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Dealing with teachers

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by SassyTachyRN SassyTachyRN (Member)

SassyTachyRN has 4 years experience and specializes in Peds, Oncology.

6,396 Profile Views; 408 Posts

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How do you deal with teachers who second guess your opinion or who try to override you? Do you approach them personally? Go to the principal?

I'm new in my school this year... Let me tell you what happened today.. I had a 5th grader who came to me because "I fell asleep in class." I said why? He said "because I was up late watching a movie." I said well then you are not sick, just tired. Did some education on importance of sleep and sent him back to class. Teacher was upset that I didn't let him lay down to "sleep for a while." She called into the office and complained to them and told them she was sending the student back. It made me feel like I couldn't say no again. The admin. assist came in and said oh no, absolutely not, we did this all the time last year and it's not happening again. He sent him back to class. I am upset the teacher called the office to override my decision... The clinic is for sick children and children with daily medical needs... Cots are for rest of sick children only is my opinion...

Second situation... Kid with live lice. We have a no exclusion policy except in cases of extreme infestation. She had live lice yesterday teacher sent her down twice, I sent her back to class. This morning the assistant brought the child to me and said the teacher told her to bring the child to me. I said what for? She said she has lice crawling. I checked and saw 2. I even picked them out for good measure and flushed em. I sent her back to class. Teacher sent her three more times, insisting that I send the child home. I explained to her that our policy is not to exclude unless it's an extreme infestation.... I left at lunch to go to my other school so I have no idea if she brought the child down again.

So, while on the lice topic anyone have any good teaching resources? I have 4 kids with lice and my teachers are flipping out and there's all kinds of rumors circling the school. I even had a teacher dye her hair "so I don't get it too." I need to do some serious education with these teachers.

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coughdrop.2.go has 3 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in School Nursing, Public Health Nurse.

1 Article; 709 Posts; 12,853 Profile Views

OMG! Are you living my life right now?!!! Practically the SAME things are happening to me!

I'm a high school Nurse and this is how I handled the "sleepy" student. The student came in and said, "Mrs. So-and-so said I can sleep in your office." I asked why and they told me because they were falling asleep in class. I asked why they were tired....long story short: Facebook. Then I called the teacher and informed her the student was going back to class. She then informed me how busy she was and I'm the Nurse (like I didn't know) and I need to deal with it. I politely informed her that Yes I know I'm the nurse and I deal with the health and safety of students. Falling asleep in class is not a health or safety issue. It is a discipline issue. Also, that she does not have the authority to tell students what they can or cannot do in my office. I do not tell her how to teach and she doesn't tell me how to nurse. She wasn't very happy and instructed me to send the student to discipline then. I told her NO, it's your student and I will send him back to your class so you can send him to discipline. She hung up. I called the disciple office and VP to inform them of what just happened and sent him to class.

Then I had a PE teacher send me a student a little bit later. Student said, "Mr. So-and-so told me to lay down in your office for the remainder of the period because I have cramps". I informed her that stretching and running/walking is the best thing she could do for her cramps. If they are so bad she cannot walk around then she needs to go home. I sent her back to class with a note for the PE teacher informing him of what she needs to do and why I cannot and will not let students lay down unless they are vomiting and are waiting to be picked up.

The lice issue I'm still working out. My District policy says a student is to be excluded from school until the nits are gone. I have a student who the teachers are complaining about everyday about her nits and lice. I found one live lice on her in the past 2 weeks. I wasn't there today due to a conference, but I got an email about it from one of her teachers that "see" lice crawling all around her head and they are pushing the District policy to keep her out. I called in and let them know that if an administrator wants to send her home they are within their rights, but I would not because I know she's being treated (I smelt the shampoo and saw the kit mom brought). I will push the policy written by the State's Public Health Department, but I'll see where that gets me. Teacher's have this misnomer about lice and no matter how much education you give to them they won't change their perspective.

