Are you trained to check COVID-19 in staff?

by guest83140 guest83140 (Member)

Well. Most of the school nurses have an impressive resume of past clinical jobs of all sorts. We do keep up our portfolio of credentials, certifications and do our annual dummy check offs. But the school believe we know it all or should about this new coronovirus and all the scientific signs and symptoms just by watching the news? OK. So but has anyone been asked to check or screen the school staff to make parents feel at ease? We have. For our school closure food-distribution workers. No training offered. No questions asked if we felt comfortable. No, just told your people will check these folks. OK I've read some have fever and some don't or others are asymptomatic. So what are your thoughts and have you been trained or do you need to be trained?

JenTheSchoolRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in School nursing. 3,029 Posts

We are fully closed and I'm working remotely. But was on a phone call about screening for general public health nurses/folks this week.

None of us are trained for this, really. I'd be on the phone with my department of public health so fast with a staff member presenting with cough and fever. Though many aren't qualifying for testing, urged to self-quarantine at home if symptoms are mild/moderate. We are getting more drive-up testing options in my state, but so far from getting everyone tested that should (as we are everywhere in the US right now.)

Do you have any protective gear in your office? Do you have an area is your office or outside your office to isolate a staff member if needed until they can get home or to see additional medical personal?

(I asked this first last week to some admin who were like- they will stay in your one room office and we were still in session and I get tons of traffic. I was like "nope" and was given an alternative space to use if needed. You likely have more options if no students at school now.)

bluebonnetrn, BSN, RN

Specializes in School nurse. Has 18 years experience. 145 Posts

So - I really don't see how we need to be "trained" to screen people.
We already do that. We already triage people.

-"You're fine, go back to class"
-"You should go home and let mom and dad take care of you at home"
-"You are sick and need to be seen by a doctor"
- "You are really sick and need to go to the hospital"
OR we provide necessary interventions until EMS arrives

We already do this people and this situation is really not any different. I can't tell someone if they have strep but I can tell them if it's something that should be checked into further.
In this case we just add a few extra questions:
Where have you traveled in the last 14 days?
Have you been in close contact who has tested positive?

Other than that we are all still checking the same things: temperature, respiratory status, symptoms, medical history
From there, we already know how to shuttle them in the right direction.


Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 45 years experience. 11 Articles; 17,510 Posts

Direct staff to CDC website for Coronavirus, section Symptoms then "Cornavirus Self Checker" -- based on individual answers will direct person to shelter at home, contact PCP or go to the ED if symptoms indicate emergency, eg: blue lips, + SOB, Temp over 100 degree or do nothing at all.