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Berated by parent

School   (1,822 Views 33 Comments)
by RNTadaaaa RNTadaaaa (Member)

RNTadaaaa has 13 years experience and specializes in Telemetry, Orthopedic, M Surg, School RN.

1,531 Visitors; 61 Posts

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Situation: 

Student with a permanent medical diagnosis in need of assistance with pain management initially came to the medical room for help last semester in pain. At the time, found that student was allowed to carry oxycodone by parent to take while in school. No orders for pain medication. Discussed the danger of this practice with parent and requested orders for pain medication, inhalers and accommodations (heating pads, rest, etc). Forms sent. Alerted Principal of the situation.

Fast forward to March and no orders received although requested frequently.  Student now no longer comes to the medical room for assistance.  Some forms eventually received but are incomplete. Missing parts of the order like, Provider signature. Communicated this to parent and eventually was able to get SOME orders directly from the provider. No medication sent in with orders. 

Presently, Monday's scheduled class trip is out of state and overnight, I have no medication, still need one med order (Emergency med) and teachers report student was out ill for several days. (d/t pain?)

Requested previous medication, missing order & provider clearance (d/t diagnosis) from parent for student to attend trip OR chaperone. Parent called to yell, berate and insult me yesterday and today has continued to do the same also talking to other teachers on campus. Administration was made aware and although seemingly in agreement has played good cop. They are also busy with graduation details. 

Yesterday I did well and was professional and courteous but firm. Today, professional but very down. Why do some people think its ok to talk to Nurses this way? I am only trying to assist the student and uphold the law and our medical standards. 

 

Edited by RNTadaaaa
Missing the word "of"

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tining has 23 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in School Nurse.

1 Follower; 13,241 Visitors; 716 Posts

I think they are angry at their own lack of follow through and took it out on you.  You did EVERYTHING possible, sometimes we just have to take the high road.  I also believe in karma - for parent.

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BunnyBunnyBSNRN has 13 years experience as a ASN, BSN and specializes in School Nursing, Ambulatory Care, etc..

1 Follower; 13,341 Visitors; 831 Posts

You are not only trying to uphold the law and medical standards, you are protecting your license.  DO NOT let this parent, who is obviously not qualified to make decisions based on sound judgement and reasoning (as evidenced by allowing a HS - please say it's high school! - student to self carry and administer a narcotic pain medication!!) allow you to feel anyway other than empowered.  You are not the bad guy here.

Chin up!  Gather your information regarding district policy and state BON regulations about medication administration and talk with your nursing boss and campus administration.  They can't help or control what the parent does or says, but they can 1) support you publicly, thereby showing the teachers and other parents you are not making bad decisions and 2) ban the parent from the building if necessary.  They can also mention to the parent that slander is a thing and your appointment with a lawyer about your options if this parent continues to go down this path.

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RNTadaaaa has 13 years experience and specializes in Telemetry, Orthopedic, M Surg, School RN.

1,531 Visitors; 61 Posts

5 minutes ago, tining said:

I think they are angry at their own lack of follow through and took it out on you.  You did EVERYTHING possible, sometimes we just have to take the high road.  I also believe in karma - for parent.

 I wish there was a heart emoji. Thank you so much.

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SugarHigh has 8 years experience.

172 Visitors; 8 Posts

Does your school have a policy regarding students carrying narcotics or medication in general? Ours is zero tolerance. They are suspended for an entire school year. That might be worth mentioning to the parent. 

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RNTadaaaa has 13 years experience and specializes in Telemetry, Orthopedic, M Surg, School RN.

1,531 Visitors; 61 Posts

7 minutes ago, BunnyBunnyBSNRN said:

You are not only trying to uphold the law and medical standards, you are protecting your license.  DO NOT let this parent, who is obviously not qualified to make decisions based on sound judgement and reasoning (as evidenced by allowing a HS - please say it's high school! - student to self carry and administer a narcotic pain medication!!) allow you to feel anyway other than empowered.  You are not the bad guy here.

