Typical day of a school nurse

  1. Hello all!

    I just signed my contract for this upcoming school year. I'm excited but nervous as this is a completely different field of nursing for me. I worked bedside for 2 years and in a clinic for the last 2 months.

    I guess what I'm most nervous about is I don't know what to expect. I don't know the workflow, the duties, exactly what I'll be asked to do.

    So I want to ask, what is your typical day as a school nurse? What exactly do you do from the time you come in till the time you leave? How many kids do you see a day? How many schools do you cover? How much paperwork is there?

    Any tips on how to survive my first school year and what to expect would be most appreciated!

    Thank you!
  2. Visit jadams92 profile page

    About jadams92

    Joined: May '16; Posts: 6; Likes: 23

    5 Comments

  3. by   aprilmoss
    My "contract" hours are half an hour before the students arrive to half an hour after. I only officially work days students are here.
    I generally will come in earlier to get ready at the beginning of the year. I try not to hang around in the summer.

    Unless I get a few "mom said I should go to school and see if I feel better" that come up right at the beginning, I have a first period or so to catch up on paperwork. Around lunch time I have a few students who come in for glucose tests and insulin. Those are the scheduled ones. Of course, you'll get spurts of "I don't feel good" students and a few real urgency/emergencies.
  4. by   xxbeach
    My free time is usually in the morning. Protocols are a priority. There may be students with diabetes requiring coverage. IEP assessments completed early as possible. Follow-up on physician orders as needed (notify MD re: corrections/upload to EHR). Triage students for office visits.
  5. by   RedKat
    I can only speak for my district - but for us, the number of students you'll see in a day typically depends on what age group you're working with and what time of year it is (and of course your total enrollment). I spend a little time every day in each of the offices within our district, including a small private Catholic school, so I make 5 stops every day. The public PreK-2 nurse and 3-6 nurse both have steady streams of students, while the 6-8 and 9-12 nurses are usually... not always, but usually... a little less busy. That changes when it's time to do screenings for sports signups - then the 6-8 and 9-12 nurses are super busy. I don't know the requirements in other states, but we're in NY and at the beginning of the school year, we spend a lot of time reviewing immunizations to make sure everyone is up-to-date per state regulations for their grade level, making sure anyone with meds has a complete physician's order and parent permission, and putting together ICP's and ensuring that pertinent staff are aware of the medical needs of students with allergies, seizures, etc. All of this needs to be done as quickly as possible. Then we start focusing on the state immunization survey which for us is due each December. Each of the nurses in my district gets paid extra for a certain number of summer days of work, to cover fall sports screenings (done in August before school starts) and general office set-up, review of faxes/messages/emails that came in over the summer, etc. Personally I get 5 summer work days for just the private school. The other nurses get around 8 or 9 because they have more students.
  6. by   MHDNURSE
    I am in a K-3 school with 488 students. I work 8-3:30. It is more or less a steady stream for me. My first year (four years ago) I was so worried about all the screening, paperwork, etc. Several people on here reminded me that as school nurses, our number 1 priority is ALWAYS student safety. ALWAYS! I actually had to write that down and put it on my bulletin board that first year, LOL. I am a total "rule follower" so I was getting bogged down and stressed about District policies, etc. and losing sight of the big picture. It's really easy to let all the policies, paperwork and admin stuff become your main focus. While all of that is important, I now don't get stressed that I am behind if it is because I was taking care of students medical needs. A typical day for me goes something like this:

    7:45- Arrive, settle in, check email
    8:00- see kids who show up at my office all day long until 3.
    12:00 - check BS of my Type 1 kid
    Throughout the day I also may go up and into classrooms if a teacher calls me to see a kid. We have a funky layout here so it is hard to just send a kid to the nurse. Throughout the day I am always checking email, calling parents, etc. Screenings are a whole other beast...
  7. by   Amethya
    Quote from jadams92
    Hello all!

    I just signed my contract for this upcoming school year. I'm excited but nervous as this is a completely different field of nursing for me. I worked bedside for 2 years and in a clinic for the last 2 months.

    I guess what I'm most nervous about is I don't know what to expect. I don't know the workflow, the duties, exactly what I'll be asked to do.

    So I want to ask, what is your typical day as a school nurse? What exactly do you do from the time you come in till the time you leave? How many kids do you see a day? How many schools do you cover? How much paperwork is there?

    Any tips on how to survive my first school year and what to expect would be most appreciated!

    Thank you!
    Not a RN, just CMA. In Texas we just have to be supervised by a NP or MD to do work. But I'm the only MA for a school of 560 students, K-8. My typical day starts coming to work at least 30 mins before school starts, eat breakfast, get stuff prepared for the day. Check emails and such. I have kids come and go during the day, and I try to get some paperwork done during off time (as well internet time) and then the end of the day, kids go home. I clean up, do paperwork and just leave for the day. I typically see 30 kids a day, depending on how good of a day is, I get sometimes 20. There's A TON OF PAPERWORK... but once you get the idea how to work things, you'll be okay.

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