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Nightmare Principals Man...

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SnowDark38 has 4 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Pelvic Neuroscience and School Nursing.

513 Profile Views; 17 Posts

Story time.

TLDR Principal calls 911 for a non-emergent. Doesn't notify nurse or parent of 911 call. Blames nurse for "poor judgement" without actually consulting nurse. 

I had a young student visit me earlier in the day complaining of neck pain. Student is well-known for exaggerating injuries/pain/stories/etc. Denies injury of any kind 3 times and denies waking up with neck pain. Student is like "I can't move my neck." Proceeds to demonstrate which ways he can't move his neck with perfect ROM.

OK, ice. Sit for a minute. See how it feels. Temp is great! Kid stopped using ice about 1 minute in. Dismissed back to class. 

Student returns two hours later crying that he can't move his neck. Student using neck same as before. Stops crying as soon as I call mom. Mom decides to have someone pick him up since it's almost the end of the day but she'll call me back once she confirms someone can get him. She talks to him real quick to do a verbal assessment (she's also a nurse) - same questions as I had. 

Student sits for about 10 minutes asking to go get things. I'm observing the kid, but since he felt well enough to do so and he's not using the ice again- "OK, go and come right back. I'm going to lunch soon, so I'll let mom know if she doesn't call back soon."

Mom calls back as the kid is getting his stuff. I tell mom that I'll be at lunch and if it's okay with her, he can wait in the front office and come back after if he's not picked up by then. Ma's like "sure, I'm good with that. His auntie is like 25 minutes away." 

Kid goes to front office with a note saying I'm at lunch and auntie is on her way. Meanwhile, I'm spending my lunch monitoring a student who is wheezing while I eat but she's good and making conversation with me.

The last few minutes of my lunch, the principal comes over the announcements and announces that the front lobby was on lock-down because an ambulance was coming through.

I jump up from my lunch and run to the front office panicking because I have no idea why an ambulance was called. I get there and I'm directed to the student who I had sent up earlier. The principal tells me she called 911 because the student had started crying that he couldn't move his neck, couldn't stand up, and told her his neck was broken. But when I get in there, kid's as calm as a lamb. Student had fallen asleep with neck bent in a strange way. 

I start assessing the student. Vitals are excellent. Calm. A/Ox3. Everything is great. Encourage the kid to do a few deep breaths while I go get some more ice and encourage him to re-position. He refused because he was scared it would hurt. 

Come back. EMS doing assessment on him. They find absolutely nothing except the model of perfect health. Gain the same information I have. EMS doesn't want to take him. I learn that no one notified mom that EMS was called. I have to call mom and explain that I was not notified either but that EMS doesn't want to take her child. She gives the authorization for me to sign off on no-transport. Principal is hiding outside of room from embarrassment. 

I get an email from the principal the next morning complaining about how the "incident was handled" and that I "sent a student with a reported neck injury to the office so could go to lunch." She then had to make the "executive decision to call 911" and is "very concerned with [my] judgement at that time in the case of a possible neck damage report." And then demands a meeting with me on a time she selected.

Thankfully my supervisor is completely on my page and is backing me up. But that was the beginning of my week and I'm livid. 

Anyone else have a nightmare principal?

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ohiobobcat specializes in ED, School Nurse.

878 Posts; 13,837 Profile Views

Geez Loiuse!  I would have another person present (union rep if you have one, or maybe your supervisor) in that meeting with the principal.  I am assuming your documentation is ON POINT, and I would bring that as well, to reference the multiple assessments, treatments,  and conversations with the mother of the student.  Good luck and keep us posted!

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SnowDark38 has 4 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Pelvic Neuroscience and School Nursing.

17 Posts; 513 Profile Views

21 minutes ago, ohiobobcat said:

Geez Loiuse!  I would have another person present (union rep if you have one, or maybe your supervisor) in that meeting with the principal.  I am assuming your documentation is ON POINT, and I would bring that as well, to reference the multiple assessments, treatments,  and conversations with the mother of the student.  Good luck and keep us posted!

