Fear of the Nurse's Office

  1. I have two Pre-K kids who are terrified of me and of the nurse's office in general. So far they have managed to avoid me, but yesterday the teacher came to tell me one of them was obviously not feeling well, felt warm, but started bawling every time she talked to him about coming to my office. Apparently his mother had surgery recently and this just intensified his fears.

    I gave his teacher a quick tutorial in using the forehead thermometer, and sure enough he had a low grade temp. We let him lay down in the back of the classroom and called for his parents to pick up. I just wonder what would happen if it had been something that actually did require nursing assessment! I am also concerned about screenings on this child, which I will be doing very soon.

    Anyone had a child with this strong a fear of the nurse's office? How do you help them cope and still get done what you need to get done to keep them healthy?
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    About Purple_Scrubs, BSN

    Joined: Dec '08; Posts: 2,206; Likes: 3,643
    School Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 8 year(s) of experience in School Nursing


  3. by   Flare
    So desensitization would probably be really helpful for these kids. In years past when I was at the smaller school and I actually had a second to leave my office I would make my presence known. I'd join in on a game with the kids or make a camoe appearance in PE (dressed in my scrubs and lab coat, as i perpetually wear) and play a few minutes of whatever they were playing. This seemed to ease the fear of the ominous white coat.
    The kids that were simply afraid of the office and what it represented to them would get brief regular visits where we'd read a quick story, tell a joke or sometimes get rewarded with a sticker.
    Of course now that i'm here in the middle school i don't have a problem with any ofhte kids not wanting to see me (well, maybe a few because i don't take their BS).
  4. by   parkay
    At the beginning of the year the Kindergarten and 1st grade teachers take the kids on a tour of the building and come into the office and let the kids see who I am and that if ever they feel sick or get hurt that I am here to help them . The pre-k kids usually come with an adult to see me so someone familiar is with them. With the l pre-k kids I get down on my knees so I'm at their level and say hi and let them know what I'm going to do " I'm going to check your temp with this."
  5. by   pallasb
    When I worked in an elementary school I often had this problem with my special ed K students. I would spend some time in the class playing with them, reading a book to the class or doing a craft. We would also have them be the "helper" and have them walk down with another student who didn't feel well or had to take meds. I vividly remember one student who needed an abrasion treated, she put bandaids on me and her aide and then let us take care of her. We became friends after that and she trusted me when she didn't feel well.