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Elementary Burn Out

Specializes in Ortho, Neuro, Trauma, Clinic, School.

Hello New and Old. I haven't been on in about a year or so. I am still a school nurse hopefully with only 5-6 years to go if I choose. I recently went elementary from middle/HS kids because of location. It's 600 PK-5 with just myself. At first I got 30 on average a day but now with the cold/flu season I crept up to 62 today and I am so burnt out. Even with reflecting on 20 years of past hospital exp. I found myself wondering about doing something else. I couldn't eat 30 minutes or go to the restroom for hearing 3 or 4 walk in with passes with either vomit, fever or wet pants. Man, what did I get myself into? Counting 7 months to go. I need some encouragement.:yes: I think my elem is the worst out of the 8 with others seeing only about 25. The principal is young and not concerned it seems so the teachers over-

send to protect themselves they say.

I have a comparable sized elementary school, also PreK-5, and 36 has been my highest single day this year. If that's your daily, you need to intervene with the teachers and PRONTO. That is ridiculous.

Flare, ASN, BSN

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

Teachers may want to "protect themselves" but from what? germs?? parents being mad that their kid wasn't allowed to come to the clinic because they have been coughing for the past 3 days?? I like to take a moment when i see these teachers to offer them bandaids and packets of lipbalm for the classroom and cheerfully tell them it will cut down on interruptions in their instruction. That starts the message going... and i build from there

JenTheSchoolRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in School nursing.

Teachers may want to "protect themselves" but from what? germs?? parents being mad that their kid wasn't allowed to come to the clinic because they have been coughing for the past 3 days?? I like to take a moment when i see these teachers to offer them bandaids and packets of lipbalm for the classroom and cheerfully tell them it will cut down on interruptions in their instruction. That starts the message going... and i build from there

YES. I put first aid kits in all the classrooms that include bandaids, gauze, lip balm, alcohol wipes, and most importantly a few pads and tampons. Because #1 visit to my office? Needing a pad and/or tampon (I work with teens). Now, I do deal with several students on free/reduced lunch, so I know that may be regularly stocked at home and my boss supports me stocking it, but if I put in the kit, then easy access vs. more lost instruction for teacher to send my way.

Glolilly, If it helps at all, I am in my 3rd year of K-5 with just over 600 students. The first year, I would see anywhere from 30-60 students a day. Now I am happy to report an average day is about 25. (More some days, less others.) I think in the beginning, the kids are testing you. For me they are learning when/if they will be sent home and when they won't.

I agree with others that it makes sense to have band aids etc. in the classrooms. It cuts down on visits for paper cuts, etc.

I do understand. I see more students on a given day than the other elementary schools in our district. But we also have the neediest population. ( Many disadvantaged students.) It can be frustrating to know i am seeing 2-3x the students that the other nurses are. How does your school compare demographically to the others?

I work at a school with 5th and 6th graders (950 students) and average 45-80 visits a day. 19 of them are daily meds. The elementary schools in my district see about 1/2 of what I do. We have very few subs available and some of them refuse to come to my building because of the workload

I have an elementary school of 500 + an out of district preschool with another 30 or so. About 3 weeks ago, I got 48 visits. It was on a day I had a child come to my office unable to breath. So I was trying to assess his horrible wheeze while 5 kids with belly aches were whining about what they wanted. I sent out an email the next day explaining exactly what I can and cannot do.

Basically I told them to stop sending every belly ache. I cannot tell you how many times I had kids report that their belly aches "just started." Really??? I pointed out that the time these kids sit in my office is time they miss instruction which the teachers may then have to make up. A child can sit in my office with a belly ache or in the classroom with a belly ache. At least he'll learn something in the classroom! I also pointed out that I do not need to see every little bump. I literally had kids coming in because a book fell on their fingers. If they can move the finger and there is no bruise, the student is probably just fine! That really decreased the visits.

There are some students whose parents want them assessed by the nurse for everything. I get that and I discuss that with the teachers. I don't want teachers getting a hard time because a parent feel their little angel should have seen the nurse over a stubbed toe (since my x-ray vision can tell if there is a fracture, sprain, etc). But we can't assume every parent is going to get mad about silly things!

rbytsdy, Good call. I think for the teachers I work with they are FREAKED about the thought of a child puking in class. They send every little stomach ache to see me. More often than not it's gas or constipation.

I get a lot in to see me after lunch/recess. Sometimes it's just that they don't want to go back to instructional time, others have a wandering fart, whatever. My feeling is if they are well enough to play at recess, they are well enough to sit in class.

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