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A "real nurse" or school nurse

School   (774 Views | 16 Replies)

3,149 Profile Views; 304 Posts

After nearly 2 years of school nursing, today I finally got asked the age old question (from a 6th grader): "So… are you, like, a real nurse, or just a school nurse"

 

LOL. 

To balance things out, yesterday a teacher told me how grateful she is to have "an actual nurse" at the school to deal with medical issues, especially because she was always made to dispense meds which made her uncomfortable (of course!), and with such a terrible flu season/now COVID19. 

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SandIsMyGlitterRN has 20 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in School Nursing.

94 Posts; 404 Profile Views

Why do we let those words get to us????  I hate to hear those words so much.  Not sure why because I am confident in my position.  After all the hard work and determination it takes to complete our nursing degrees, we want to be acknowledged for it.  I had a parent ask me if she could apply for the open school nurse position further south in our county.  I asked her qualifications and she told me that she graduated high school.........um,   NO!!!  People have no idea what we deal with on a daily basis.  Sure, some things are common sense but how is someone (untrained) going to handle the 99 thousand other things that are not just a bandaid and some ice????  LOL, can you tell this irritates me???? 

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BrisketRN has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN.

685 Posts; 2,754 Profile Views

It's like the "Just a Nurse" poster--if you've seen it.

You're just a school nurse.  Just the only medical professional in the building.  Just the person running to every emergency and making snap decisions on your own.  Just the one responsible for educating all staff members (with little to no medical background) on medical conditions, asthma, allergies, epilepsy, etc.  Just the person who needs to balance being a safe place for students with being the one who teaches them how to "tough it out."  Just the person who is questioned by people who have no knowledge of what you do in the school, what your background is, and how deeply every decision you make is rooted in evidence-based science (which you're constantly educating yourself on).  Maybe you have just a BSN or just an MSN or a CSN, or maybe you have an ADN, and have had to be kicked in the butt by the learning curve that is caring for hundreds of pediatric patients at once.  You are just the one triaging, treating, creating plans of care, implementing changes, and evaluating that care--usually of multiple students in the same moment. You are just the one who spends hours on the phone with DCFS trying to ensure your students are safe.  You are just the person who sometimes spends breaks and summers worrying about a specific student who has a health condition or mental health condition or an unstable home environment.  You're just the person advocating for your students to have access to healthy food (or food at all), proper medical care, safe staffing of nurses at your school, and a safe home. You are just the one giving up your lunch break every day to stay with a child who is sick or injured or deal with emergency situations.  I guess that's all you are right--just a school nurse

just a nurse.png

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40 Posts; 242 Profile Views

47 minutes ago, BrisketRN said:

It's like the "Just a Nurse" poster--if you've seen it.

You're just a school nurse.  Just the only medical professional in the building.  Just the person running to every emergency and making snap decisions on your own.  Just the one responsible for educating all staff members (with little to no medical background) on medical conditions, asthma, allergies, epilepsy, etc.  Just the person who needs to balance being a safe place for students with being the one who teaches them how to "tough it out."  Just the person who is questioned by people who have no knowledge of what you do in the school, what your background is, and how deeply every decision you make is rooted in evidence-based science (which you're constantly educating yourself on).  Maybe you have just a BSN or just an MSN or a CSN, or maybe you have an ADN, and have had to be kicked in the butt by the learning curve that is caring for hundreds of pediatric patients at once.  You are just the one triaging, treating, creating plans of care, implementing changes, and evaluating that care--usually of multiple students in the same moment. You are just the one who spends hours on the phone with DCFS trying to ensure your students are safe.  You are just the person who sometimes spends breaks and summers worrying about a specific student who has a health condition or mental health condition or an unstable home environment.  You're just the person advocating for your students to have access to healthy food (or food at all), proper medical care, safe staffing of nurses at your school, and a safe home. You are just the one giving up your lunch break every day to stay with a child who is sick or injured or deal with emergency situations.  I guess that's all you are right--just a school nurse

just a nurse.png

This.  This made me cry...

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304 Posts; 3,149 Profile Views

It doesn't hurt my feelings that the student asked this - they're middle schoolers, they are kinda out of it. Now... if a parent asked me if I were a "real nurse" I would be very irritated. I just thought it was funny because I hear a lot of SNs on here say that this happens to them, and it was my first time! I was teaching a sex ed class, and now I introduce myself as "a real nurse, registered in the state of Arizona and about 20 other states, with a bachelors of science in nursing." LOL. 

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58 Posts; 650 Profile Views

Haven't heard much of this either until about 10 minutes after reading this post. Had a kiddo ask me if I had to go to school to be a school nurse, like real nurses do. 

Um yup, got the letters behind my name to prove it too.

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BrisketRN has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN.

685 Posts; 2,754 Profile Views

31 minutes ago, jnemartin said:

It doesn't hurt my feelings that the student asked this - they're middle schoolers, they are kinda out of it. Now... if a parent asked me if I were a "real nurse" I would be very irritated. I just thought it was funny because I hear a lot of SNs on here say that this happens to them, and it was my first time! I was teaching a sex ed class, and now I introduce myself as "a real nurse, registered in the state of Arizona and about 20 other states, with a bachelors of science in nursing." LOL. 

Yeah I've gotten a few kids asking if I had to go to college for this job.  Nope just got out of clown college.  And one of the little ones saw me getting into my car after school one day and said "YOU DON'T SLEEP IN THE NURSE'S OFFICE?"

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LibraSunCNM has 10 years experience as a MSN and specializes in OB.

1,385 Posts; 25,757 Profile Views

4 hours ago, Nurse Jen said:

I had a parent ask me if she could apply for the open school nurse position further south in our county.  I asked her qualifications and she told me that she graduated high school.........um,   NO!  

Oh my! 😳

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amoLucia specializes in LTC.

5,448 Posts; 46,575 Profile Views

Very similar stereotypical sentiments for LTC nurses and NOC staff.

Doncha' know we all sleep on the night shift? That's after tiring  ourselves out by fixing & fluffing all the little old ladies' afghans as they sit in their rocking chairs in the sun room. 

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SchoolNurse91 has 8 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in School Nursing.

134 Posts; 2,295 Profile Views

I think some people ask because a lot of places hire non-licensed staff as a "school nurse." 

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tining has 26 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in School Nurse.

1 Follower; 1,007 Posts; 14,248 Profile Views

Pretty sure it is illegal to call yourself a school nurse if you do not have the credentials. 

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