When to call and not call parents?

  1. Hello my fellow school nurse friends,

    My school district consist of the students running the parents and the parents running the school district. With that being said, the parents has my school's principals walking on egg shells. So the principal wants me to call the parents for any and everything from a small scratch to a loose tooth. Do any of you school nurses call parents for every little thing? And when do you not call parents?
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  2. 27 Comments

  3. by   Amethya
    I have to because I'm not a Nurse, and I'm fine with it, it's just the parents that make issues that bother me.
  4. by   MrsNurse08
    Quote from Amethya
    I have to because I'm not a Nurse, and I'm fine with it, it's just the parents that make issues that bother me.
    I'm fine with calling parents, but calling them for small stuff is ridiculous to me. But here at my school parents make big issues out of nothing.
  5. by   JenTheSchoolRN
    Nope. I would be on the phone all day. I am here to evaluate the serious from the non, deal with the small stuff, and most of the parents I work with appreciate that.

    But my principal doesn't expect me to call for every visit, so that makes it easier.
  6. by   MrsNurse08
    Quote from JenTheSchoolRN
    Nope. I would be on the phone all day. I am here to evaluate the serious from the non, deal with the small stuff, and most of the parents I work with appreciate that.

    But my principal doesn't expect me to call for every visit, so that makes it easier.
    Exactly!!!
  7. by   WineRN
    I don't have time to call for everything. We have had a burst of colds here lately causing me to have 50+ visits each day this week.

    I would see if your principal would be ok with just a note going home, something you could jot down a quick message on that would go in the little one's folder to go home at the end of the day. or if emails are ok. For my needier parents who want to know about EVERY visit, I email.
  8. by   ruby_jane
    You serve at the discretion of the principal...Having said that - someone mentioned "loss of instructional time" earlier. So if you're really calling everyone and all those parents are picking kids up, how is that school paying for itself and how are those kids getting promoted?

    My last principal requested that I call a parent whenever a kid did something here. The request came when she got an email from a parent of a student's monstrously swollen ankle....why wasn't the parent called? (Because the kid rested and elevated with an ice pack and had no swelling at the time AND never came back for reassessment at lunch). So from that day on I have attempted a call on every kid who hurts him/herself in gym, falls down the stairs, etc.

    It's led to a lot of great conversation and parents thanking me for caring, but that was an unexpected bonus.

    I'd survey other nurses at your level in your district and find out how other people where you are do things. Do you have a nursing supervisor and can s/he shed some light? It's possible that the principal has been bitten once by parents who are lucky enough to be at their kids' beck and call. You won't be able to fix that. If so, is another method of communication acceptable? I have several template emails I cut and past as I need to. These work well when it's not an emergency and I'm covering my assets. Takes a lot less time than talking.

    Good luck!
  9. by   Supernrse01
    What JenTheSchoolRN said

    I see kids for 57653890856736 things, all day long. If I had to call home every time I saw a kid, I would get nothing else done. NOTHING!
  10. by   BeckyESRN
    Would your principal be okay with a standard check box "I saw the nurse today" type note? It would cut down on phone calls, but still be parent communication. You could just check the box for paper cut, scrape, lost/loose tooth and check your intervention and send it to the teacher to put in the kid's folder(or whatever goes home at the end of the day).
    I call for any visible injury to the head/face/neck, any lumps/bumps from impact, any injury with strange circumstances that I think the parent needs to inquire about, and illness that needs to go home. Infrequently, I'll get that spidey-sense and just call to touch base with a parent, but I could not realistically care for these kids and call every parent, every day, for every visit. Giving phone calls an average of 3 minutes, I would have spent 3.15 hours on the phone on Monday and had to tend to 63+ children and administer my meds...
  11. by   ruby_jane
    Quote from Supernrse01
    I see kids for 57653890856736 things, all day long. If I had to call home every time I saw a kid, I would get nothing else done. NOTHING!
    BWAHAHAAH! Tea down my front.
  12. by   Supernrse01
    Quote from ruby_jane
    BWAHAHAAH! Tea down my front.
  13. by   MrsNurse08
    Quote from BeckyESRN
    Would your principal be okay with a standard check box "I saw the nurse today" type note? It would cut down on phone calls, but still be parent communication. You could just check the box for paper cut, scrape, lost/loose tooth and check your intervention and send it to the teacher to put in the kid's folder(or whatever goes home at the end of the day).
    I call for any visible injury to the head/face/neck, any lumps/bumps from impact, any injury with strange circumstances that I think the parent needs to inquire about, and illness that needs to go home. Infrequently, I'll get that spidey-sense and just call to touch base with a parent, but I could not realistically care for these kids and call every parent, every day, for every visit. Giving phone calls an average of 3 minutes, I would have spent 3.15 hours on the phone on Monday and had to tend to 63+ children and administer my meds...
    The check off note thingy is a good idea. But I don't really call for small stuff its just my principal is very paranoid because the parents got the last principal fired. Sad but true.
  14. by   Rubor
    Data, you need to present people who don't understand your job with numbers. I have had to go this route so many times in the educational setting. They understand numbers and visuals are helpful. Do a spreadsheet/presentation of what it will mean to call every single parent. Gather data, present it professional and lay out what it means so someone not a medical professional or someone who doesn't do this work can see. Sometimes it works other times its a shrug and I say to myself "they just don't get it."

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