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Charter School Dilemma

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I sent this inquiry to Nurse Beth, not realizing I could post here for advice. OOPS! I work in a very poor socioeconomically charter school. K-8th) Many times a student requires to go home. After trying 4-5 phone numbers, most of which are all disconnected etc... So the sick student winds up lying on cot in nurses office. I only have one cot and I will never be authorized for a second cot. Subsequently, this one sick student takes up the cot, with others coming in that may need to lie down. Sometimes these students are here for 2-3-4 hrs. This makes another sick student just sitting in a chair in my office, or going to secretary for them to sit there. One parent actually told me to let student walk home, because its one block away! WHAAAAAAAAT!? Any advice will be appreciated to this matter. Thank you all!

mc3, ASN, RN

Has 12 years experience.

I would get the school SW and/or guidance counselor involved. Our SW will drive by the parent's home on occasion to see if they're home, and tell them their child is sick at school. I've also called the non-emergency 911 number for the police to do a well person check if I can't get anyone and it's really serious. Call 911 if needed. Oh, and sometimes our SW will use her work cell phone to call home. Parents who see the school calling will sometimes ignore it but pick up if they don't know the number. I've also asked my AP to call, sometimes a stern-worded call from them helps too. It's a very frustrating problem! We are not a babysitting service, despite what some parents want to believe. Good luck!

mc3 :nurse:

FloridaBeagle

Specializes in Peds, Neuro, Orthopedics. Has 3 years experience.

I've sent some kids back to class because no one will pick them up. They end up putting their head on their desk all day, or sleeping on the floor. We have lots of parents with no cars who depend on the school bus to get their kid back and forth, so baring an ambulance ride, that's the only way they're leaving school grounds.

One cot isn't enough, though. Do you have a budget to buy another one? Maybe the principal can keep that in mind as this is the time of year they're planning next year's budget.

Also, our policy is that 7th grade and older can walk home. Of course, I only let them walk if I think they will make it home and weather isn't a factor.

JenTheSchoolRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in School nursing.

Also, our policy is that 7th grade and older can walk home. Of course, I only let them walk if I think they will make it home and weather isn't a factor.

Another charter school nurse here. I have the same above policy (I work with grades 7-12). I actually created a form that parents can sign that allows me to dismiss a student home sick on their own after I have reached a parent and deemed they are safe/not too sick to get themselves home. I created this form after I was calling parents, getting the "I can't pick my child up/no car/etc" and having a very miserable kid in my office and/or making the decision to send that child back to class and risk further germ spread. I've worked out deals with parents sending a taxi for their children (with written permission, taxi called and sent by parent).

I also have one cot; I could buy another, but I actually have no additional room for any more in my office, so it's a moot point.

I've had - as I know several of us have - that one sick kid whose parents left no working numbers, ignore VMs, have no alternate contacts. Poor student is definitely feeling miserable, lying on my cot for 4+ hours. I loop in admin, who are awesome, and they are trying everything to reach a parent.

But the one trick I try with kids with cell phones; typically kids are not allowed to use cell phones in school. But I let them in my office if I've exhausted everything else and bingo! Suddenly I have a working number and a parent on the phone...magic, I tell you! With the younger ones that don't have a cell phone and can't get themselves home...I know, it's so very frustrating.

At our Jr. High students may walk home with parental consent. Many don't have any transportation to pick their child up. Police in this area will stop the kids if they see them out and about during school hours, so we have an off-campus pass that they're given, then they call us to let us know they made it home safely.

FloridaBeagle

Specializes in Peds, Neuro, Orthopedics. Has 3 years experience.

But the one trick I try with kids with cell phones; typically kids are not allowed to use cell phones in school. But I let them in my office if I've exhausted everything else and bingo! Suddenly I have a working number and a parent on the phone...magic, I tell you! With the younger ones that don't have a cell phone and can't get themselves home...I know, it's so very frustrating.

I forgot that one! Yeah, if my phone call doesn't work I ask the kids to text their parents my number and voila!!! Like magic. I think the schools have too many robocalls, causing parents to ignore any number starting in XYZ (school-based numbers).