Parent Phone Calls for Medical note

  1. I may be in the wrong forum but am looking for feedback.

    I am a school nurse and am struggling with a fairly new response to requests for verification of an absence due to illness from a parent.
    Case: Student is chronically absent from school, there are indicators that would suggest this is not always medically related. When asking the parents for documentation that their child has been ill, notes are coming in from MD office stating "the child has been reported as being sick..."

    I get that not every illness needs a visit to the MD, I get the cost, lack of insurance or access etc...but I don't understand why a medical provider would write that?
    All that says to me is that the parent called and said I need a note for school and there it appears...

    This is OK when the kid is rarely ill, needs to be home and isn't sick enough to be seen. But it does NO favor for the child whose trauncy is supported by the medical folks albeit very likely unknowingly.

    Not sure what I expect from the post, maybe some feedback from those on the other end of the phone?
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   Jolie
    It sounds to me like the provider's office is being asked to confirm an illness/absence that they have no first-hand knowledge of, as you may already suspect.

    Families with good relationships with their primary care offices can occasionally call and receive a school note covering a mild illness that did not require medical attention, especially if they contacted the office during that time, for example: a phone call to the advice nurse, a medication refill, or made an appointment that was later cancelled because the child felt better.

    My guess is that your student's family had no contact with the provider during this child's "illness," yet later insisted on a note to excuse the child from school. Without any first-hand knowledge, they provided a note (to satisfy the parents) that is utterly meaningless in your investigation of the child's absence. I don't blame them. Writing the note probably saved them from enduring a temper tantrum from the parents, who are responsible for explaining their child's absence, without a BS note from the doctor.
  4. by   NutmeggeRN
    Quote from Jolie
    It sounds to me like the provider's office is being asked to confirm an illness/absence that they have no first-hand knowledge of, as you may already suspect.

    Families with good relationships with their primary care offices can occasionally call and receive a school note covering a mild illness that did not require medical attention, especially if they contacted the office during that time, for example: a phone call to the advice nurse, a medication refill, or made an appointment that was later cancelled because the child felt better.

    My guess is that your student's family had no contact with the provider during this child's "illness," yet later insisted on a note to excuse the child from school. Without any first-hand knowledge, they provided a note (to satisfy the parents) that is utterly meaningless in your investigation of the child's absence. I don't blame them. Writing the note probably saved them from enduring a temper tantrum from the parents, who are responsible for explaining their child's absence, without a BS note from the doctor.
    Yup...I do believe that is the case. Frustrating to say the least. I have worked in a family practice setting so I completely get it. But I think it is worse now than ever before, the lengths some parents go to protect their child from any consequences. (And that refers to the chronically absent child without any any valid medical or emotional reason) They just don't want to go to school.

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