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Tell me about your sub coverage

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by NurseMrn NurseMrn (Member)

874 Visitors; 34 Posts

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Hi friends,

So here is our situation.  We have a float nurse in our district who's first priority is to cover for nursing absences.  When not covering she has a regular rotating schedule.  Due to many of us seeming to be bogged down with illness this year, we have had several times where coverage is NOT available, leaving nurses feel like we must drag ourselves into work, or the district scrambling to pull nurses from other schools or try to figure something out last minute.  There have been times schools have been uncovered.  (I know, not every school has a FT nurse, or even a nurse for that matter).  It is a huge concern for us as the health needs of our children increase by the year (seizures, diabetics, etc.).  We nurses have a simple solution which is to hire a second nurse for our middle school (a desperate need to be honest), or a second float nurse.  Neither will happen because of the grand old problem of $$$$.  We cannot get subs, because the sub pay honestly is laughable. Is there anything that really works for you guys?  Do your schools go uncovered?  I feel like this is probably a problem pretty much everywhere.... 

Thanks!

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SaltineQueen works as a School Nurse.

1 Follower; 5,693 Visitors; 675 Posts

We have a pool of maybe 6 nurses.  A couple are parents of kids in the district, others are just nurses one of us knows and asked if they'd be willing to be a sub.  They all work in hospitals, so coverage can be iffy at times but it's rare that we go without a nurse.  We usually have more problems when we're trying to get coverage the same day because we're sick.  If it's prearranged we can usually find someone to sub.  I believe our sub pay is $80/day, maybe $90.

 

If I'm at a meeting the office covers for me.  On the rare occasions we don't get a sub that's who covers for me then, also. 

Edited by SaltineQueen

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CanIcallmymom has 4 years experience.

497 Visitors; 164 Posts

We don't have official "nurse" subs here. Usually, it's covered by available office personnel or one of the aids who I've instructed on epi-pens, diabetic management, med admin, etc...

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aprilmoss has 20 years experience and works as a School Nurse.

1,713 Visitors; 237 Posts

We have one supervisor RN who is the first pick to sub in at a school (she can supervise over phone / email from just about anywhere).   After that, madame supervisor needs to get creative.   We do have a couple of retired nurses that she brings in like substitute teachers (and I think at an equivalent per diem pay).

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MHDNURSE has 21 years experience.

11,569 Visitors; 1,130 Posts

No subs here- I am IT.  And it has gotten bad enough that I am leaving next year to work as a sub, rather than here FT.  And I am sure I will find plenty of hours b/c several surrounding districts are always looking for subs.

Interestingly, my good friend lives down in Maryland in PG county and was telling me how their middle school has no nurse.  I asked what happens with the seizure kids, diabetics, etc.  and she said "they just cross their fingers and hope for the best"!!  I can't believe that there is no nurse coverage for these kids.  I mean honestly what happens????  I guess they do nothing but call 911?  As a parent I would be terrified for my child with a chronic illness that required emergency respose.

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BiscuitRN has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a School Nurse.

1,713 Visitors; 372 Posts

Our go-to cover is our former school nurse (she's still a parent at our school).  We also have used an agency a few times but that needs to be planned ahead (at least the night before) and costs more.  In a pinch I've got a few staff members who I've trained to do medication administration on top of the epi, diabetes, first aid training all staff have. 

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imaneedmycoffeefirst89 has 3 years experience.

2,531 Visitors; 125 Posts

We have one former health clerk that subs. So that's one for the whole district. I was already told that if my children get sick I need to find back up nannies that can watch them. Um okay, I GOT YOU. lol I'm really planning to not return next coming year and if I do it just may be to another school possibly district.

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Eleven011 has 20+ years experience and works as a School Nurse.

14,559 Visitors; 1,086 Posts

I am the only nurse in our school, only school in our district, so there is no where to pull from for subs.   I also am the only staff that have to find their own subs - no calling in sick for me, unless I find someone to cover!    That said, I do have 2 nurses that can sub for me and with enough notice, are usually pretty good about covering.   One of them even checks with me before her work schedule is out so she can request days off if I have something I need covered.    Its the short notice things that are hard to cover.   

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OyWithThePoodles has 10 years experience as a RN and works as a Registered Nurse.

1 Follower; 11,550 Visitors; 1,227 Posts

No subs here. It really makes it hard. We are an awesome team and cover each others big needs when there is an absence, but it still makes it hard.

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kidzcare has 5 years experience.

19,153 Visitors; 3,246 Posts

The first district I worked for had a sub pool of 5-6 but I think 4 of them said they would only work at the elementary school (the 5/6 and 7/8 buildings were too busy), one of the others was disliked by staff. So that left one and she was almost never available. I would feel terribly guilty about calling in. 

At my current district, we have several float nurses and if they are all busy then the nursing supervisors (which is my role) are pulled to sub in buildings and we get some extra pay for it. 

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NutmeggeRN has 25 years experience as a BSN and works as a HS Nurse.

1 Follower; 4 Articles; 41,993 Visitors; 3,670 Posts

They need to pay the sub a decent rate and then they wouldn't have to go to the expense of hiring a second nurse. We pay almost $200 a day and it is RARE that we do not get coverage and if you look a the hourly rate it is little less than $30 per which is still less than hospital pay...

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Glitternurse has 1 years experience as a LVN and works as a School LVN.

1,122 Visitors; 178 Posts

No subs for us either. Our secretaries are trained as health clerks. There are only 2 of us and 6 sites, so our students and secretaries are used to handling things on their own. Fortunately since I started last school year the RN and I have not been out at the same time so we are able to cover emergencies and our students who require licensed care. 

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