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Blue_Moon BSN, RN

Content by Blue_Moon

  1. Blue_Moon

    Volunteering

    Are you ever asked to and expected to volunteer at your school after hours? I'm asked to volunteer ALL THE TIME! I work in an elementary school and they want staff volunteers to help work game concessions every week, donating food for various events, volunteering for monthly PTO fundraisers (working at fast food restaurants, bingo, fall fests, shirt sales, candy sales...), donating food for several volunteer parties a year, etc. It never ends. I donate various food items or money occasionally to help but I don't want to stay after work or come back for 2-3 hours of donating my time for events. I have a 35 min commute so once I'm home I don't want to go back and then I sure don't want to hang out for an hour or two waiting for something to start. I do volunteer my time once in a while but am made to feel it's not enough. When my own kids were in grade school I volunteered at their school and helped out with fundraisers several times a year for 15 years so frankly I'm over it. Not to mention in the evenings I have my own family to take care of. My husband and I still have a child at home that enjoys supper and to have someone there to talk about their day and a grandchild I help watch a lot. After spending 8 hours with the students and taking care of so many, the last thing I want to do is hang out with them some more after work. When I was part of my own kid's PTO the last thing I expected were for the teachers to help volunteer their time for anything. If they wanted to then that was fine but our parent organization never asked them to because we knew they had already spend all day with our kids. We were trying to make their lives easier not harder so this is why I'm shocked at how much they ask for help. They want all this money to bring in fun things for the kids which I totally get but the county already pays for a few field trips a year and the PTO does a fun program or two a year but now they are wanting to do even MORE stuff and it seems excessive. Is this normal in your schools?
  2. Blue_Moon

    How long was your training for school nursing?

    I didn't get to follow anyone. I was on my own right from the start. . Our nurses now get someone working with them for a couple of weeks at least and a mentor for a year. Much more support thankfully.
  3. Blue_Moon

    New school nurse- not sure if I like it. Help!

    The hardest thing is for nurses to come from a hospital setting to a school setting because everything is so different. Remember, you're dealing with a healthy stable population of students for the most part. You also don't need to rush and get all the paperwork done before the end of your "shift" like you're used to. You can take months to get care plans done. Screenings get done when you can because even if they are due by a certain time period what happens if they are late. Well nothing. New enrollment paperwork is time consuming but the beginning of the year and new student enrollments in the spring are you're busiest times for these. The rest of the year you won't have tons so it's easier to stay on top of. Also, the more you do it, the faster you become. You're lucky you have an aide at all. I've never had an aide to help with anything and I got zero orientation. The only nursing job I've had where they just literally throw you to the wolves but it's because the school system is so laid back. I remember feeling that way about the emergencies. However, true emergencies are rare. Very rare. The longer you do this the more comfortable you'll become. Just review your emergency care plans and when/how to use things. You may never need to use an epi pen or whatever. When in doubt call 911. Trust your judgement. If you don't mind seeing the kids and taking care of all their little needs then I think you will do just fine with this job. You're just psyching yourself out. You will find things teachers think are emergencies (puke, lice, bloody nose, etc) are not at all a true emergency. The most common serious things I've had are either someone breaking an arm (or other body part) or fainting and these things happen less than a handful of times a year. Well and occasional asthma attacks or low blood sugars. Nothing like you're worrying about. Educate your teachers of things to let you know about or watch for to prevent problems. I tell mine that any student that has asthma or diabetes may come and see me if they ask to for ANY reason. I've had teachers in the past downplay someone having an asthma attack because they didn't look bad and they thought they were faking (they weren't and you never want an asthmatic to get to the point they look bad!) so I insist they let me figure it out and if there is in fact an issue where they are wanting to cut class then we'll deal with it. I've never had these type of kids ever abuse the power to come and see me whenever they want in 17 years except once and when the parent and I got to the bottom of the issue so it stopped. Don't be so hard on yourself. If you enjoy the most important part of the job (taking care of the kids) then you'll be just fine with patience and practice.
  4. Blue_Moon

