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Boy/Girl Who Cried WOLF Syndrome

School   (4,689 Views 38 Comments)
by Jedrnurse Jedrnurse, BSN, RN (Member) Member Nurse

Jedrnurse has 25 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in school nurse.

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Hey, does anyone else get a little sloppy sometimes re: complaints of frequent flyers? I find myself going on auto-pilot more and more when being faced with my 99th "I feel like I'm gonna throw up." (Conveniently timed for math class of course)

Sometimes I worry about minimizing the complaints of these snowflakes too much and missing the real deal if it ever happens. Worse, I'm worried about the laissez-faire attitude slipping over to the other kids who may not come often but present with similar chief complaints.

Thoughts?

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MrNurse(x2) has 28 years experience as a ADN and specializes in IMC, school nursing.

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That is a valid concern. I have gotten to the point where I just defer to the parents. I am upfront with the multitude of complaints in the past, but don't want to dismiss their complaints in case this time it is reaL Nausea I treat differently, I offer TUMS (I have a protocol signed by an M.D.) and send them back to class with a bucket. Come back if you hurl, otherwise have a great day. I have the same fear as you, and that's why I always let the parent know.

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zombieghoast has 2 years experience.

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I will only send students home if they have any symptoms that will warrant them to go home. Anything with nausea I give the student a cup of water and have them sit by a trash can. I have a frequent flyer complain of not feeling well all the time and over one weekend he had his appendix removed. I dodged a bullet on that one.

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SnowyJ has 28 years experience as a RN.

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Come back if you hurl, otherwise have a great day.

SHIRT!

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Farawyn has 25 years experience and specializes in A little bit of everything..

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Hey, does anyone else get a little sloppy sometimes re: complaints of frequent flyers? I find myself going on auto-pilot more and more when being faced with my 99th "I feel like I'm gonna throw up." (Conveniently timed for math class of course)

Sometimes I worry about minimizing the complaints of these snowflakes too much and missing the real deal if it ever happens. Worse, I'm worried about the laissez-faire attitude slipping over to the other kids who may not come often but present with similar chief complaints.

Thoughts?

Yes. I agree. Especially with the HS kids, where we can be a little snarky, my temptation is to sometimes tell the FF to "hit the road", and 99.9% of the time, I probably cam.

It's that teensy little 0.1% that holds me back. I've been a nurse for 23 years. If you allow for that 0.1% it WILL come back to bite you in the ass.

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Keepstanding has 10 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in School Nursing.

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The Crying Wolf kid is a hard one to figure out. I have been told so many tales by kids who swear they are really sick, crying, shaking, etc.. Then when I send them back to the class to pack up, they come skipping back to the clinic and are all smiles and chatty. Hmm...

Once they know Mommy is on her way to come pick them up, then they are "in like Flynn" !! I usually let them know that they might have fooled me this time, but next time I won't be so believing. They just give me that blank stare.

So I am very cautious to send everyone home. Most times I do defer to the parent and a lot of the time the mother will say......not gonna happen....they knew I was going to be home all day today and they told me that you would be calling me !! When the parent confirms that little snowflake is not sick and to return them back to class....then I feel validated.

I'm sure there will be that "one" kid who seems good, but then spikes a fever or hurls all over the clinic floor......in which case, I will most definitely feel guilty !!

It's a hard call. You can never go wrong by calling the parent. There is often a story that goes along with this behaviour and it's good to know that.

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MrNurse(x2) has 28 years experience as a ADN and specializes in IMC, school nursing.

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Once they know Mommy is on her way to come pick them up, then they are "in like Flynn" !! I usually let them know that they might have fooled me this time, but next time I won't be so believing. They just give me that blank stare.

Why we have a quiet house rule if one of ours stays home. No electronics at all. They may read, sleep, stare out the window, but that's it. The other threat is they will be stuck in my office with me all day on a cot.

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OldDude specializes in Pediatrics.

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I think it's a universal SN syndrome but it's something to be aware of. I deal with. I also get reality slaps when I, with rolling eyes, ask the kid, "OK what is bothering you today??!!" and he has a temp 104. :banghead:

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566 Posts; 6,221 Profile Views

I had a situation a few years ago where I knew there was something legit with a very frequent flier. I had a very hard time convincing mom though. She called me the next day and sure enough appendicitis. She was in tears that she did not believe him but thanked me profusely that I pushed her.

In the end, it only took a cursory glance at him on my part to see he was ill - no in depth assessment. However, it did teach me a lesson about not writing off a kids complaints.

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Whispera is a MSN, RN and specializes in psych, addictions, hospice, education.

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I used to get nauseous before tests, and have been known to hurl too...

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Jensmom7 has 36 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Hospice.

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Back when I worked Peds, one of my coworkers was talking about how her daughter would trot out the Drama Llama whenever she had to eat peas. Crying, gagging, hurling, the full show. Mom, being an experienced Peds nurse just snorted and told the kid to knock it off and eat her peas.

Turns out the kid is violently allergic. To peas. As my coworker said, "Who in the world is allergic to frickin' PEAS??"

To quote Roseanne Roseannadanna, "It's always something." Just when you think you've seen it all, some little booger snot will throw you a curve ball.

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I have absolutely the same worries that you do. I'm still looking for that compromise. I still do my assessment but I always feel like I'm having the wool pulled over my eyes by the little buggers. :p

I think dealing with the fakers is jut the cost for making sure you don't miss anything.

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