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Do you make appointments?

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by SwirlyGreenMom SwirlyGreenMom (New) New

My principal is insisting that the teachers call and make appointments with me. Does anyone else do this? I find it difficult to answer my phone constantly while trying to attend to the kids. I understand she is trying to deter teachers and also help with the flow, but guaranteed an asthma attack comes in and backs everything up. Any suggestions on scheduling headaches and stomach aches and how to make this efficient? Thanks!

Eleven011

Specializes in Home Health,Dialysis, MDS, School Nurse. Has 20+ years experience.

This sounds like a nightmare to me. Unless I had a secretary to answer the constant phone calls and mark down the who's and what's of the appt, I'd hate it. Students show up when they show up, its part of the job. I have had the occasional teacher call and ask " are you busy? Suzie has (insert silly complaint) but she can wait until you have time". And I do appreciate that, but I don't expect it.

I don't see how that would work. There are some days when I can't get 5 minutes to answer/return calls. sorry I don't have any suggestions. I agree with above poster, students show up whenever - just part of the job.

kidzcare

Has 5 years experience.

No, just like they do not take appointments in the ER. This is an unrealistic expectation.

OyWithThePoodles, RN

Specializes in Med-surg, school nursing.. Has 10 years experience.

Agree with everyone about. If the teacher can schedule a time for their student to come in (and it may be 15 minutes later) then they don't really need to come.

I would think a written pass would suffice. No pass? No nurse. It puts the "extra" on the teacher to write the pass and I saw a massive decline in visits when I started requiring passes from my problem classroom. You cannot be answering constant phone calls! That's absurd.

WineRN

Specializes in NCSN. Has 4 years experience.

I would think a written pass would suffice. No pass? No nurse. It puts the "extra" on the teacher to write the pass and I saw a massive decline in visits when I started requiring passes from my problem classroom. You cannot be answering constant phone calls! That's absurd.

^ This is what we started pushing when I started. When I sent out the reminder email at the start of the year I got a few snarky comments ("so you REALLY need a pass for (insert FF here) EVERY time?") but once I sent a few back because of no pass, things got better

I agree with the pass idea. You would need a full time secretary with an appointment book! Plus, if they can wait for an appointment, they can wait till they get home.

moreoreo

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 3 years experience.

I have imagined to myself before that it would be nice if teachers could "schedule" appointments for those non-urgent visits like "headache that started 5 minutes ago" or "arm started hurting while writing" (mostly to deter these visits coming in while I have my hands full with meds/scheduled nursing care/RECESS... or to make the teacher think twice about sending at all) but I agree with everyone that it wouldn't actually work. Those that can be scheduled should not necessarily be coming to begin with and you know the one that gets pushed off is going to be the one that actually has a fever, etc.

I think having an appointment schedule could actually defeat the purpose and make it seem that you are just sitting around waiting for appointment requests to come in/teachers know you have X number of slots they can fill, that kind of thing. I am not sure what your health office's circumstances are--mine sees easily 3-7 times as many as the other elementary school in my district and I am talking with our principal about ways to try to cut down on visits, but for us it's more a matter of identifying "Frequent flyers" early on to try to communicate with teachers and students to identify ways to not come so much to the health office. And my supervisor is going to talk to the teachers about legitimate reasons to send.

brillohead, ADN, RN

Specializes in Cardio-Pulmonary; Med-Surg; Private Duty. Has 5 years experience.

I am not sure what your health office's circumstances are--mine sees easily 3-7 times as many as the other elementary school in my district and I am talking with our principal about ways to try to cut down on visits, but for us it's more a matter of identifying "Frequent flyers" early on to try to communicate with teachers and students to identify ways to not come so much to the health office. And my supervisor is going to talk to the teachers about legitimate reasons to send.

Someone posted an idea here a while back that sounds like it would help with things like this. It was a pre-printed pass where the teacher had to check off the box for the reason for the visit (with a list of the legitimate reasons) and also fill in a little line about when symptoms started / extenuating circumstances / etc. (Also helpful to know if Little Suzie Snowflake's tummy ache was fine during recess and art, then flared up when it was time for the spelling test.)

You could also include a list of things that are NOT handled by your office (knot in shoelaces, mud on clothing, etc.) as a reminder that those things can and should be handled in the classroom.

Maybe someone remember who originally posted the pre-printed health office pass???

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

If you're going with an appointment, take it a step further and charge a co-pay. Guarantees fewer visits...

Thanks for the feedback! I was very skeptical, but so far so good this week. I'm going to do it her way for the first couple of weeks and go back to her with a little more info, suggestions, and data (showing her I tried). The teachers have been pretty great about it, and I honestly think it has cut down on visits....we'll see. Apparently one high school in my district and a few other middle schools in my district already do appointments, so talking with them has been helpful.

I passed out a reference sheet called "The 8 B's": Blood, Bones/breaks, burns, brain, burning up, Barf/bowels, breathing, "bonafide"....still get every sore throat. :-)

Windchaser22

Specializes in School nurse. Has 5 years experience.

I use passes. If every teacher called me first I'd probably accidentally on purpose break my phone.