    Aides

    We have special ed aides and kg aides. I've worked with some awesome aides who will go above and beyond. However, more often than not, at every single school I've been to, I have aides who are conveniently so busy every single time one of their kids has an accident and needs their clothes changed and they bring them to me. They aren't busy. They just don't want to. How do I know this? Because they literally stand there, or talk to office staff, or play with their phone or whatever as I do it. So I found out that yes it's their job, not mine. I went to my principal who makes excuses for them and says he will talk to them. I go up the chain and find out, well if the aides are too busy it falls to the nurse. Ok but they aren't busy. I went to the teachers and the teachers said yes we know and we have told them it's their responsibility but it doesn't stop. One day an aide brought a wet kid in and I pointed and said there's the stuff and walked out thinking the aide would take care of it. Nope, they waited on me until came back! I feel bad for the kids. I don't want them to think I don't want to help them. It's not that big of deal but it's just the principle of the thing and it causes me to get backed up in my work taking care of this while they take a 40 min planning period and hour lunch every day that I don't even get. So should this topic be aides who don't want to do what their job is or the administrators who don't make people do their job? Either way, I'm so irritated.
  5. Blue_Moon

    Lpn or rn

    I think what she means is there is more clinical type jobs for LPN's in like dr offices than RN's which is true. However, you are limiting yourself to jobs as an LPN. You will make more money as an RN and there will be more opportunities to pick from. There are many RN jobs that are normal 8-4 hours. For example, there's school nursing (you may need an BSN for that though), staff educators, management, hospital clinics, cancer infusion centers, many dr offices still need/want RN's, urgent cares, radiology nurse positions, OR, contact centers, cardiac cath labs, home health, etc. However, you MAY have to work 12 hr shifts in order to gain experience for those positions. You already works as a medical assistant in a pediatrician's office so if you pretty much know what working as an LPN in that type of setting would entail. (Pretty much what you're doing now.) If you're happy with that and know that's what you want then go for the LPN and then later if you decide you want something different or more you can go back for your RN.
  6. Blue_Moon

    Advice on returning to work after time off

    You won't know where you stand until you try. If you left on good terms you already have a foot in. Start applying and see what happens. Reach out to old managers or co-workers and see if they can help put in a good word for you. In the grand scheme of things you haven't been out that long. I was a stay at home mom for 10 yrs and out of the hospital itself for 15 after having only a year and a half experience as a hospital nurse (and five as a school nurse) and had no problem getting back in. I researched good resumes and cover letters and how to showcase my strengths. I also used references of teachers at my kid's school and church that I volunteered with so there's an idea. Good luck!
  7. Blue_Moon

    This is Where the Cowboy Rides Away

    I will miss your positive attitude and great advice! Enjoy this next phase of your life! Don't be a stranger!!
  8. Blue_Moon

    What do teachers think about school nurses?

    I've often wondered the same thing! LOL! At this school I do feel my teachers appreciate me more than other places because they tell me they couldn't do my job, am glad I'm feeling better or back after I've been off, etc however, on the other hand these same teachers will cut through my office after repeatedly asked not to, will take personal calls on their cell phones in my office as I'm sitting there working without even asking so as to not disturb people in the main office, second guess some of my decisions etc. so there's that. I think they view us as more like their helper to make their life easier and if we don't they get testy.
  9. Blue_Moon

    Another new school nurse

    Welcome! I hope you like it! I love the time off and making kids feel better. Pretty low stress most of the time. I hate the lack of respect, teachers/aides expecting me to do non-nursing stuff all the time, the pay, and the fact I'm bored more often than not. I have all summer off but can't really afford to do much. LOL! I am looking to return to the hospital. My kids are grown. I love working 3 days a week and done. I hate the 9-5 grind. I did not enjoy the hospital schedule when all my kids were little because I wanted to be home when they were but now that they are all flying the coop I don't want/need that schedule anymore. I would like the extra money the hospital provides to get my house paid off so I can travel some then eventually go part time/per diem. That's my plan anyway!
  10. Blue_Moon

    just a Thursday vent

    I personally love dog poop. I mean who doesn't want to come to work to clean up dog poop off shoes/feet? That's why I went to nursing school!
  11. Blue_Moon

    I'll miss you all, but...