Also, dye does not kill lice.....The NASN has a great powerpoint to educate staff about lice. I sent it to her teachers, but I'm still getting the complaints. I wish you luck.

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JenTheSchoolRN is a BSN, RN and specializes in School nursing.

2,448 Posts; 23,438 Profile Views

^Ugh. A fellow nurse at my school had parents dye their child's hair vs. using lice shampoo (which the school provided after the family said they couldn't afford it). It was a struggle getting that family to use the shampoo, but as long as there were no live lice, she could be in school, per my school's policy. OP, hang in there and you get a ::hug:: from me.

Sigh...teachers. I have a lot of great ones that respect me and my nursing skills. Both of the principles and deans of students I work with are also awesome. But, there is always at least one notorious for sending kids down because it isn't a real health issue, they don't what to do with them. I'm firm in sending kids back up that do not need to be in my office and if I have trouble getting a student to go back up or one that is constantly sent down for not good health reason, I usually call a dean, principle, or the equally awesome student support team, depending on why the student is at my door.

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Morganalefey specializes in ccu.

125 Posts; 4,537 Profile Views

Maybe this isn't the right attitude, but when I get a sleepy kid, I call the parent and make it their problem.

I work in a school that is PreK-4th grade.

In my opinion, they aren't being productive when they are falling asleep in class. They aren't getting anything out of it, and they are a distraction to the other kids.

MOST of the time when I get a sleeper, it's a little one who is genuinely ill. Just this past week, I had a kid falling asleep in class. When I ask him why he's so tired, he tells me it's b/c he stayed up late watching scary movies and then was too scared to sleep. I called his mom to pick him up. She was mad. At him, and probably at me. But you know, she shouldn't have let an 8y/o watch those kinds of movies! Especially on a school night. That's just common sense.

ON that note, I'm jealous of your lice policy. Our policy is no-nits, and I hate it!!!! I've had probably 6-8 kids w/lice already this school year (and those are only the ones I know about!)

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KelRN215 has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pedi.

1 Article; 7,344 Posts; 67,649 Profile Views

The sleeping issue was the story of my life last year. I was working part-time in a high school. About half the students boarded at school. Kids would come in every day asking to lie down and the worst was when they would come and say "My teacher said I could come up here to rest." No, you can't- go back to class. If they were boarding students, we often knew in advance that they'd broken the lights out rule the night before and were caught staying up until all hours of the night. You decided to stay up until 4am so deal with being tired, you don't get to skip class because you made a bad decision. The use of the beds in the health center is at the discretion of the nurse and teachers should NOT be telling students what will happen once they arrive at the nurse's office.

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11,294 Posts; 76,425 Profile Views

So many misconceptions about lice. :rolleyes:

NASN | Lice Lessons

https://identify.us.com/idmybug/head-lice/head-lice-FAQS/index.html

It always cracks me up when someone says they see lice jumping and crawling all over quickly . . .

"Neither able to fly nor jump, lice are also unlikely to wander far from their preferred habitat."

It's hard to overcome the myths. But we have to stand strong.

As to the kids falling asleep in class, I've never had a teacher send one to me. They take care of that in their own classroom. And they call the parent.

It is hard to get teachers to see things our way but then it is hard for us to see things their way. I was told that when I first started as a school nurse. I try to cut them a little slack.

But the lice issue really does BUG me. ;)

Some of us have mentioned making the links to info about lice a sticky here on the school nurse thread. I've added a couple of older thread below.

https://allnurses.com/school-nursing/head-lice-794807.html

https://allnurses.com/school-nursing/nasty-parents-opportunity-793110.html

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5 Articles; 3,965 Posts; 33,860 Profile Views

those are the sources i'd refer to for lice. Teachers tend to come unhinged about lice. I try to remind them that the student has probably had lice for WEEKS it's just that we are identifying the problem today and requesting treatment and that as long as the student is not having head to head contact or sharing any hats, there is little to be concerned with. I will usually call a parent once the lice are found and give them the option - i'd say that 99% do come and pick up to get the treatment and process started right away.

