When Teachers Try to Throw You Under the Bus

  1. So, I had this happen recently. At 1415 (dismissal is at 1450) a kindergarten teacher sends a student for "suspected fever". Student comes into clinic with buddy (pk-2 grade do this for students who are new or need help finding my office) giggly and playing. FTR- I don't know the student 'suspected of fever' as she's new to the school this year. I took her temp (99.1) and based on her behavior and her normal temp send her and her buddy back to class for dismissal.

    I saw the teacher during dismissal duty and she said to me, "Hey! I don't know why you sent LD back to class, she hasn't been herself all day long. She's slept all morning and had her head down on her desk all afternoon!"

    I responded, "she didn't have a fever and was playing with her friend when she came into my clinic-- had you mentioned to me her behavior had been off all day, or sent her to me when you noticed something was off-- I may have investigated further. As it was, you sent her right before dismissal!"

    Fast-forward to the next day.. I get a call from mom of student in question. She asks, "hey, did LD come see you in the clinic yesterday? She said she saw you and you sent her back to class. Her teacher said she sent her to you and you sent her back to class. She came home from school burning up with fever!!!".

    I told the parent, "yes, she did come to see me at the end of the day, and she DID NOT have a fever. Since it was right before dismissal, I sent her back to class."

    She responded, "oh, what time was it you say her. I told her 1415, just over 30 minutes before we send kids home"... she thanked me and seemed satisfied I did my diligence.

    Later in the day the teacher asked me, "hey, did you talk to LD's mom?? I told her I sent her to you and she was fine during the school day!"


    Yeah-- and this is one of my favorite teachers.
  2. Visit lifelearningrn profile page

    About lifelearningrn, BSN, RN

    Joined: May '10; Posts: 2,436; Likes: 3,967

    11 Comments

  3. by   Blue_Moon
    Many times. You did nothing wrong. I would've done the exact same thing. The teachers have learned at my school I don't send kids home for only not acting like themselves. If that were the case all the kids would learn to become good actors. I just say, no fever, seems ok, we will just keep an eye on them!

    I assessed one student with c/o an ear pain that began the night before and he said he told Mom. Well his ear did look like it was beginning to get a little red, nothing major. I called Mom, no answer so since he didn't have a fever and said it wasn't bothering him that bad and didn't seem to be in a lot of pain I sent a note home to follow up with the dr if it continued. Well the next day after school here comes mom and the principal madder than a hornet telling me he had a horrible ear infection (um no I bet you're exaggerating ) and that I should've called grandma because Mom works nights which was not listed on the emergency card she filled out. I said well he was not in much pain, acting fine, and it only looked like it might be beginning and how am I supposed to know you work nights if you don't put it down? Well the principal said she's a "pediatric nurse" you know so we need to call her from now on. What??? Um excuse me? Then I had a student at the end of the day with a sprain that just happened and the teacher didn't want her on the bus but she was laughing and barely limping and said she had no problem riding the bus home that was already waiting on her so I called her mom and asked what she thought and Mom said to let her ride if she felt she could (5th grade so old enough to know). Well the teacher came down and literally reemed me out about how that was unacceptable and on and on (the kid rode the bus). So I told her she wasn't a nurse and if she'd quit telling me how to do my job I wouldn't tell her how to do hers. Well guess who got in trouble by the principal? Me! For not listening to the teacher!!!! Thankfully I'm not at either of those schools. The one I'm at now, a student was hurt at recess and bumped his face near his eye. He had a tiny welt and was fine otherwise so I gave him ice and sent a note home. I even told the teacher if it started looking bad to let me know. Well he went down for a nap in pre-K and right after nap is dismissal and after the teacher gave him to whomever picked him up she comes in to say his eye looked really bad now. I'm like well I can't check it again now can I? So the next morning the parent comes in with this student for a big black eye and asks why she wasn't called. I explained when I saw him there was a tiny red welt and he then went down for nap time. I explained the pre-K teacher did not send him back when it started looking bad. Oops wrong answer, I was told by the principal in front of the mother I was wrong not to call her. I apologized to the mom and said if I'd realized it was that bad I would have. Lesson, the teacher is NEVER wrong! Even when they are.

