is always a parent upset about something. I had one who I called about her daughter yesterday - she got mad that I called her during a meeting, she "knew her daughter had a stuffy nose and had given her meds before school." Kid came back again today, same temp, same stuffy nose, mom had given her meds before school same as yesterday. An hour later, she calls me yelling "how dare you not call me, she texted me saying she feels sick." How can one possibly win in THAT situation?
    oh, i'd make it a point to throw that parent on the carpet and tell her that she got upset with my call the day earlier then got upset with my not calling.
    #1, mom already knew that her darling didn't feel well, but sent her anyhow.
    #2 she got mad at you for not using your standard school nurse issued crystal ball to see that she was in a meeting and calling her (shame on you!)
    #3 her kid shouldn't have been texting in school - did she even stop to see you (it's doubtful... but see #2 and again get out your trusty standard issue crystal ball)
    #4 are we talking about a serious illness or about a minor discomfort due to the sniffles??
    #5 make up your danged mind about being called!!
    mamahuff, Tina, RN, and NutmeggeRN like this.
  10. Visit  Kafergie profile page
    1
    mc3, If you send me your email address, I will send you a copy. We get them printed as a duplicate ay office max. I'm kfergerson@saintgeorgeschool.org
    EB12 likes this.
  11. Visit  schooln profile page
    0
    Hi I wanted to tell you I agree with you totally. You're not overdoing it. If there was something wrong the parent would be very angry you didn't call. And trust me, kids tell their parents everything! I think there's nothing wrong with calling for a young child as you said because of their age. You are letting their parent know they are not feeling well. It doesn't have to be a 10 minute call, just a brief conversation. Unfortunately we are not supposed to use email, etc. So what choice is left? Most parents I call are grateful that I have called. It also helps to have a plan in case the child comes in again. that way the parent is not surprised when they get a call back saying come pick your child up. They will probably already have made arrangements at work, or rescheduled their appts, etc. remember these kids are only 3 or 4 years old, etc, and they count on us to be their advocate. Keep up the good work!
  12. Visit  AdobeRN profile page
    2
    I too call on the obvious - vomiting, rash, red eyes, fever, diarrhea, head bumps. All the other stuff just depends on the kid and if I had trouble with the parent in the past or if I know from the teachers that the parent requires TLC.

    My kinder parents are the worst - they all must come from a daycare where everything was written down for the parent at the end of the day - so this year I have a little note that goes home with a bunch of visit/treatment statements & my contact info - when a kid comes in I just grab a note and circle the reason for visit & treatment given then hand the note to the kid to put in their daily folder - seems to cut down on the calls from parents.
    EB12 and kidzcare like this.
  13. Visit  Kittery profile page
    0
    This might backfire depending on the parent but I hear that if you call a parent enough for silly stuff, eventually they get tired of you calling and will tell their kids they can't go see the nurse anymore!
  14. Visit  Windchaser22 profile page
    0
    Oof I had an angry dad today. 8th grader was out all week and came in with a note to return to school today and a 101.3 temp. Called dad and left a message. Called mom who whined about being 1.5 hrs away. Parents are divorced. No custody issues on file. Dad upset that I called mom and wanted to know why I called her and to not do that again. He Yelled at the poor kid. I reminded him that mom is on the call list that he provided. We have 900 students and he thinks without a court order I'll remember who to call. Geez. How about not sending an obviously sick kid to school! Sometimes we can't win. Rant over.


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