Elementary vs. Middle School Nursing

Posted
by icepackstat icepackstat, BSN, RN (New) New Nurse

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 8 years experience.

My elementary is adding pre K for 3 year olds.  I am not sure I have the temperament for that many wet clothes.  The added vaccines and screenings also might put me on tilt.  I am thinking about an opening in middle school.  Please stop me now if this is a bad idea!

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 30 years experience. 2,776 Posts

Give me the littles over the middles any day. I describe middles as "losing the cuteness and gaining the attitudes." (Of course there are exceptions...)

k1p1ssk, BSN, RN

Specializes in pediatrics, school nursing. Has 11 years experience. 661 Posts

Our Pre-K Staff are expected to take care of ADLs for their students. So if a student is incontinent, I am only involved if it is perceived as an illness issue. The age group can be challenging, but I agree with the above Littles over Middles any day of the week! Others may feel the opposite, though!

Bulldogs

Bulldogs, CNA, EMT-B

Has 5 years experience. 114 Posts

I currently serve special education, prek-3 thruough the 12th grade give me all the littles all the time!!

RatherBHiking, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Oncology, OB, School Nurse. Has 30 years experience. 1 Article; 538 Posts

I had prek- 5 for over 10 yrs. The prek aides almost always took care of the accidents but there was a lot more immunizations to check.
 

 I got tired of the grade school issues: more bathroom accidents in all the younger grades, teachers asking me to check kids because they looked funny or felt hot, the over the top parents who were either shocked they had to pick up a sick kid or mad because their baby stubbed a toe and you didn’t call them, kids who just puke at the drop of a hat all over themselves and the floor, asking a thousand questions to figure out the problem, etc. And lice uggh!
 

I decided to try middle school a couple years ago and it’s a wonderful change. The good: I don’t have to help kids clean up after accidents. If we have a special needs child that has an accident they have an aide. 99% of the pukers manage to hit a trash can or toilet. They are old enough to joke with and they can tell you what’s wrong easily. I rarely see lice because they will take care of it at home because they’re embarrassed. The parents are more chill by now. The kids can help me reach parents if I can’t because most have cell phones they can go grab! The teachers don’t baby them either. Also we only have them 3 years which is great sometimes!! 
The bad: The kids this age lie more easily. They have more panic attacks, get in fights, bully each other, etc. However we have a wonderful counselor who is very involved and a school resource officer and an assistant principal in addition to the regular principal so I don’t have to deal with a lot of that. The kids are pretty nice to me because if they give me attitude they definitely won’t get to go home and they get a visit to the principal. High school is much worse on that end. I can flat out call them out if I think they are lying or see they haven’t been here much or are failing. Puke doesn’t automatically mean you go home and they now know that. We do have more cramps, headaches and worse gym injuries but no playground injuries to also contend with!! 
 

My only regret is I didn’t do it sooner! 

kunaspud

kunaspud

73 Posts

I agree! I'm lovin my sassy middle schoolers. They know their teacher's names and their parents phone numbers. They know if it is a stomach ache or nausea. And they don't cry if you give them sass right back. I feel like I can have conversations instead of comfort sessions. They don't need me as often for injuries but if they do, it is usually worse than I have seen at the elementary. Depends on your temperament. But I love my middles.

grammy1

grammy1

420 Posts

I did one year in an elementary and it was okay. I was then moved to a Jr. High School and spent 15 years there. I LOVED it.

They're mouthy, don't know where they're headed in life, sometimes need comforted like the littles and at other times wouldn't be caught dead asking for help. I loved working with my Type 1's and being able to help and teach them. More injuries and actual first aid at this level than with the littles too.

You can actually carry on fairly adult conversations, they know what is going on and what they need. As someone else said, they almost always hit the trash can when vomiting....that's a huge plus. I wouldn't have ever traded Jr. High to go back to the littles.  All that being said....I'm enjoying retirement even more.

JenTheSchoolRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in School nursing. 3,021 Posts

I mostly work with grades 7-12. And I love them. MS kids are the most challenging, but honestly, also the most rewarding. Puberty is such an awkward time, and it is phase where kids can be, well, let's be honest, just kinda jerks. But most of them get past it in time.

I love this age because they start to truly understand and appreciate sarcasm. Oh and I teach sex ED to grades 6-8 - and I truly love that experience!

The littles aren't my scene, as cute as they might be. The school I'm at starts at grade 5, which is great for me. (We have one building grades 5 and 6, another grades 7-12 - my office is in the 7-12 building.)  

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 30 years experience. 2,776 Posts

So far, the responses seem to be more in favor of MS.

That's great, 'cause it means more jobs available in ES! ?

BettyGirard

BettyGirard, BSN

Specializes in School Nurse. 152 Posts

I've taught at all three levels.    I'll stick with high school.   The one thing about middle school is that you'll never be around so many people who know everything as when you're there.

 

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 30 years experience. 2,776 Posts

2 hours ago, BettyGirard said:

I've taught at all three levels.    I'll stick with high school.   The one thing about middle school is that you'll never be around so many people who know everything as when you're there.

 

Hmmm. Staff or students?

lifelearningrn, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 8 years experience. 2,524 Posts

Nope, I love my PK-5th graders. Way too much drama in middle school.