    So yeah, many times and that's just the ones off the top of my head. Just try to take it with a grain of salt.
  4. by   Keepstanding
    I've seen this over and over and over again !! We are medical and they are educational. We are outnumbered and our opinions matter very little. I gave up a long time ago. You will never please them. They will "throw you under the bus" almost always. I just go in each day and do my best for the students. To be honest, I don't trust teachers or administrators. Sad... I know....but I've been forced to adopt this attitude over many years of school nursing.
  5. by   BiscuitRN
    I feel like a lot of this (both original post and comments) are just teachers/admin/parents trying to pass the blame so they don't feel bad. Ok...your kid had a fever/ear infection/bad bruise. I'm sorry that happened, but they survived. We aren't here to make sure the children are 100% comfortable at all times. We're here to keep them safe. Life is full of discomforts. Sometimes I'm at work with a cramp in my leg or a sore throat or tired because I didn't get enough sleep...that's life. Even if we called your child would have still had an ear infection/fever/bruise/etc. Of course we'd never leave a child in class if they were miserable or crying in pain, but the kids were fine. They all survived. We did our job.
  6. by   Cattz
    Quote from BiscuitRN
    I feel like a lot of this (both original post and comments) are just teachers/admin/parents trying to pass the blame so they don't feel bad. Ok...your kid had a fever/ear infection/bad bruise. I'm sorry that happened, but they survived. We aren't here to make sure the children are 100% comfortable at all times. We're here to keep them safe. Life is full of discomforts. Sometimes I'm at work with a cramp in my leg or a sore throat or tired because I didn't get enough sleep...that's life. Even if we called your child would have still had an ear infection/fever/bruise/etc. Of course we'd never leave a child in class if they were miserable or crying in pain, but the kids were fine. They all survived. We did our job.
    YippppEEEE! I love this! Good words Biscuit!
  7. by   Farawyn
    I call for all head and face bumps. I'm sorry, Blue Moon, but you should have called for the welt by the eye.
  8. by   lifelearningrn
    I generally call for "injuries" beyond scratches and paper cuts...
  9. by   ruby_jane
    So...the timing does seem wonky, right?

    However, and I stole this from someone else here, I can't remember whom... "At the time of my assessment the student was afebrile and able to remain in class. I did the best I could based on the data I had at the time."

    And to the teacher (If you feel like it): Gosh, I could do SO MUCH MORE for LD if you let me know earlier.

    Parenthetically, at the end of the day, unless something is terribly wrong, I will not likely take a temperature on a kid unless I know a parent is on the way.
  10. by   OldDude
    Quote from Keepstanding
    I've seen this over and over and over again !! We are medical and they are educational. We are outnumbered and our opinions matter very little. I gave up a long time ago. You will never please them. They will "throw you under the bus" almost always. I just go in each day and do my best for the students. To be honest, I don't trust teachers or administrators. Sad... I know....but I've been forced to adopt this attitude over many years of school nursing.
    Unless you see it with your own eyes or hear it with your own ears it's hearsay which doesn't equate to factual; the teacher may or may not be giving you legitimate information and what information does get to you is subjective - at best.
  11. by   Glitternurse
    I saw this somewhere and it just seems appropriate.
    "School Nurses, We do precision guesswork based on unreliable data provided by those with questionable knowledge"
  12. by   MHDNURSE
    Quote from Glitternurse
    I saw this somewhere and it just seems appropriate.
    "School Nurses, We do precision guesswork based on unreliable data provided by those with questionable knowledge"
    It's funny, I was trying to explain how hard it is to be a school nurse when your reporter is unreliable (very young kids who come alone to tell you what's wrong, an injury no one saw happen, etc.). I told her to imagine a 6 year-old kid showing up to an ER or pediatrician's office alone and being the only source of history. She finally was like "Wow, OK, I see now". So much is guess work, trusting your gut, etc. Some of the parents get annoyed that I bothered them for something small, some get annoyed I didn't call them for something I thought was NBD, etc. Half the time I never do figure out what the kid was exactly seeing me for, LOL.
  13. by   waxynurse3
    Quote from OldDude
    Unless you see it with your own eyes or hear it with your own ears it's hearsay which doesn't equate to factual; the teacher may or may not be giving you legitimate information and what information does get to you is subjective - at best.
    Yes! Lately I have been having a lot of students being sent/coming down for vomiting but cannot describe it, tell me the amount and of course no one else has seen it. Today a teacher sent back a student I returned to class because she said she vomited in the bathroom. Teacher was upset she wasn't immediately sent home. Then another little boy vomits all over the lunchroom I send him home and that teacher (different teacher) tells me "I'm going to give you a list of kids to call me first before you send them home, he always wants to leave school". Can't win!

close