Irritated!! (Vent)


  • Specializes in ICU, Hospice, Nursing Education. Has 8 years experience.

So, there's this 3rd grader who frequents the principal's office b/c of behavior. He has to check in with administrators each morning before going to class. This morning while he waits for them, he's laughing and playing around. The administrators were late coming in to give him his daily pep talk and he got angry because they (the adults) made an him (an 8 yr old) wait. So, his mood turned from decent to angry pretty quick. About 15 min later he comes to the clinic saying his teacher wanted him to come to the clinic for a temp check (REALLY.... this drives me nuts). He's afebrile and I tell him to go back to class. He then tells me he has a headache. I ask him when it started... "about 2 min ago" I say, ok... head back to class and give it a bit. About 20 min later I hear the Assistant Principal saying that he (the 8 yr old) was going home. The AP then comes in to the clinic just to let me know that.... the teacher sent him an email saying she sent the student to me and I sent him back and she thinks he is sick (really, she doesn't want to deal with his attitude). The AP tells her to email his mother and leave it up to her. Next thing you know, she is here to pick up the "sick" child! I buttoned my lip and didn't say anything, but the more I have thought about it, the more angry I get about it. I want to go in to the principal tomorrow to tell her that if teachers can triage their own students, then I don't need to be there. I feel disrespected and unappreciated. Do any of you run in to this, if so, how do you deal with it??

bsyrn, ASN, RN

810 Posts

Specializes in Peds, School Nurse, clinical instructor. Has 24 years experience.

I feel your pain. When I was having issues similar to this, I just took a few minutes during a faculty meeting to talk with the teachers. I explained that I was the medical professional in the building and if I felt a student was well enough to go back to class, they should not challenge that. I also expalined that my job was to keep kids in school if possible and that every headache, stomachache or cough does not need to be sent home. I always tell them if the student appears worse, feel free to send them back for a re assesment. This really opened up the lines of communication. Unfortunately there is only one nurse and a whole lot of teachers so going to the principal may backfire on you. I hope everything works out....Have a better day :)


309 Posts

Has 10 years experience.

I understand completely! In fact this happened again yesterday to me. Teacher did not even send student to me, just called mom for pickup. The only reason I know is because I heard mom ranting in the hallway. I feel the same way you do..... if teachers can do this, then why am I here? It is totally disrespectful. Anyway, so far I have shut my mouth...... I'll keep you posted on what transpires today. Meanwhile, chin up and do your job. Don't let this teacher dictate how your day is going to go! :)


36 Posts

Happened to me yesterday. 3rd grade student comes in with a cough, no fever. She had a dose of Advil and went back to class. Teacher comes in a few minutes later (as I am cleaning up a bleeding student) with the nursing slip in hand and says "I don't mean to tell you how to do your job, but you need to call this students mother and tell her what is going on" I said I would be happy to call the mom when I had a free moment. 10 minutes later the student walks back in saying "my teacher says I need to go home and you need to call my mom". So I called mom, reported what happened over the last 15 minutes. Said that I thought the student was fine to return to class but her teacher has requested that I phone her. Of course the mom came right away to pick her up, but I was so mad at myself for caving in!!!

Purple_Scrubs, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 1,978 Posts

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 8 years experience.

I refuse to excuse an absence/early dismissal in these situations, and I tell the parents so. Usually they are angry at the teacher for having them come to school when they are now going to have an unexcused absence. That usually cures the teachers of it :)


232 Posts

Specializes in School Nurse, Maternal Newborn. Has 35 years experience.

I refuse to release them if I have not assessed them as "ill" as well. I had a similar experience just 3 days ago. A young child that very frequently refuses to go to class on a GOOD day "threw up", (about a spoonful of mucus) and "refused to eat breakfast", as he is too "sick". The classroom aide convinced the child that he was sick, and needed to go home. The child refused to go to class at all. No fever, no further "vomiting", nothing that getting him out of a toxic home wouldn't fix. (tremendous turmoil in the family). Also, mother frequently gives his AM ADHD meds on an empty stomach. Since no one could get him to go to class, as he was convinced early on that he was too ill , he was sent home by the principal.

Of course, the next day, I found out that he had played outside all afternoon after getting home from school, and stayed home the next day, as well, because "you can't come back for 24 hours after vomiting". God forbid anyone should use any judgement on that one, LOL! I think that few school staffpersons recognize the "gut feeling" nurses usually have, and that it can usually be reliably trusted. :devil:

It seems that no matter how often I try to relay to staff that my job is to keep a child in school to learn, unless it is not safe for him to be here, they seem to believe that I am remiss or even cruel, for not sending children that THEY deem "too sick to be here" home. It is under the guise of their concern for the child, (as if I just don't care) but I suspect that their agendas are not always that simple. :twocents:


83 Posts

Specializes in ICU, Hospice, Nursing Education. Has 8 years experience.

Well, I at leaset I am not the only one!! It's definitely a difficult situation that we are put in. I love my administrators and have a great relationship with them. They back me on anything I want to do. I know the teacher backed the AP in to a corner... and he didn't have time to deal with the troubled 3rd grader b/c he was doing SOL's. It's my opinion that the AP SHOULD have backed me and stood firm. And any other time, I am sure he would have discussed it with me before leaving it in the teachers hands. School's almost out and I am just gonna bite my tongue for now. It is not something I will tolerate next year and will make it known when we all meet before kids come back to school. And I totally agree with you Artisyc1... the "gut feeling" that nurses have is completely overlooked by many. Some people you can't please!! Fortunately, 90% of the staff here are great and show me tons of respect. You will always have those few!!