Chin up!  Gather your information regarding district policy and state BON regulations about medication administration and talk with your nursing boss and campus administration.  They can't help or control what the parent does or says, but they can 1) support you publicly, thereby showing the teachers and other parents you are not making bad decisions and 2) ban the parent from the building if necessary.  They can also mention to the parent that slander is a thing and your appointment with a lawyer about your options if this parent continues to go down this path.

Thank you! And no, not a high school. K-8.  I will definitely be discussing this further with administration during the last administrative meeting. 

My chin is UP!!!! Thank you for the encouragement! 

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BiscuitRN has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN.

1,867 Visitors; 435 Posts

So a parent is berating you for trying to give their child the best and safest care possible?  It sounds like you tried very hard to work with them, explain policies, explain why policies are in place, and get what the student needed to be properly cared for in school.  They let their elementary/middle school child carry NARCOTICS?!  Wow.  Let the parent talk.  Keep talking, keep insulting you for the diligent and consistent work you're doing to keep their child, and every other child, safe.

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RNTadaaaa has 13 years experience and specializes in Telemetry, Orthopedic, M Surg, School RN.

1,531 Visitors; 61 Posts

7 minutes ago, SugarHigh said:

Does your school have a policy regarding students carrying narcotics or medication in general? Ours is zero tolerance. They are suspended for an entire school year. That might be worth mentioning to the parent. 

They do have a policy but I have noted that enforcement seems to be an issue on various points around here. 

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NutmeggeRN has 25 years experience as a BSN and specializes in kids.

2 Followers; 5 Articles; 42,316 Visitors; 3,760 Posts

Holy Crapola!!!!

Ponder this, the implication of another child taking that kids meds and having an adverse reaction...oy...THAT'S what I would be advocating for not happening with my administration.

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RNTadaaaa has 13 years experience and specializes in Telemetry, Orthopedic, M Surg, School RN.

1,531 Visitors; 61 Posts

1 minute ago, BiscuitRN said:

So a parent is berating you for trying to give their child the best and safest care possible?  It sounds like you tried very hard to work with them, explain policies, explain why policies are in place, and get what the student needed to be properly cared for in school.  They let their elementary/middle school child carry NARCOTICS?!  Wow.  Let the parent talk.  Keep talking, keep insulting you for the diligent and consistent work you're doing to keep their child, and every other child, safe.

Yep. Sometimes I had to shake my head in amazement at the level of cognitive dissonance shown by the parents. I really did try to be as accommodating as possible. I tried to remember it has more to do with them than me. 

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing.

3 Followers; 8,267 Visitors; 2,287 Posts

Whilst waiting for @OldDude to chime in... (usually water off a duck's back): I am of two minds about this.

The kinder part of me would just document the pants off of all the attempts (not in the school chart) culminating with the back talk and verbal abuse leaving off student identifiers. I have an 8 1/2 x 11 legal notepad for just such occasions.

The I'm-so-done-with-this-shitake mushrooms-business part of me would write an email to your principal and your health services supervisor asking about "our liability in relation to a student who carries narcotics, which have street value."  And then dog on that until you got an answer from a lawyer person. The parent is not playing by the rules. Fine. Double down on the rules. You really do need a legal opinion or at least someone above your pay grade to consider what happens if that student is selling his/her medication or even if another student steals that medication. Because this stuff doesn't grow on trees and is hard to replace.

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BiscuitRN has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN.

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1 minute ago, ruby_jane said:

The parent is not playing by the rules. Fine. Double down on the rules. You really do need a legal opinion or at least someone above your pay grade to consider what happens if that student is selling his/her medication or even if another student steals that medication. Because this stuff doesn't grow on trees and is hard to replace.

Or what happens when a pill gets innocently dropped and a kindergartner picks it up and thinks it's a tic tac?  Is the school ready for that?  What if the student innocently gives one to his friend who is complaining that he hurt his leg in gym class?  What will the school tell those parents?  Or what do we do when the child is having a really bad pain day and can't remember if he took a pill already.  He takes a few too many and an ambulance must be called.  Who is liable?  The school!  The administration!  What's the plan then?

We've had 2 incidents this year where students have been found carrying controlled medications.  I've had to have this talk many times with adults who just didn't get it.

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