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k1p1ssk BSN, RN

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k1p1ssk has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in pediatrics.

k1p1ssk's Latest Activity

  1. k1p1ssk

    School Nurse Pay

    I meant to add in my earlier post that generally speaking, the nurses in my district move up a "step" each year (this year, I think because of covid, I was granted a 2-step increase). This equates to an increase in pay. There are 15 steps, and when you reach the top, there is a cost of living raise (which everyone gets, but its worth more the higher the step you're on) and once you reach 20, 25, and 30 years of service, there is an additional longevity pay out each year (which increases at those time increments).
  2. k1p1ssk

    Kids staying home

    I have a list of "major" vs. "Minor" symptoms. If they have even just one major symptom, or 2 minor ones, I have them get tested. It has been extremely effective. We have not had any sick kids actually test positive, however, every kid I've had in quarantine due to being a close contact who subsequently tested positive, HAS ended up with symptoms. They have all been mild, and usually only have lasted a day or two. One kid only had a sore throat for 2 days, another had some nasal congestion and a cough, one was just unusually fatigued, despite sleeping well... So, with that anectdotal evidence, I feel comfortable being insistent on the students getting tested, even with mild or a single symptom. I have found families have been more willing to get tested if you provide easy access to testing. Do you have any sites that will schedule a test online without a doctors order? We have one place that is located within 15 minutes of our schools and when I speak with the parent, I offer to sign the kiddo up to get tested there, while they are on the phone with me, or to email them the website. It has been extremely effective.
  3. k1p1ssk

    Weirdest Thing About School Nursing...

    I definitely have the staff members who see me as a person who solely exists in the building to provide medical advice, but I also do feel like some have made the effort to get to know me. Some of them have done a bait and switch, where they've acted buddy buddy for quite some time, and then suddenly, I am their own personal concierge nurse and nothing more. Sometimes, but really only when I have a line out the door and they line right up with the kids, do I want to remind them that if they worked anywhere else, they would not have access to medical care at work. I do like to remind them that my first priority is the kids, so if they want motrin for their cramps or need their BP taken, they're gonna have to wait until vomiting Susie gets picked up first. It really gets me worked up when they don't give kids any privacy and interrupt me to ask for something silly like a bandaid. They are in a clearly labeled container right on the counter, please help yourself and GTFO!
  4. k1p1ssk

    I'm tired!

    I've had a few of those moments the last few weeks, but I keep trying to remind myself that this is not going to last forever. Keep your head up! I hope for all of our sakes, that the news that Pfizer may get EUA for 12-15 year olds next week holds true and that acceptance among adolescents is high... If so, many of our schools will be well on their way to herd immunity by the end of Summer if that holds true!
  5. Connecticut is ending it's Religious exemption for vaccines and schools can now only accept medical exemptions for school entry: https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/connecticut-6th-state-end-religious-vaccine-exemption-77370602 This article mentions that current religious exemptions are "grandfathered in" but in MA we require them to submit a new letter each year. I feel like MA may go this route of disallowing religious exemptions soon. If you're in a state where this happened and were a school nurse when it happened, I'm curious to know how you handled your families who had been claiming religious exemptions. Did they start their series or change schools? Or did they suddenly get medical exemptions? How hard did you fight them on it?
  6. k1p1ssk

    C'Mon Now!

    I am feeling this so hard right now. I'll be back next year for sure (I'm only 3 years in and I know it will get better), but the level of disrespect and distrust I have felt this year has been almost too much for me to take, especially in the last 4 weeks. 4 days until our week-long Spring break, and then 36 school days until Summer. Cannot. Come. Soon. Enough.
  7. k1p1ssk

    Help Type 1 diabetic and lunch

    Not sure if this will be helpful for anyone, but if you can get your cafeteria / food services manager on board, our district created a shared Google spreadsheet with all of the breakfast/snack/lunch carb counts on it so we can reference the lunch calendar and know ahead of time what the carb count is! Our cafe staff also do a great job of letting everyone in the school know if there are changes (meaning an entire meal is subbed out) and the manager usually calls me if she sees my T1D is getting school lunch or if there's a minor change (say orange slices instead of apple).
  8. k1p1ssk

    C'Mon Now!

    My bathroom is supposed to be for adult use only (unless there is a medical/behavioral necessity) this year. Our 2nd grade class has co-opted it, but they always call to make sure the office is clear of other students/I am in the office before sending someone down, so I've let it slide. This afternoon however, I suddenly had a stream of 1st graders come in with water bottles in-hand, with no phone call. I asked the first one if he wanted to leave the water bottle outside on the counter, and he says to me "No, I need to bring it in here to take a sip..." I then notice the bathroom in the hall outside my office also has a stream of 1st graders with H20. I put 2 & 2 together - we're returning to full, in-person learning next week, with the caveat that no one is to remove their masks unless strict 6ft distancing is maintained. The 1st grade teacher has decided that that means any student who wishes to take a sip of water, must bring said water bottle to the tiny, unventilated bathroom, shut the door, and remove their mask to take a sip in the bathroom. Can you imagine??!? I mean...
  9. k1p1ssk

