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"The Nurse doesn't really DO anything" -Middle school students

Posted

Specializes in Telemetry, Orthopedic, M Surg, School RN. Has 13 years experience.

My son is in middle school at the K-8 where I work and he told me a couple of his classmates discussed that I don't do very much when they come to the medical room. I told him to ask if they could give specifics on things they would like to have done when they come to the medical room. Maybe I can educate them more on what a School Nurse does?

Of course I know that I do everything that I can for the students but it still stung a bit to hear that.

I have come across this type of feeling mostly with middle and high school. K-4 think we're angels on earth and 5th grade hasn't made up their minds just yet.

Have you experienced this in your school nurse career? If so, how do you fix that perception if at all?

MrNurse(x2), ADN

Specializes in IMC, school nursing. Has 28 years experience.

Children are not the most observant people. We are a very small school, we really don't do very much. We see 8-10 students a day, have 5 meds and one T1D. Luckily we both work other jobs for our kudos, because we don't get many here. The staff this year has basically ignored us, barely say hi, and really don't appreciate we are here. My wife got one praise after saving a student the other day. If this is all we did, it would really annoy us. The students have been told repeatedly that our job is to keep them at school and not just send them home, so they don't expect us to keep them in the office. Our average visit is 2 minutes and few stay in the office except to go home.

Cas1in72

Specializes in school nursing/ maternal/child hospital based. Has 27 years experience.

Consider the source. Middle school students are beyond description. . They believe you" dont do anything" because you arent doing what they want you to. IE: sending them home. You are doing everything right. Keep at it. Caving and giving in to what the students " think" needs to be done, is not helping them at all! I worked middle school for 2 years and believe me, I UNDERSTAND where you are 100%. Sending good vibes.

RNTadaaaa

Specializes in Telemetry, Orthopedic, M Surg, School RN. Has 13 years experience.

@MrNurse(x2)

Thank you! I am sorry your staff is so unappreciative of your hard work. They're going to be shocked by the amount of things they will need to cover when you've moved on.

@Cas1in72 Ilaughed out loud at "consider the source" !! So so true. Thank you very much. I definitely will not cave. Might do a short educational 5 min talk on what they can expect when visiting the school nurse.

ruby_jane, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing. Has 12 years experience.

I fix it by charting errything that I do including but not limited to comfort measures, offering to call parent, rest, hydration, and education.

I love your answer - tell me more about a specific time that I didn't "do anything". Because when your new ear piercing hurts or you have a stomach ache because you at the hot Cheetos or did the Ghost Pepper challenge...whelp, not much I can do, sugarbear. Not everything needs ice. Not every discomfort requires a trip home.

Cas1in72

Specializes in school nursing/ maternal/child hospital based. Has 27 years experience.

1 minute ago, RNTadaaaa said:

@MrNurse(x2)

Thank you! I am sorry your staff is so unappreciative of your hard work. They're going to be shocked by the amount of things they will need to cover when you've moved on.

@Cas1in72 Ilaughed out loud at "consider the source" !! So so true. Thank you very much. I definitely will not cave. Might do a short educational 5 min talk on what they can expect when visiting the school nurse.

For sure! I used to tell them " we all have a job here. The teachers job is to teach. Your job is to learn. My job is to keep you healthy and in school so we can all do what is expected of us. If I sent you home for every little complaint, I wouldnt be doing my job, would I?" Of coarse, that went over like a lead balloon at the MS level, but its true. I continue to use that "speech" with the littles. Hopefully, it will sink in before their their brains are taken over by raging hormones!!!

ruby_jane, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing. Has 12 years experience.

2 minutes ago, RNTadaaaa said:

@Cas1in72 Ilaughed out loud at "consider the source" !! So so true. Thank you very much. I definitely will not cave. Might do a short educational 5 min talk on what they can expect when visiting the school nurse.

I started the year with this presentation - to the teachers. I wrapped it into the allergy/anaphylaxis/seizure stuff. 96% of the time last year a student was returned to class/did not go home. So when you (teachers) send them to me, I assess them - and I do not have comfort medication to give at will. Our principal is adamant that any student who is able to should stay in our learning environment.

Only 4% of the time when the teacher sent me a kid who "looked funny/isn't feeling well/isn't acting right/has his/her head down" did they actually LEAVE.