    I don't blame you one bit. Best wishes on your new journey! Keep in touch!
  12. Blue_Moon

    Rules for next year

    I think your list is perfect for those high schoolers! It's time to grow up. For those that want ice packs, I think by that age if you don't see any swelling, bruising, limping, redness then they don't even need an ice pack and the rest get like 5-10 min tops. Plus they need a pass from the teacher so they aren't in there wasting time without the teacher's permission. Something else I thought of, maybe ask your staff to not send kids at the end of the period because then you get a line and they are late for the next period which is not fair to THOSE teachers. I'd say if you feel they need to come and see the nurse it needs to be by half way point of class or the next period teacher must give the excuse to come in!
  13. I use math every single day. I have to use algorithms to caculate how much insulin to give in the schools. You just plug the numbers in so it's not hard. I was never great at math either but was strangely good with algebra thankfully because when I graduated the pharmacy would make us calculate our own med doseages. It was basically an algebra equation. Now most of the time that's figured out for you and if you have a question you can call pharmacy to check for you but there have been many times I double checked the pharmacy dose to make sure it was right. There's probably an app now that can help you figure that out but I would practice med doseage calculations over and over until you get it down pat because I guarantee that will be on a test eventually if it hasn't already!
  14. Blue_Moon

    History of School Nursing

    Haha wow look how far we've come! Thanks for sharing! That was cute.
  15. Blue_Moon

    Teacher appreciation week...

    That's amazing! I'm glad you did that and made the office staff uncomfortable on their behalf. I'm sure you made all those nurses' day!
  16. Blue_Moon

    Teacher appreciation week...

    I think we could be sisters! I am currently looking as well. I also have trouble with confrontation but I will stand up for myself. I just don't feel like I should have to throw a fit or file a grievance to make changes. I just think that's ridiculous. I do go to my principal and air my grievances and am promised changes but yet nothing every happens. It's pretty evident in this county everyone can and does whatever they want and I'm over it. I'm no longer at a place where I need this schedule so I feel it's time for me to move on as well.
  17. Blue_Moon

    Teacher appreciation week...

    I have gotten three handmade cards from kids this week so far and one parent even gave me a fast food gift card which made my week. Ok so when I first started here they gave the secretary, principal and me a $25 gift card on our days. (Well the secretary and principal also got flowers but hey at least I was recognized!) This was the first school that recognized me like that. Then last year they put in the treasury announcements they had given me a gift card and the teacher in charge said I'll get it to you soon as she gave me a greeting card. I never did see that gift card and I felt weird asking about it. This year, nada. So I guess I've been dropped. Our PTO always includes all the staff in teacher appreciation week which is nice and they always make sure I have something to eat because I can't usually eat until after everyone else is done so that's sweet and makes me feel like I'm not forgotten. How awful of that teacher to make comments they have to "share" their goodies. What an awful attitude! I agree as a school nurse you sure don't get much appreciation esp for all the stuff we do that's not even our job like fixing glasses, repairing shoes, etc etc... It's nice we have each other and I appreciate each and every one of you! Happy National School Nurse's Day! If I could I'd take you all out to eat!
  18. Agree! When the rash from the antibiotic starts causing lips and face to swell then yes the antibiotic can hurt the patient. I've seen it happen.
  19. Blue_Moon

    Staff Needs

    Oh heck no! How awkward to!
  20. Blue_Moon

    What do you do when admin doesn't have your back?

    Oh dear! I'm SO sorry! Yes, this has happened to me but not to this extent. You're being undermined a lot. Why in the world did the teacher not call you and say they are sleeping so can you look at them again instead of just calling the parent which takes more effort and time? Apparently at that school teachers are used to calling the shots and getting their way. The principal is not helping this situation at all and is actually making it worse. First, I would call off for a couple days. I'm dead serious. It's amazing how much more they appreciate you when you're gone and they've been left to their own defenses or a sub who isn't familiar with things. Then, I'd send an email to the entire staff that's firm. I'd say something like there has been some confusion and situations that do not make the school look like we are working as a team. My first priority is making sure the kids are safe and healthy enough to be in school. I'd like to offer some guidelines to help. I promise I'm not ignoring the kid's ailments but I assess based on how they are presenting in my office which is not always how they present in class. If I send them back it means I have deemed them well enough to return but circumstances can change. If their condition gets worse like in the case of a head injury please call me immediately so I can call provide emergency care if needed until the parent can pick up their child and do an incident report. (That way they realize you aren't just washing your hands of the situation.) I'd also say please be aware many kids at this age like to try to get out of school when not really sick so if certain kids start complaining of being sick all the time then no matter how good of an actor they are, they will not be allowed to go home unless fevered or witnessed vomiting. Things like that and address things teachers have complained about so they will know where you're coming from. I think if you reassure them you have things under control they will feel better. Thirdly, I'd try to transfer schools if you can. I've worked in many schools over the years and some just have a bad culture and you have found one. However if you can't I think communicating better until the teachers trust you will be important. Yes it shouldn't be like this but it is and you can't change that. Don't let anyone walk all over you. Stand up for yourself. They may try to bully you out but they really can't force you out for these things. It may be a good idea to have your supervisor and you sit down with the principal and hash out what is reasonable. Good luck!
  21. Blue_Moon

