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Do you keep clothes in your office?


Has 25 years experience.

I'm sorry, I'm sure that this has been addressed before.

I had a girl come in yesterday about 15 years old, overweight and wearing TIGHT pants. You could see everything. And I don't think that was the look she was after. She wasn't sent to me, she came down for ice.

I know she is lower income and may not have appropriate clothes. I did talk to a SW about it, and she said the old nurse had clothes in her office.

Um...whose? Should I bring clothes in?

And how would you broach it- with the parent?

Edited by Farawyn


Specializes in Pediatrics Retired.

When I took over this job 13 years ago there were enough clothes packed into filing cabinets to stock a Salvation Army outpost. I'd go rifling through all that stuff, finally find something to fit, and then get a "I DON'T LIKE THAT." I got out of the clothing business immediately. Parents can send extra clothes in the kid's back packs or come to school to change them in cases of potty accidents, bloody noses, spilled milk, playground mud, dog poop, etc. etc.....


Specializes in School Nurse, Pediatrics, Surgical.

I agree. We have a very limited amount of clothing but they get lost and we spend so much time searching. Some of this is parent responsibilities and I really try not to be an enabler! Although I am on maternity leave for the rest of the year so I am slightly afraid what changes I will come back to! :/

Edited by Rubor

Wave Watcher

Specializes in Community Health/School Nursing. Has 7 years experience.

I do not keep clothes in my clinic. Our guidance counselor keeps items in her office and handles any situations where clothing is needed. I also do not allow children who have wet/soiled their clothing to sit in my office. I realize this is not your situation. I have to put down rules and stick by them or before I know it teachers will be calling me to the classroom to clean up poop/pee. Not doing it. I just don't have the time.

I do keep a small selection of clothing, mostly in the most frequent potty accident sizes. My PTA parents bring me their hand-me-downs. I dont have much in my big kid sizes (5th-6th grade) though - for that I'd have to call parents most likely.


Specializes in ED, School Nurse.

We have a " Closet" that accepts donations of clothing, shoes, school supplies, water bottles, etc. If a kids needed a change of clothes for any reason, I would use the "closet". I work in a rural, low income area so the "closet" gets used quite a bit by kids in need. I don't have room to store extra clothes in various sizes in my office, and luckily, I haven't had to use the "closet" for anyone yet, but I know it's there if I need it.

My situation is a lot like amnesiac1c's. I get donations from various parents and staff when their kids outgrow it, but that is ONLY for bodily fluids on clothing AND when the parents can't come in to bring clothes for the kid. Mud, water, milk, etc - sorry Charlie! It's not spreading diseases, you can tough it out or have your teacher call mom.

I send home a note saying "please wash and return clothes" but get about 40% returned only. So I definitely don't try to keep it fully stocked for the whole school, and kids who complain about not liking the clothes get shut down real fast.

Flare, ASN, BSN

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

i keep some clothes here. mostly hand me downs from my own daughter's closet and a few of the teachers and a few things left in the gym lockers at the end of the year. The result is that i currently have clothing and underwear changes for children (girls) smaller than my daughter (who is big for her age of 6), i have some t shirts and gym shorts for the older kids and some various other clothing. I tend not to have anything for little boys, as parents usually don't want their little boy sent home in cinderella underpants. But i'm faced with the same issue - clothing lent out does not make its way back. so i figure once it's gone, it's gone. Of the clothing i weed out of my daughter's hand me down's, i do TRY to pick out more unisex type t shirts and pants that could be worn by either in a pinch. But people still have the false notion that I run a small satellite Gap Kids store out of my office and that I should have everything at my disposal at all times.

JenTheSchoolRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in School nursing.

The clothing closet is right outside my office and I manage it. Student wear uniforms and the closet has hand-me-downs/donations from parents, with the occasional purchased clothing items. I work with several lower income students and give out clothing more times than I wish I had to. We have a fund for this because the need is that great.

I also stock new underwear in my office; I work with MS/HS kids and have had a LOT of period accidents this year. Calling home for a change of clothes/underwear can be frustrating and embarrassing and after I had to send yet another student home/couldn't reach a parent because no one could deliver a change of clothes/underwear (and it was student that could not afford that absence), I got a green light to purchase underwear for my office.


Has 25 years experience.

Thanks, all, for your replies. I think this is more of a social issue. She literally was showing everyhting and it was not intentional. It was income/ situational.

I like the underpants for the periods, I will put that in my budget.

The other I will have to ponder. I just felt so bad for this girl. I wanted to take her home and slap some big baggy sweats on her.

Edited by Farawyn

Red Kryptonite

Specializes in hospice. Has 3 years experience.

Goodwill has 50% off everything on some Saturdays. I bet you could get quite a bit for not much money by being strategic.

coughdrop.2.go, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing, Public Health Nurse. Has 3 years experience.

Our discipline office keeps a stack of old PE uniforms and other donated items we use for students who violate dress code or have accidents (mostly bloody noses or period accidents) and their parents can't bring them a change of clothes. The school also will put discipline marks if the student does not return the clothes.

I have pre-K (3) through 3rd grade in my school so I do have some clothing. I came in half way through last year and there was an expectation from teachers that I would simply re-cloth a child who wet himself or spilled milk all over himself. I write NURSE in huge letters all over the clothes but I still get very little back. I guess people think it's disposable clothing. Now I call parents for a change of clothing. If I can't get a hold of a parent or if the parent can't get to school in a reasonable amount of time, I will use the clothes I have in the office. it's very annoying though. I usually have 2-5 "accidents" a day.

mc3, ASN, RN

Has 12 years experience.

I have pre-K through 5th grade. I do keep some extra clothes, but people keep bringing in more which I wish they wouldn't do. I"ll give out clothes for the smaller kids who have "accidents", but if it happens alot with the same child I will call home and ask them to send in some extras to keep in the child's backpack.

This drives me crazy - the older ones coming up because they spilled milk/water/juice or whatever. Sorry, get a wet paper towel and dry yourself off. I'm not the mall!!!

I really would like to just get rid of everything, and parents would be responsible for providing extra but I know that will never happen............

mc3 :cat:

Flare, ASN, BSN

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

i have to say though - i read this article and the first thing that crossed my mind was, "i'll bet they at least get them back"

Education World: Unbelievable School Decisions: Kids Don Prison Jumpsuits

i've thought about purchasing some scrubs in various sizes and sending the child home with a note explaining that the clothing needs to be washed and returned or the student account will be charged (like they do with the library books). I do think the prison jumpsuits are a bit extreme... and besides they don't make them small enough for the kindergarteners ;)


Specializes in Emergency Department; Neonatal ICU. Has 5 years experience.

Oh I don't mean to derail the thread but I misread the title and thought the question was "Do you keep your clothes on in the office?" I thought, well this will be interesting....

Seriously, I like Flare's idea of having an inventory and a notification to parents that their account will be charged if they don't return them.


Has 25 years experience.

I keep clothes ON everywhere. :/

I keep clothes ON everywhere. :/

You're a nevernude too? ;)