    Medication Error in School

    I wonder how long it will be until we are forced to have pills come from the pharmacy in blister packs, nursing home style. This whole thread is making me super uneasy. Definitely changing some practices for the sake of my license.
  10. k1p1ssk

    Diabetic student staying after school

    If the after-school program is school/district sponsored and the student's 504 dictates that a nurse must be present, then the district needs to hire a nurse to stay after school as the program essentially acts as an extension of school day. Insulin (even via a pump) and glucagon cannot be delegated. While it was good for you to educate them on s/s of hypo/hyperglycemia, they cannot assess and treat these conditions. Otherwise, the family should sign a waiver, if that is even recommended by the district legal team. Different scenario, but I had a student with a seizure disorder and orders for diastat. His 504 stated that a nurse must be present in the building, on all field trips and for all after school events. He wanted to attend an after school program that was being put on by one of the teachers and was school and PTO sponsored. The district paid for me to stay until the program was over at 4:30 each Wednesday. I think they paid me $25/hour. They also used me for general first aid care, but that would have been on them had this particular student not been involved. I think at the highschool level, the nurse becomes less involved in diabetes care as the student is expected to start taking more responsibility, so the 504 may change and the nurse isn't needed after school. But that would be up to an interdisciplinary team to decide.
  11. k1p1ssk

    Ice machine

    The health offices in my district just got these! https://www.amazon.com/Frigidaire-EFIC115-SS-EFIC115-Extra-Stainless/dp/B075CPXP1H?ref_=ast_sto_dp It's bigger than I would have thought, but it seems to do a decent job and it isn't too loud 🙂
  12. k1p1ssk

    40 days left!!

    We've had kids in the building most of the year, in a hybrid model. We were fully remote from 11/23 through 1/19 though, but now we'll be back full in-person April 5th! I'm in MA!! We opted for no snow days this year, making all of them remote learning days, so I bet that's why we're still getting out on time...
  13. k1p1ssk

    40 days left!!

    Jelly! I have 58 (including 5 half-days)... But then I think about the fact that 58 doesn't seem so bad!!
  14. That's what I kept telling myself; Even if I get in trouble, at least I helped over 50 desperate people get their vaccines sooner than if they had tried on their own.
  15. k1p1ssk

    Do school nurses ever give narcs?

    We regularly dispense controlled medications such as stimulants (Ritalin, Adderall, Focalin, Vyvanse). Students with seizure disorders may have orders for rectal valium (Diastat). I think whether or not a narcotic pain medication was to be dispensed in a school would be up to state/district policy, however regardless I would seriously question the need for the med in school and whether or not that student should be IN school if they are needing that level of pain control. I would much rather not have the medication in the building. With all that said, at my private school job with boarding students, we regularly have students who have been prescribed narcotics, generally after an orthopedic surgery, or controlled anti-anxiolytics. These students are under strict observation when needing to take it, and we do not send them on campus while under the influence of the pain meds. The anxiety kids stay for 2 hours and are then free to go. This is all of course our own health center policy. So in general, depending on your definition of "narcs", we do regularly deal with medications that have a potential to become habit-forming, but not so regularly of a pain-relieving variety.
  16. Well, my best/worst nightmare came true... Last Wednesday morning, the local sheriff's dept reached out and offered their medical staff from the local house of corrections and vaccine supply to our elementary staff. They called at around 11:30a and asked to meet at 2:30. Myself and another nurse met with them for 30minutes, and came up with a plan to hold this clinic for up to 125 staff people in the MS/HS gym on Friday. It seemed like such a great thing. It was in-service day, so no need for subs to cover classrooms. The gym would be empty! It's on a Friday! FREE HELP! All the things I wanted and dreamed about. I spent the last couple hours of the day drafting an email, creating a sign up form, and answering questions from the elementary admin team. All seemed well. By 9:30 Thursday morning all of the elementary staff had been able to read the email and sign up for the clinic, and only 50 slots were filled of the 125. There are a total of 70 staff combined at the MS/HS level and our HR/Central Office, so we reached out to the MS/HS principal and he became irate that he was not consulted, shouted at our MS/HS nurse twice over the phone, nearly giving her a panic attack. I tried to write a "smoothing over" email, but was given even more flack from our super for not following the proper protocols and involving upper level Admin. They ultimately agreed to let it go on, but I was left incredibly upset and disappointed. All we were trying to do was get our staff vaccinated. It was all lining up so perfectly, to get yelled at by admin just felt like a slap in the face. I worked tirelessly all day (on a pre-planned day off, no less); I made over 20 phone calls, fielded numerous email questions, all while navigating the bajillion things I HAD to get done personally that day (hence the day off). It was one of the most stressful days of my life. Friday rolled around and the clinic went off without a hitch. We only had one no-show, the superintendent apologized to me in person for the tone of his email, and thanked us (the nurses) for setting it up. They even made an announcement over the loudspeaker for the MS/HS staff to come down and get their vaccines - not many showed up, but still. Lesson learned. Even in a pandemic, if you don't go through admin you're gonna get yelled at.