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"Heating Pads"

School   (1,666 Views 34 Comments)
by CanIcallmymom CanIcallmymom (Member)

CanIcallmymom has 4 years experience .

707 Visitors; 241 Posts

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Is anyone else a grinch about them? I don't feel like they are truly necessary here 99.9% of the time... I am asked for them about 5 times/day, so I recently started telling people no. I feel it's excessive. The one's that come get them also think they need them every single day of their menstrual cycle each month, so it seems like a vicious cycle and I'm trying to cut down on some unnecessary visits. I have even had teachers asking for them... Is it awful to phase them out completely?

Curious on everyone else's thoughts. 

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BunnyBunnyBSNRN has 13 years experience as a ASN, BSN and works as a School Nurse.

1 Follower; 13,251 Visitors; 820 Posts

We have one because we have two SCD students.  Other than that, we don't use it. 

Edited by BunnyBunnyBSNRN

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k1p1ssk has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a school nurse.

3,964 Visitors; 203 Posts

I have a love/hate relationship with them. In one sense, I agree with you - for a lot of "ailments", they don't do anything BUT with those kids, it can also serve as a distraction from whatever psycho-somatic complaint they have. A lot of my teachers have their own in their rooms and the kids know they can use them for whatever if needed.

And I honestly like it when a kid comes in and just asks for the heat pack because hey, if you know that's going to make you feel better or get you through math, more power to you. I still do an assessment to make sure nothing is awry, but I feel like a huge part of our jobs is teaching coping mechanisms, and some kids just need a tangible "fix" whether or not it will actually do anything for their discomfort.

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OyWithThePoodles has 10 years experience as a RN and works as a Registered Nurse.

1 Follower; 11,681 Visitors; 1,250 Posts

I'm in elementary so I don't have too many with cramps, but I do let a kiddo lay on one if they have an earache and the ear is red. 

If you have that many coming for one though I would probably consider doing away with them.

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NurseBorg has 21 years experience as a BSN and works as a School Nurse.

66 Visitors; 5 Posts

I use rice filled socks that I heat up in the microwave and allow them to be used for 5-10 minutes in the clinic and then it's back to class.

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Eleven011 has 20+ years experience and works as a School Nurse.

14,644 Visitors; 1,108 Posts

I don't have the regular "plug in" type heating pads.  If I get asked for one, my ice packs are hot/cold, so I can heat up one of those in my microwave.  But I rarely do this.   

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3,632 Visitors; 446 Posts

I don't have them at all. I don't even have have those instant ones.

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1,989 Visitors; 189 Posts

I removed the heating pad from my office at the start of the year. I come from a hospital setting, and heating pads were not allowed on the floor (med/surg-tele) due to risk for injury/burns (we would use warm compresses if needed).   I felt that if that rule were good enough for a level 2 hospital, it was good enough for my health office. Also, offering a heating pad requires that the student will need to lie down for 15-30 minutes for effectiveness, and the pain will return when they remove the pad; my thinking is that if the pain is that intense/persistent then they need to go home. I have had this happen once this year, with a middle-schooler with intense menstrual cramps. Otherwise, first line in my office is ibu and water. 

The only person that has ever asked me about the heating pad is the sub nurse who is also a parent at the school; she had previously let girls lie with the heating pad to treat cramps. If it's not available, the kids seem to make do. 

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23,297 Visitors; 2,436 Posts

I let girls with cramps use them, but never in my office. They take them to class and return them at lunch or after school. As a gal who had very severe menstrual cramps in MS/HS (and I powered through because I hated missing school), I realize that heat doesn't last forever, but does sometimes help with that hump before the ibuprofen kicks in.

Return rate is ~80% this year and I don't use very expensive or large ones for this reason. Students that don't return packs can lose the privilege of borrowing one; I tend to remember those that don't return ;).

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1,373 Visitors; 291 Posts

I have never had heating pads.

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CanIcallmymom has 4 years experience.

707 Visitors; 241 Posts

40 minutes ago, JenTheSchoolRN said:

I let girls with cramps use them, but never in my office. They take them to class and return them at lunch or after school. As a gal who had very severe menstrual cramps in MS/HS (and I powered through because I hated missing school), I realize that heat doesn't last forever, but does sometimes help with that hump before the ibuprofen kicks in.

Return rate is ~80% this year and I don't use very expensive or large ones for this reason. Students that don't return packs can lose the privilege of borrowing one; I tend to remember those that don't return ;).

My problem with letting them take them is they will go heat them up on their own in the cafeteria. Those microwaves are the big, high powered ones that dissolve my hot packs. And I've spent probably 150 on them this year (I use them as ice packs too, and they're the cheapos). Now, because I make them do it in here, I see FAR less ice visits for bumping their elbow on their desk because they realize they're gonna miss out. 

And I really need to get better at remembering who doesn't return them. 😕

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