And then I reviewed our communicable disease policies - coughing is not necessarily a reason to send a child home! One episode of loose stool is not diarrhea!

Cas1in72

Specializes in school nursing/ maternal/child hospital based. Has 27 years experience.

3 minutes ago, ruby_jane said:

I fix it by charting errything that I do including but not limited to comfort measures, offering to call parent, rest, hydration, and education.

I love your answer - tell me more about a specific time that I didn't "do anything". Because when your new ear piercing hurts or you have a stomach ache because you at the hot Cheetos or did the Ghost Pepper challenge...whelp, not much I can do, sugarbear. Not everything needs ice. Not every discomfort requires a trip home.

AMEN! Natural Consequences my sweet loves!!!!

RNTadaaaa

Specializes in Telemetry, Orthopedic, M Surg, School RN. Has 13 years experience.

@ruby_jane YES! I haven't been able to secure a time during the prep week staff meeting (that's a whole other story) but I am definitely going to do it this upcoming semester.

I love that you have charts and metrics!! What do you use for charting? I do chart but I have been thinking about how to improve my charting to show trends and percentages etc.

CampyCamp, RN

Has 18 years experience.

Older kids start wanting a diagnosis and a cure for whatever is going on to them in this moment. They get frustrated is all we can do is offer ice and band aids or the occasional tylenol. They want a full pharmacy, xray, and lab. Anything less is "not listening" or "doing nothing" I suspect part of it is a feeling of "ice? I can do ice by myself. Any 12 year old can do ice!" LOL.

NurseHeatherBSNRN, ASN, BSN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 7 years experience.

@ruby_jane I just reviewed our disease/exclusion policy with a teacher yesterday, who then felt the need to talk to administration, because she wants every kid who vomits to immediately be sent home. Keep in mind that Little Bit yesterday vomited "clear stuff" in the middle of a coughing fit 🙄. Thankfully, admin agreed with the policy and my stance that one vomit does not mean go straight to home, do not pass go, do not collect $200!

BrisketRN, BSN, RN

Has 4 years experience.

My littles think I can fix anything, the middle schoolers are annoyed I won't send them home every day/give them cough syrup/let them go on a field trip when their temp is 101F, and the high schoolers already know the rules and just pop in to ask for very specific things (meds and the form was submitted first day of school, ice for swelling, temp check) or trust me when I check something out for them. It's that age. You couldn't pay me to go back to middle school!

I don't work in the same district as my kids' school, but we're in the same conference. This past fall, we were facing each other at a cross country meet. One of my 8th grade students told my daughter that I do nothing for them. That stung, but then my 6th grade son annihilated him in the race, so that made me feel better 😂

"nursy", RN

Specializes in ICU, ER, Home Health, Corrections, School Nurse. Has 40 years experience.

Don't feel bad, I had a student ask me how come I wasn't a REAL nurse, you know like the ones in the hospital???? 😖 But since I've been there and done that.....don't really care, I'll gladly hand out band aids and ice paks, and occasionally save a life like when I have to call 911 for the asthmatic who can't breathe but parents can't be bothered to provide inhaler! It's all good!

kidzcare

Has 5 years experience.

3 hours ago, Cas1in72 said:

Middle school students are beyond description. . They believe you" dont do anything" because you arent doing what they want you to. IE: sending them home.

Yep.

I have this conversation every year with the camp counselors in the summer. Most of the counselors are former campers and every year, one of them will say something like "I love the nurses this year! When I was a camper, the nurses were mean!"

I always ask them "Were they really mean or were they just not giving you what you wanted?" and every time, they've had a light bulb moment.

Flare, ASN, BSN

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

Spot on everyone. To me "the nurse doesn't do anything" translates directly to "the nurse didn't send me home for my malingering". I have even taken to asking the students what their expectation was that i'd do for them when they come in for certain c/o and i usually get a blank stare and a shrug.

tining, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nurse. Has 27 years experience.

5 minutes ago, Flare said:

Spot on everyone. To me "the nurse doesn't do anything" translates directly to "the nurse didn't send me home for my malingering". I have even taken to asking the students what their expectation was that i'd do for them when they come in for certain c/o and i usually get a blank stare and a shrug.

Exactly.