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New Head Start RN think I am being misled

rn1116 rn1116 (New) New

Hi guys. I am new to this site and I have some very important questions for you. I have just taken a new job as an RN for the local county Head Start. My job description includes: doing growth assessments, screening hearing and vision, checking lead and hemoglobin, and writing health plans for children with diagnosed medical conditions and who are on medications at the Head Start Centers.

Very recently I have began to question my Health Coordinator who is not an RN or LPN because she has not provided me with a name of any MD that would be acting as our medical director. She stated she is "working under a MD's license" and can sign off on our health plans and sticking kids for lead and Hgb. How is that possible? Can a Dr. just give their license to someone like that? Especially someone who is not a medical professional at all? Should we not be meeting at least monthly with some type of medical director to sign off on health plans that are written for these kids? I have searched thru head start policy and procedures and can find nothing. I am not comfortable at all anymore writing health plans and sticking kids. Can someone lead me in the right direction? When I question my boss I get nowhere.


Sorry I don't have an answer to your specific question but I would run far away from the Head Start program if I were you. I worked for them briefly after graduating from college about 10 years ago. I was young and naive. That program is corrupt, at least in my area it is.


Specializes in soon cwocn. Has 2 years experience.

sounds fishy to me!

NamasteNurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Geriatrics, LTC. Has 8 years experience.

Go over the boss's head to Head Start Inc or whatever the governing body is, I have a friend who works there, I'll try to find out for you...

elprup, BSN, RN

Has 2 years experience.

Good for you for asking this question! As a new RN, it sounds wierd to me too. Let us know what you find out.


Specializes in LTC, Home Health, Hospice. Has 16 years experience.

Head Start has a governing body. It is your main office from which gives you funding. I dont know your area, but I did work for Head start for 10 years, Yes you are correct, an MD needs to sign off on these. Head Start has specific rules/regs that must be followed. A lot of good comes out of Head Start and I loved working there, just needed more of a challenge.

Your "County of Education" is key. It is a Federal Funded Program, there is Federal guidelines that must be followed. You should have a manual detailing the who, what, when, where, why and how.

Good luck! You are the key to the Children's early health care. Good Health= Learning!

I would definitely go get some written information from an authority to draw labs on children.

And head Start is a fabulous program. I know many, many children who have been to Head Start and the program was instrumental in their early academic success. I am thankful that you are working there and are so conscientious to go the extra mile to help these children.

Yeah! Let's hear it for Head Start! And the hard working nurses who help assess the health of these children.

I am a big fan of Head Start -- it's an excellent program.

However, I agree with the suggestion to clarify your situation and expectations with your governing/regional office, and I would also suggest you check with your state BON about whether there may be any problems or limitations in your activities in this position.

Better safe than sorry. Your "Health Coordinator" isn't going to help you if you end up in some sort of legal trouble. (I also hope that you carry your own professional liability (malpractice) coverage.)

Not an RN yet - just getting ready to start nursing school in August. I am 40 years old though and have a lot of life experience in the corporate world. Be very careful and think everything through before you pull the trigger. If this woman is acting outside of the guidelines then her own job and security are at risk and you are a potential threat. I agree with and applaud your ethics and am NOT encouraging you to stop researching this. I am just cautioning you to be very careful about what you do and how you do it. Document EVERYTHING. Record dates, times, who you spoke to, what you said, what they said, etc. If this woman ever tried to come back and railroad you in retaliation you would have documentation of her motive. Stuff like this DOES happen so cover your gluteus maximus! Good luck.

Thank you guys so much for the input. I am supposed to have a meeting with the administrators in the morning. If I don't get answers there. I am going to the office of head start. I also plan to contact my BON tomorrow too. I will keep you guys informed!!

Did I mention that my Health and Nutrition Coordinator only has a CNA license and a Bachelor's degree in Business. I just met with the administrators and talked to them. Nobody seems to know who, as an RN I am "working under" medically. We dont work in conjunction with any MDs as far as they know. They say we are covered by the health dept. that has given us the OK to do lead. It all just seems so not right.

I know this is an old thread, but I've just been offered the same position (same job description ad yours) with our county Head Start and Early Head Start. Did you ever find answers to your questions? I've received ambiguous answers about who's exactly in charge medically. No one has a medical background. This is a new position they've received a grant for. I love the Head Start program, but I have red flags in my head. I'm contacting BON and country health, etc tomorrow.

@ js14892: Please update us with what you find out.


Has 1 years experience.

I work for Head Start. We require physicians to complete ANY care plan for a child. We also require a physician to order labs and have the lead and Hgb and Hct performed in a lab setting. We also require physicians to complete a medication form for any meds to be given during school hours.