Oh yes! I called my supervisor as soon as I got that email in the morning. I was going to address the situation myself once I got to school the next morning after I cooled off. But then I got that email and I never used my speed dial so fast. 

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laflaca has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN.

388 Posts; 8,850 Profile Views

Ah yes, the scourge of "possible neck damage,"  tragically overlooked by lazy school nurses who just want to get their lunch! 

I had a kid like that who was brought to me by panicked staff because she "couldn't move either of her arms."  They were limp as noodles when teachers tried to lift them!   I held out a cup of water and said, "if you're having a problem with your muscles, I need to see if your throat muscles work for swallowing, because it would be dangerous if you choked."  She immediately used her 'paralyzed' arm and hand to grab the cup and bring it to her mouth.... ta daaaaaaa!  I can't imagine if the principal had called 911 in that situation. 

Incidentally I also have a nightmare principal, and am actually leaving my position when Spring break starts (1.5 days, but who's counting).  It's not like the hospital/clinic where doctors report up one service line, nurses another, RT another, etc.....in schools one king/queen rules the whole place, and god help you if s/he is a lunatic. 

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amoLucia specializes in LTC.

5,447 Posts; 46,568 Profile Views

What's TLDR?

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Eleven011 has 20+ years experience and specializes in Home Health,Dialysis, MDS, School Nurse.

1,175 Posts; 15,216 Profile Views

TLDR - Too long, didn't read.  Basically its a summary of the post in case you don't have time to read it all.  

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing.

5 Followers; 2,784 Posts; 11,573 Profile Views

10 hours ago, laflaca said:

Ah yes, the scourge of "possible neck damage,"  tragically overlooked by lazy school nurses who just want to get their lunch! 

Under my desk with the gigglefits.

Seriously though, no lay person can tell you how to do your nursing job. Most specifically your BON probably has a statement that says something like a non-nurse may not direct nursing care.

Bully for the principal on the executive decision. You have beautifully documented why you did not feel the need to call EMS.

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LikeTheDeadSea has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in School Nursing.

1 Follower; 556 Posts; 5,119 Profile Views

Holy moly. 

I always tell people, "if you feel like you need to call 911 and I'm not around, do it, don't wait for permission," because I've come across too many situations where people don't common sense call.  I guess this is a prime situation of that backfiring. 

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164 Posts; 982 Profile Views

WOW!. Just WOW!. What a jerk.

I'm sorry that you had to experience that and have a principal that obviously doesn't see your value.

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SnowDark38 has 4 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Pelvic Neuroscience and School Nursing.

17 Posts; 513 Profile Views

20 minutes ago, LikeTheDeadSea said:

Holy moly. 

I always tell people, "if you feel like you need to call 911 and I'm not around, do it, don't wait for permission," because I've come across too many situations where people don't common sense call.  I guess this is a prime situation of that backfiring. 

What's worse is that I wasn't even out of the building. I was in my office monitoring the student who was wheezing. 😩

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209 Posts; 1,663 Profile Views

35 minutes ago, SnowDark38 said:

What's worse is that I wasn't even out of the building. I was in my office monitoring the student who was wheezing. 😩

That's the kicker!  You didn't even get a break!  That's going to be what makes me snap, too.  Some of these kids have antennae and can sense when I want to house a sandwich (usually around 2, when I'm ready to pass out), and then present with vague symptoms that aren't measurable, but are so serious that they couldn't possibly go to class. Ugh.  At least the mom seems like she was reasonable.  I have a fair amount of parents who just feed into the nonsense.

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BrisketRN has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN.

685 Posts; 2,754 Profile Views

I used to have a principal whose wife also worked in the building.  The two of them always wanted to call ambulances for each other/themselves.  Nausea? Ambulance.  Mildly high blood pressure (like 150/80)?  Ambulance.  Fever?  Ambulance.  Dizziness?  Ambulance.  Someone always offered to drive them the 10 minutes to the ER or urgent care but they'd just grab a quick ambulance. 

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