    Staff Needs

    Oh my, the ears just yuck! Yes all my staff thinks I have a supply of pain meds, tums, neosporin, tampons, cough drops, etc for THEM even though I'm not allowed to have them for the students. Then when I say I don't have these items the principal says we need to get them some? I'm like they are ADULTS! I carry my own stuff and they can too! It's part of being an adult! And NO it's not a free clinic but yes they sure think it is! I'm like if I were able to do all they want I wouldn't be working here and I'd be getting paid a heck of a lot more!
  22. Blue_Moon

    Staff Needs

    Oh my gosh yes! My first day at this school this teacher comes in and starts listing all her health issues and medications she takes and then proceeded to update me every single week for several long minutes on her bowl issues and how she was doing. I never once asked. She's since retired but when she stops by the school for a visit guess who she updates on her health issues?! I also have staff who ask me to check their blood pressure occasionally which is fine but it doesn't matter what I'm doing they expect me to drop everything and help them. If I say it will be a few minutes they get all huffy. They're like well I'm on my planning period and I won't have time later. Well I don't get a planning period and if you won't have time later it's just less work for me! Also, I have so many teachers questioning my decisions with kids yet they think I can diagnose them with just a few little pieces of info. They also seem to think I have memorized every lab value off the top of my head and what it means if it's not normal. I am shown every bump, bruise, wart, boil, etc as if I'm super excited to see it. I'm always saying you should check with your dr about that! I love it when teachers come in and complain of feeling sick and ask me to "excuse" them. Yeah it doesn't work like that. I don't mind trying to help a little but it does get exhausting after a while. I swear so many teachers act like kids themselves!
  23. Blue_Moon

    drug exposure symptoms??

    I never realized just how MANY kids were living in less than ideal situations until I became a school nurse. Many pets get treated better. It's sad.
  24. Blue_Moon

    What questions are important to ask when interviewing?

    I find most principals don't know a lot about what we do and it seems the less we bother them the happier they are. Any policies and procedures the nurse director would know. We have a large book that has all the state guidelines, procedures and policies in it. I've never worked in a school that had oxygen or ambu bags but I suppose they are out there...You'll find schools operate on the bare basics. We do have a back up glucose monitor but we don't have orders to use it on anyone. It's a back up in case our diabetic's monitor breaks. Kids are supposed to provide any medical supplies they need for the day. Meds provided by the schools are up to the district if allowed which are not here except stock epi pens. We have standing orders by a dr in our county. It covers very basic things like gargle with salt water for sore throats, epi pens if needed, rashes, etc but that's something I'd ask the nurse director as my principal would have no clue. I find most school personnel have no idea we are required to chart and have orders to do anything. My principal would not have any idea of what supplies I needed. If you have bandaids and ice you're probably good to go! I would ask your principal if you have a budget for nurse supplies like bandaids, etc and how much. I'd ask who will cover your office while you go to lunch. I'd ask if you feel a kid is healthy enough to stay but the teacher wants him to go home sick will he/she support you? Maybe ask who is in charge of cleaning up kids that pee/poop their pants. Other than that I think as long as you come across as kind and confident they will be happy. You'll find you are much less micro managed as a school nurse than in the hospital. Well except for the teachers that try but that's another topic... Good luck!
  25. I'm considering a 12 hr night position and was just curious how many days before you feel energetic again? When I did 12 hour days I needed one day to do nothing to recover but I've heard with those on nights it sometimes takes longer to get over that jet lag. Just wondering what the general consensus is. Thanks!!
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