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NICU; School Nursing
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KKEGS has 4 years experience and specializes in NICU; School Nursing.

KKEGS's Latest Activity

  1. KKEGS

    Peak flow meters

    I have never used one either to be honest. If a student comes in complaining of SOB I listen to their lungs and give them their inhaler no matter what I hear. As an asthmatic myself if a student says they need their inhaler I hand it over. I know when my chest is tight even if I sound ok through a stethoscope. If a student sounds particularly tight or wheezy I may alert a parent and definitely if I am seeing them multiple times or several days in a row I alert a parent since an exacerbation could be brewing.
  2. KKEGS

    I'm baaaaaack! :)

    Hello fellow school nurses! Remember me? 🙂 Well I am back after a year away from the school and just doing per diem agency work in the hospital. Agency work has not been as regular as I had hoped and rather than accepting a night shift position and returning to mandatory weekends and holidays... today I interviewed for and accepted a new school nurse position in Early Childhood in my former school district! I start in 2 weeks. I will work 32.5 hours a week, help get the district in compliance with immunizations, write health care plans for the early childhood kiddos, provide emergency care and first aid when I am in the building, do exit interviews with parents and (potentially hearing and vision screening) for Early Childhood screenings and, eventually, develop some health education opportunities for the preschool classes (hand washing, healthy eating, etc) which I have never done before but sounds fun. I am actually really excited for this role! When I worked as a school nurse before I covered everything from Gen Ed to SPED and Birth to 2 to post high school transition. It was nuts! I like the fact that I will have such a narrow age group that I work with and I LOVE preschool age! Can't wait to connect with you all again!
  3. KKEGS

    Gerry Brooks video

    It's so funny and scarily accurate!
  4. KKEGS

    How many years experience for NICU travel nursing?

    I worked not quite 3 years in a Level III NICU and left 1 year and 4 months ago to work as a school nurse. My hospital would not let me stay on as a casual nurse but they told me if I was interested in picking up shifts I could sign with the staffing agency they use. So I did. The agency required 1 year of NICU experience, but my own personal experience is that I'm glad I had nearly 3 years. I didn't feel fully able to care for any baby they assigned me no matter how sick until I'd been there for 2 years. I pick up at least one shift a month on my old unit but I'm also able to pick up at a few other hospitals in the area which I don't really do because I work so infrequently that I'd forget where stuff was or how they did things. I still remember the routine and the set up of my old unit so that is where I prefer to work. I do get mostly feeder/growers. The most respiratory support I've had in the year I've been working as an agency nurse is CPAP. That being said my friend who also left the NICU but picks up as an agency nurse gets sicker babies on ventilators, chest tubes, etc. I'm happy with my feeder/growers so I don't request sicker babies. The expectation though is that you'd be able to take any assignment for which you are qualified.
  5. Our district does pay for us to go to professional conferences in the same way they pay for teachers to go to professional conferences. I have the same contract that a teacher does so I am paid what a teacher would be paid and am part of the teacher's union and not a nursing union. My School Nurse License comes from the Department of Education so any advocating for better pay, etc. goes through the teacher's union. Without that I'm honestly not sure if I would gain better pay, support with continuing education, etc. because this is a whole different world than medicine/hospital nursing. They don't speak my language and just don't understand. Not to be a Debbie downer but I'm not sure what I could do to make them understand. We are aliens on their educational planet. I feel like I am respected by the staff and most of the administration but they still don't get what I do every day.
  6. KKEGS

    Influenza-like illness

    Your DOH should have a list of reportable illnesses on it's website somewhere. Our state's DOH has a whole separate School Health section of it's website where we get a lot of our information from.
  7. KKEGS

    Average salary

    I have the same contract that the teachers have so I get paid what a teacher gets paid. I had 3 years of experience as a pediatric RN (home care and NICU) when I started in the schools and they offered me year 1 pay as a school nurse. I made the argument that many of my home care and hospital skills would translate to the schools so I felt that I should start as year 4. They, amazingly, agreed so I started as a year 4 nurse. It's not what I would consider horrible pay. My yearly salary is a lot less than what I made in the hospital but if you break it down by hours worked (considering I basically only work 8 months a year with school breaks and summer vacation) my hourly pay in the schools is just a bit below what I made at the hospital. It definitely sucked taking a big yearly pay cut but I'd do it all over again. I was miserable in the hospital by the time I decided to make the leap to school nursing. I don't love it every day but it's growing on me and when I go back to the hospital (I work per diem in NICU) and see the micromanaging of the nurses (seriously, why do you care what report worksheet I want to use?!?) and how worn out and exhausted they are I'm more grateful for my school nurse job. For me the pay cut was worth it!
  8. KKEGS

