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No Guidelines Yet on Screenings

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by guest83140 guest83140 (Member)

Yes, COVID-19 is here, not going anywhere soon. We've been back in school for about 6 weeks now. The DIag sent requests for Vision and Hearing Screening yesterday. Some say, just do the Sped kids. Great, no big deal. Well, yeah, 60% are online. What about mass screening? The state hasn't decided it says, dated August 26 on its website. But it's now October 9. OK, the boss hasn't said because the state hasn't said. Diag has no clue and just wants it filled out. So,.... do I take matters into my own hands? Parent, you bring me in kid (against your wishes of fear of COVID-19) for this state thing. Or, parent, you go to a doctor right away and send me the results. Or, parent, let's just forget it this year.  Do I wait and wait? Halloween coming. Thanksgiving next. Christmas. (whistling). Hey, New Year. Then rush. No, I wish to know now while it's quiet and I can plan. What are you all doing?

Edited by Dimple58
edited

I am in Texas - right now no changes have been made and according to the state they are still required - my district has told us to hold off on them unless needed for diag, ARD's, SST etc.  

Virtual kids will get a call/email from their teacher to bring them in for screening, for the most part parents are cooperating. Those few that refuse we have just documented that info - so far only a handful have absolutely refused to step foot on campus.  

When not busy I will randomly screen my non illness F2F kids that visit my clinic.  Takes a few minutes of the time they are in my office. At this point I haven't made a dent in my list but like you I fear we are going to keep being told to hold off until the last minute then be told to get them done ASAP. 

Thank you for your response AdobeRN. I, too am in Texas. So, I just spoke to one of the lead nurses and was told to call the parent of flex learning (at home) students and ask to have them drop off for 15 minutes. But first, I am running it by the principal. Yes, it may be a different year with screenings. I just wish the state would do like some other states and waive the majority of screenings to prevent extra exposures. 

Flare, ASN, BSN

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

Still waiting here too.  The county school nurse's assoc said to hold off on mass screenings until we get more guidance, so I'm doing the ones needed for CST and ieps on a 1:1 basis.  At least I can sort of distance and clean the equipment afterward.  No word on whether they will be required.  I never got to finish mine from last year.  Granted, I had a good chunk of them done, but my mass  /catch up was scheduled for the first week of April.  I still haven't decided how to document that...  n/s COVID-19 in those boxes?

k1p1ssk, BSN, RN

Specializes in pediatrics. Has 10 years experience.

Screenings are not required in MA this fall; The powers at be have the option to change their mind in the Spring, but I don't see that happening. 

During the beforetimes, a parent could provide a written opt out of screenings. In lieu of more concrete advice from your Education and public health officials, I would say send a letter home to remote learners stating they are either required to make an appointment to come in to get screened or they need to opt out. Put the opt out letter and signature/date line right on the back of your letter to them. Then they can just send that back.

Mavnurse17, BSN, RN

Has 4 years experience.

On 10/13/2020 at 9:02 AM, Dimple58 said:

Thank you for your response AdobeRN. I, too am in Texas. So, I just spoke to one of the lead nurses and was told to call the parent of flex learning (at home) students and ask to have them drop off for 15 minutes. But first, I am running it by the principal. Yes, it may be a different year with screenings. I just wish the state would do like some other states and waive the majority of screenings to prevent extra exposures. 

Texas here, too!  You and Adobe are right, Texas hasn't made changes to their expectations.  However, my district has noted that but with the caveat "we probably won't be doing mass screenings for right now."  HS nurses (me) have been told we're not doing health appraisals for the time being... which are the only required screenings for students new to our district.  How do you tell a parent "hey I know you opted specifically for online learning but I reaalllyyyy need them to come in so I can file this required paperwork."  

Same thing with immunizations.  Texas still has our due date for compliance at the end of this month but my department is telling us "just do the best you can."  They know we can't tell a parent their kid is excluded from school for a delinquent record if they're going to log on from home anyway.  

GdBSN, RN

Specializes in School Nurse. Has 6 years experience.

Texas here, All of our students, weather in-person or virtual, have to be compliant. We are either blocking them from their online classes or excluding them from in-person learning if they aren't compliant. 

Oh that would be my dream come true! I feel like each year my immunization numbers get worse and worse, but until my district thinks it is important enough to enforce exclusion........ 

BooBooCrew, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing; Nursing Education. Has 5 years experience.

From the Texas DSHS Vision Hearing & Spinal Screening Program:

The program is currently determining if screening rules will be in effect this year due to the extra challenges to schools posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  We will notify stakeholders as soon as a decision is reached.  In the meantime, for schools who are screening students, please refer to this best practices document for guidance on safely screening children this school year.  

Based on this. our district has told us to hold off for now and only screen those that are necessary and time constrained. 

Well, ...well, well. Following up finally. Texas just reacted and gave us some way overdue guidance on the school screenings. Yes, so on Jan. 13, 2021, yep that was yesterday, the Texas Department of Health Services finally addressed what we've been looking for, for months regarding the big mass screening event of the year. Hear's what they said, in a nutshell.  "So, (in my old lady's PTA voice), in light of this pandemic, even though screenings are still required this school year, be flexible and careful if space permits but parents can decline this year." YEAH! Ooops. Ooops. I mean ahh. She continues, "send this sample letter so they can go to their doctor or schedule with you IF they sense a problem with vision or hearing as described in this letter." YEAH Again! Ooops, too late, we already sent a similar letter to the parents around the holidays waiting on you. Hahaha. I sent almost 60 letters with attached forms and guess what? Not one reply. smh