Is this going around at the school?

  1. How do you reply to that? Say a student has been home sick with a stomach bug, and yes, you've sent home a few kids for vomiting this week, but nothing alarming.

    Or maybe the issue is lice.
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    About NurseEllie13

    Joined: Dec '13; Posts: 27; Likes: 31


  3. by   schooldistrictnurse
    Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It's always safe to say "we see a little bit of everything this time of year."
    As for lice, I will typically refer to the school policy that says parents are notified when there are several cases in the grade level.
    I have stated, however, when applicable, we have no other known cases right now. So a really good detective would know if I gave the first answer that there is at least one other case! Are you concerned about confidentiality or just wondering?
  4. by   coughdrop.2.go
    I would say that if that as a School Nurse I do tracking of health concerns (only say if you do like I do) and if there is a concern that a particular issue may be spreading within the school community I will talk with administration about how best to get the information out to students, parents, and staff. If they keep asking, I would mention again if you hear from us then there will be a concern, besides that I will not give further information due to concern of student's privacy rights. If they don't like it send them to Administration.
  5. by   NurseEllie13
    schooldistrictnurse, I guess both. I want to address their concern and be empathetic without breaching confidentiality. Thanks for the suggestions, I might use those statements!

    Thanks, kenderella89, I like how direct and straightforward that is!
  6. by   AdobeRN
    I usually just say "there is something always going around" along with what another poster stated above that if there was something serious parents would have been notified via note, email or mass phone call.
  7. by   JenTheSchoolRN
    When a parent asks me on the phone, I usually say "at this time of year, there is always something going around." When I see a trend, I use school's biweekly newsletter that goes home to parents. For example, when I saw an significant rise in the number of students I sent home and those absent because of vomiting, I put a little blurb in the newsletter about viral gastroenteritis, its signs and symptoms and when to keep your child home, etc.

    Something more serious gets an official letter or mass phone call.
  8. by   100kids
    If I see a trend I will send a note home but if we have just 1 or 2 cases and a parent calls and asks I will tell them yes I have seen 1 or 2 cases that sound similar but there are always a lot of different things going around. I never give out specifics on classrooms or students so I'm not worried about confidentiality.
  9. by   Nurse ABC
    Oh wow everyone is so diplomatic! I guess I just never really thought about how I should answer that. If it's illness related and I've had 2-3 cases I always just say yes because for some odd reason it makes the parents calm down. If I say no not really I get a million questions like what could it be, where could they have gotten it, do I need to take them to the dr, etc and they are so worried. If they know it's going around they're like ok then it's just a bug they'll be ok. If I'm not 100% sure it's a virus I tell them they need to follow up with dr if such and such occur.

    Now if it's lice however, I usually say no. In my experience, most students contract lice from other family/neighbors/etc the kids have been hanging around at their house and I don't want the parent using the school as an excuse. Nine times out of ten when I check a class no other students have lice. The times another student may have lice is usually a first timer who may have gotten it from the student whose parent keeps asking how many in the room have it! Of course there are always exceptions but they are rare for me.
  10. by   CuticleCare
    "With over 700 students, there is always something going around." That's my standard reply. Lots of good advice given before too!
  11. by   Flare
    i'm with everyone else - parents always think that i've got some sort of cdc lab to know what's going around on any given week so when asked i always tell them that there is always something going around.
  12. by   NutmeggeRN
    With Mono, my answer is typically..."Yes, from Sept 1 to June 15"!!! With the 6 week incubation period I always have kids who are being diagnosed.......
  13. by   Nurse ABC
    I had a parent call me back after picking up his sick child and ask how long he could expect him to be sick. I'm like a day or two, possibly longer. It made him happy even though I basically said I don't know.
  14. by   fetch
    Quote from Nurse ABC
    I had a parent call me back after picking up his sick child and ask how long he could expect him to be sick. I'm like a day or two, possibly longer. It made him happy even though I basically said I don't know.