    Lice Policies

    We exclude for live bugs but not for nits. We do not require any proof of treatment and we certainly don't require our students to be "cleared" by a lice treatment center or doctor. What a waste of money! If I sent a student home for live bugs or even for nits I'd follow up with the parent the next day and see how treatment is progressing, if they need any advice, etc. and check the child when they return to school. We also do not send letters home when lice has been found nor do we do classroom head checks.
  9. KKEGS

    Influenza-like illness

    We notify our county public health nurses if we see stuff like this because they want to know. They also keep us updated on what they are seeing in the whole county like the norovirus outbreak in restaurant workers they saw earlier in the fall.
  10. KKEGS

    Influenza-like illness

    Our threshold is 5% of the school, 5% in one grade level or 3 in one classroom. One of our schools filed a report with our state DoH yesterday. We had 28 students out with ILI and 4 in 1 single classroom. Our school wide threshold for that particular school is 25. We have another school that is very close to meeting the threshold so for now we are just monitoring. I heard on the news that this year's flu vaccine is only 10% effective. Kind of glad I didn't force my needlephobe 9 year old to get it.
  11. KKEGS

    Illness and School Concerts

    This is a tricky area but our policy in my last district was if you were too sick to be in school you were to sick to do extracurricular activities. Mostly we enforced it when it came to our kids who were constantly skipping school and involved in the truancy process but who claimed to be "sick" until it was field trip day and then they were miraculously ok. Until the next day when they were "sick" again. Why is this student too sick to be in school but not too sick to participate in a concert? I understand not wanting to miss the concert but if you're sick, you're sick.
  12. KKEGS


    Although I didn't realize it at the time I was probably a workaholic when I worked NICU. I entered NICU as a new grad and worked all. the. time. because I wanted to learn and see as much as I possibly could! The problem was that I had a husband and 2 young kids at home and by the time I'd been in NICU 3 years I was completely burned out and I know my family was suffering. My rotating day/night schedule probably didn't help either. Now I work as a district nurse for a public school district and very part time in NICU through a staffing agency. Although this school nurse job could completely consume me, and sometimes I still put in 40+ hours a week, I try very hard to leave work at work and enjoy my time at home with my family.
  13. KKEGS

    Christmas break, when do you start yours?

    Last day with student's is December 21. I work on December 22 because it's a Professional Development day. Staff returns January 2 (another PD day) and students return the 3rd. I use my break to celebrate with family and friends, sleep late and just enjoy the break! We're taking our daughters to see Beauty & the Beast at a local children's theater as well. I work a per diem hospital job but I do NOT pick up any shifts over my winter break. I just relax and enjoy my time off. It is well deserved by this point in the school year!
  14. KKEGS

    Lovable Parents

    I had to call a parent to bring in a new pair of shoes for a 5th grader who, along with a large group of other students, decided it would be a fantastic idea to play in the large rain puddle that had formed on the sandy infield of the playground baseball field. Mom works from home and was just as nice as she good be on the phone and brought in the shoes. When she got there she handed the shoes over and then pointed at me while giving her daughter The Look and said, "Do you see this nurse? She does not have time to deal with your shenanigans!" I loved that mom.
  15. KKEGS

    school health office records

    Our state lets the school district decide and our district keeps them for 7 years.
  16. KKEGS

    School Nurse Cert with DOE

    I don't have a certification but I do have a separate license with the Department of Education. It allows me to use the title Licensed School Nurse. In order to get this license I paid about $100 and had to show that I had both my RN and PHN licenses through my state BON as well as be finger printed. I renew my LSN license every 5 years and have to do 125 CEUs in that time period some of which have to be in certain areas such as mental health and suicide prevention.