by mc3 mc3, ASN, RN Member Nurse

Has 12 years experience.

Hello everyone,

As you may know, I am a brand new school nurse (:p). I have discovered a new disease that hit my clinic yesterday. It is called "substitute-itis". It is very closely related to spring fever and test-taking time. The symptoms are as follows: sudden onset of headache, stomach ache, sore throat, and in some cases, inability to walk. Unwitnessed vomiting is also very prevelant. Distinct to this disease is the fact that no abnormal temperature exists. Student presents with above symptoms and are told to sit for 5 minutes for observation. :cool: After 30 seconds, these students demonstrate further symptoms such as goofing off, giggling, standing on my scale, and looking for crayons, etc. :clown: I must say, it's a pretty sad sight :lol2:. The cure? My new rule of "if you can goof around you're not sick so go back to class now". :icon_roll.

This is my second week, and around 11am after experiencing many such students presenting symptoms, I asked the secretary "what's going on unusual today?". She gave me the grave news that we had a lot of substitute teachers today.....I have since asked to be warned ahead of time if we have an unusual numbers of subs so that I can :chair:

Gotta love it!!!!

mc3 school :nurse:

P.S. And I think they may also have a touch of "new school nurse-itis". :D Working on a cure for that!:heartbeat


mustlovepoodles, RN

Specializes in OB/GYN, Peds, School Nurse, DD. 1,041 Posts

Yeah, I think a whole lot of "new school nurse-itis.":lol2: They're trying you out to see if you're a soft touch. It sounds like they'll be disappointed.

At my middle school we had a LOT of kids working their subs. Of course, they change classes in middle school so these kids would go to each and every teacher with their tales of woe to see if they could get out of class. The subs were the worst--sometimes they would send almost 1/4 of their class! So we instituted a new rule--if a sub needs to send a kid to the clinic, she must first send that kid to the lead teacher in that grade for evaluation. Our lead teachers were very experienced teachers and pretty much knew all the kids, or at least the problem kids. They knew who had chronic illnesses and who liked to fake it. Their word was final. And that pretty much took care of the malingering. Those kids knew they couldn't fool the lead teacher.



157 Posts

LOL. Last week I had 6 kindergarteners in my office ALL at the same time. ALL with headaches. ALL at 8:30AM.

It was a serious case of substitutitis. Everyone was cured after I asked if this was because they had a substitute. One persistent little boy came back 3 times, I called mom & he got to go home. Normal temp, looking great, smile from ear to ear, but back 3 times in 45 minutes. UGH!



Specializes in Coronary Care, School Nurse. Has 15 years experience. 86 Posts

After seeing 3 or 4 students from the same substitute, I will take my thermometer and stethoscope to the classroom and give the talk about who gets sent home and how we have to work through minor discomforts. I check everybody's temp and get it over with in 5 minutes instead of all day. The subs and the regular teachers are usually grateful for visit.



Specializes in LDRP/Nursery/Peds/Gyn, school nursing. Has 17 years experience. 90 Posts

Pandemic has hit Wisconsin!!! 3 little girls from the same class! (One of them is a frequent flyer who REALLY knows how to act it out; Other one is a frequent flyer who bounces in with a smile and says "my stomach hurts"; the other-- just a fluke.) And this is FIRST GRADE!! It'll be a looooooooonnnnnnnggggg day with this sub!:smackingf

Keepstanding, ASN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 10 years experience. 1,600 Posts

i love it when they send 5 at a time from one class ! i will send 4 back and tend to one and when that one goes back, then they can send one more ! :eek: they feed into each others malady and they get very dramatic when with their friends !

praiser :heartbeat

mc3, ASN, RN

Has 12 years experience. 931 Posts

Perhaps we should notify the CDC? :p My new stomachache rule is, if you didn't vomit, back to class/if the teacher or I didn't see it, you're going back (if no fever, of course! :)




Specializes in School Nursing and Sports Medicine. 68 Posts

I think it’s contagious and spreading. I agree we should notify CDC. :hpygrp: