Tired of kids coming to the nurse...

  1. I don't mean the students on meds or the diabetics or anyone that has chronic health issues or the injured, etc. I mean the line of students every day complaining of vague issues of not feeling well or want ice or a band aid for an injury that's not there. The ones that are just trying of get out of class or go home. You know the ones! I'm so tired of dealing with these ones. I'm losing all my empathy. What do you say to these ones to help them understand they do not need to see the nurse unless truly sick or hurt esp when the teachers are no help? To help them understand that just because they are a little tired or not feeling awesome they don't need to go home? It doesn't help when the teachers keep sending them back because they keep complaining. I'm getting really burnt out on this!! The teachers act like I'm trying to get out of doing my job when I complain about this. Of course they also get miffed if I want a half hour to myself to eat lunch. Does anyone else get sick of this? How do you cope? I'm starting to not like this job anymore.
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    Joined: Jan '12; Posts: 438; Likes: 429


  3. by   bleemadden
    I hear ya!! Teachers are a major reason why students become 'repeat offenders'. I sent a mass staff e-mail (so teachers wouldn't feel cornered) and offered tips. Send the kid for water, have them go to the bathroom, tell them to wait until the end of the lesson (9 times out of 10 they will forget), or for students really pushing the issue ask them what the nurse can do for them. If they can't come up with a legitimate answer, they stay in class. I've also been deemed as a 'not very fun nurse' by some of my repeat offenders. I have a huge stack of books in my office. "School is for strengthening the mind, read a book!" Half a picture book later, they're outa there! Don't get me wrong, I am very sympathetic to those who are sick or just having a really crummy day. Those who need rest, get rest. Those who need to go home, go home. But those who don't like math or want to go home and play XBox (usually they slip and will say something implying they just want to go home), get a lecture. I'm a very busy health room with just the meds I need to give..I don't have time for noncense. I try to scare them away with germs first. Like, "I had a kid in here earlier coughing and sneezing all over the place; do you know how fast germs can spread?!" Girls especially think it's really gross. Or if they say they don't know what's wrong or 'just don't feel good' I reply with, "Oh no! Well what's best here is if you come in on your recess time so that I can watch you..you must just be really sick if you can't figure out what's wrong!" When their own free time is on the line, they tend to rethink things.
    You learn fast which kids are ALWAYS coming in and how to control it. Like I said, start with the teachers. Most aren't empathetic at all because it's 'our job' but I keep a list of how many students teachers send in a day. I email the teacher with the info and cc the principal. Worked like a charm with my problem teachers. Now I have a little less BS goin on in my office, and it's pretty nice!
  4. by   MinnieMomRN
    Quote from bleemadden
    Well what's best here is if you come in on your recess time so that I can watch you..you must just be really sick if you can't figure out what's wrong!" When their own free time is on the line, they tend to rethink things.
    That line works for me too!
  5. by   misty_dawn
    I usually don't mind the bandaids, bellyaches, ect. I do, however, have a few frequent fliers that come in for the same things, bellyaches, and they are so dramatic, and their boys too. If they do not have a fever I tell them right away that they are not going to go home. Then the proceed to say well I threw up in the bathroom and I proceed to tell them that unless I or another teacher witnesses it they are still not going home. I tell them that people throw up for many reasons, sometimes just from eating to much and then going to play outside. When they realize that they are not going to get to go home they suddenly feel better. I am always calm, nice and empathetic about it, but I firmly let them know that school is important and unless they have a fever or are possibly contagious they are going to stay in class. I have sent a few emails to the teachers regarding the frequent fliers and they sometimes do not realize just how often the students are being sent up, its an eye opener to them too.
  6. by   Flare
    I hear ya! What make it worse is that I have a few malingerers that also have ridiculous mama bear parents that want to be called for every MRI (that's math related illness) and will usually pick them up -then complain that their child needs more academic help (uh... maybe if your kid could be in school a full week, you'd see remarkable improvement!)
  7. by   Kafergie
    I usually start to feel the way about mid-year, but this school year, I was getting annoyed by the 2nd week of school!

    I am in a private school with "over involved" parents, who love to complain about everything. Kids will be whiny but fine, go home and tell the parent that the teacher wouldn't let them see the nurse, and then the parent complains.

    The bottom line is that the teachers are scared if they don't send a kid, it will be the one time something really is wrong. It becomes a losing battle on my end and I've learned to just do an eval and shuffle them out quickly. And remind myself that summer eventually gets here!
  8. by   caregiver1977
    I am not a nurse, but a teacher assistant. Our school nurse got burned out about the second week of school with this crap. I wonder if some of these parents realize how much time their child is spending out of class in the office to see the nurse (the parents that would actually care)? If some of these teachers had more of a backbone, this problem wouldn't be happening as much. What gets me is that the students at my school with chronic conditions usually complain the LEAST!

    Maybe it would help if each teacher had a small first aid kit in their room to take care of bandaids and things like that (for those of you who are not "soap and water" only). Some teachers at my school bought their own supplies. Last year the PTA/PTO provided it.

    It has gotten to the point that I am trying to help the school nurse with the more minor issues ( I have her blessing with some things). Sometimes I feel more like a medical assistant than a teacher assistant.
  9. by   Nurse ABC
    Caregiver, I'm sure your school nurse appreciates your help! I love when teachers and aides are willing to help out!! Our teachers do have first aid kits but it's the general complaint of "I don't feel well" that gets them sent down. We have a few teachers that put their foot down so you know if one of their students come down there is a definate problem! However, there are those teachers that don't seem to care how many times their students leave their class. I like the recess line-I will use that!! Thanks for all the replies!
  10. by   Flare
    i would love if the teachers would all take bandaids and just treat minor cuts in class or sent to the bathroom for stomach aches or simply realize i can't do a blessed thing about a head cold - and don't get me wrong - a handful of them do all these things. The rest are so afraid of getting a backlash from parents over not letting the child leave the instant they feel queasy or are so afraid of getting sick themselves and will send every kid that coughs 3 times during class. I think it's insanity that i'm the only nonadministrative person that can have their lunch interrupted (when i'm lucky enough to get lunch) if you did that to one of these teachers, they'd pitch a fit.
  11. by   misty_dawn
    I started using the recess line these past two days.....and wouldnt you know it works. Today I had a girl three different times. The first time she said her heart was hurting, that is was beating real fast then real slow. Checked all vitals, watched her, listened to her- couldn't find anything wrong. It was lunch time so I sent her to eat lunch and to come back if it is still a problem. She came back stating that she was having a burning feeling in her chest. Again checked vitals, all was well. She then said well I think I have heartburn- nothing I can do for that. I gave her some water and she felt better so off to class. Teacher, a sub, sent her back 30 min before school gets out with a note to "check her heart." I asked the student what was going on and the student said, I have a stomach ache. I asked her if she told the teacher that her heart was hurting and she said no I told her I had a belly ache. So I called the teacher to find out exactly what the problem was. She said well I am not taking any chances here, she was saying her heart hurt, which I told her well the student is saying that it is her stomach, and she said that wasn't what the student told her. Anyways vitals fine a third time, gave her some crackers and low and behold......she felt better.

    I think a lot of it is that the teachers do not want to miss something or it become a real problem. OR the student goes home and tells their family they were sick but the teacher wouldnt let them go to the nurse. I did have a lot of belly aches today that just needed to use the bathroom though.
  12. by   Jack245
    When I was in grade school, I used to do the same thing. I was always going to the office with random issues like that...because the office was the only place where I wasn't being bullied and beat up on. Now I know that isn't the case with every kid, but just some food for thought.
  13. by   mc3
    Quote from MinnieMomRN
    That line works for me too!
    Hey, I like that one! Do you use it on the little kids, or just on the "older"? (3rd graders and up -(I don't consider them "little") I do tend to baby the pre-K, Kg and 1st graders. Second grade - depends on the child. 3rd grade and up, I toughen up. I'm going to try it out.....
  14. by   mc3
    Yes, I do consider that.. if I'm not sure what's going on, I'll pull them aside and whisper "has anyone hurt your feeling, or made your sad today?" Sometimes the little ones just break down...it usually has to do with a former friend being mean. Ah, kids can be so mean sometimes!