As far as sleeping in class. My office is a no nap zone. (unless a kid is really sick, obviously) It's not my problem if a student stayed up texting or watching TV. I offer a splash of water to the face, maybe a quick drink and back to class. If they're so tired they can't function, they can go to the front office and discuss it with the admin.

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15 Posts; 1,346 Profile Views

I feel for you! Sometimes I think teachers think because you are the newbie, they can boss you around and tell you what to do as if they are "orienting" you to your position. Hang in there and stand your ground with a smile on your face :) The lice policy in my district is still the ancient no-nit policy....I have tried to get it changed, but apparently teacher and parent opinions hold more weight than the latest information from the CDC and Department of Health.

The first year at my district I messed up because I found an old letter that used to be sent out to parents when a classmate had lice and started sending those out when I found someone with lice. The teachers praised me for sending that out, saying the old nurse used to do that but then stopped....maybe that should have been a warning! It seemed harmless enough at first: please check and monitor your child for lice...if you find lice treat like this....etc.... After the same 3 students had lice for the 5th time that year, and the parents of the other students threw a fit at a board meeting, demanding the classrooms be sprayed, I quit sending home letters.

Last year, two of the same kids had lice again, over and over....I referred them to their PCP and the Health Dept. but to no avail. Teachers started coming to me asking for me to send the letter again....this time I gave them a copy of the letter and told them they could be in charge of sending it out, but it had to have their signature on it not mine, because I did not think it was necessary. I told them I could make one up that said "A classmate of your student has lice, has had lice and will probably always have lice, so be sure to check your child regularly for lice and treat as needed" because that was more factual. I did not have another complaint all year! Although this year I made it 3 days into the year before being asked to do head-checks again :/ grrr.

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167 Posts; 3,214 Profile Views

I have 3 students who have lice right now; apparently their sibling in elementary school has it and these 3 have a "mild case" of them ( i haven't seen them) I'm in HS so we don't get a lot of lice cases, and I don't do regular lice checks here like the elementary schools and middle school do. Anyway, the mother emailed all their teachers, including me, and said the kids would be missing a good deal of school and saying her oldest daughter was extremely upset to be missing so much school, and also to please try to protect their privacy about it.

She then called me to see what our lice policy is. Here they have to stay home if they have live lice and be treated. After treatment they come back in and I check them. They can stay in school if they have nits. The district does NOT send out letters when a student has lice. I told the mother that they probably won't be missing as much school as she thinks. She was happy to hear that, everything is all well and good. Fast forward...

All their teachers are freaking out. Sending me lists of students that the kids are friends with, their boyfriends, etc. Asking if they personally should be concerned since they worked so closely with the student. I've had to do so much education (aka damage control lol). They are also shocked we don't send letters.

As a new school nurse, I struggle with standing up to faculty and staff who try to tell me how to provide nursing or clinical care. I've found a lot of them FREAK out over injuries (except the gym teachers, thank god for them in the building). I often find my role is just to be the "calm presence" in the overly tense situation. I've had an asst principal FREAK out over a teacher who fell on their wrist and yell why we weren't calling EMS and saying it was an emergency. Because it wasn't an emergency... we're not calling 911. Her husband came and took her to urgent care lol

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877 Posts; 12,389 Profile Views

I love (wink, wink) when the non medical professionals in the building try to get in the middle of me and a student who is hurt and try to assess them and decide what's wrong and the proper care. Seriously I know you just want to help but this is what I am here for...

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167 Posts; 3,214 Profile Views

i also love when they outright say "i assessed the student and..." or whatever. I wanna be like well only RNs can actually assess... lol

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565 Posts; 6,168 Profile Views

What really irks me is when they diagnose. Hello! If I can't diagnose, you sure CANNOT. Every itchy head is lice, every itchy eye is conjunctivitis, every pain is a fracture, every sneeze is the flu, every cough is TB.

Staff is the worst part of the job! Even worse than parents.

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