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Use of nurse's office

School   (2,117 Views 24 Comments)
by Rsrfrn Rsrfrn (New Member) New Member

332 Visitors; 3 Posts

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The main office in school decided without asking me that teachers can use my office to pump breast milk. I had a teacher walk in stating dhe needs 20 minutes uninterrupted. I asked her to please wait or find another office because I have a seperate treatment room where insulin diabetics test snd inject before lunch and it was anout that time. She went to principal and I received an email stating that she is to have use of the room and "if need be, I will have to assist students while she has use of the room" I guess in another part of my space. Refrigerated insulin and all kits are in that room. I have not even responded back to email yet I am so flabbergasted. Anyone else have staff thst feels nurses office is the only place to pump?

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halohg has 25 years experience.

36 Likes; 2,105 Visitors; 174 Posts

It would have absolutely been the right thing to do to discuss this ahead of time. The principal is the keeper of the house and all the offices are his/hers, you are in their space not the other way around. Not consulting ahead of time is disrespectful but not surprising as we school nurses are under valued and treated with a lack of professionalism all too often. I would simply reply that the treatment room is utilized by students often and regularly and this will distrupt their routine and potentially cause missed class time. The custodial staff will need to move the refrigerator immediately so students have access to their prescribed medications. Etc. not an easy one. Sorry.

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OldDude works as a School Nurse.

943 Likes; 5 Followers; 1 Article; 27,734 Visitors; 4,559 Posts

You're not going to win this battle...find a way to make it work and realize objectivity and reason doesn't apply to school administration; especially this subject.

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5 Likes; 1,024 Visitors; 66 Posts

It probably is the teachers plan time. I am a school nurse and I have to pump in the bathroom. I can't even lock and shut my door without someone knocking or adminstration unlocking my door without notifying me. There is no where else in the building. Why can't she pump during her plan time in her classroom? That's ridiculous. You need to discuss it with your nursing supervisor or your supervisor. The needs of diabetic health needs should come before a teacher pumping (and I'm a pumper)

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5 Likes; 1,024 Visitors; 66 Posts

Or she needs to come at a time that works for you.

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NRSKarenRN has 40 years experience as a BSN and works as a Registered Nurse, Home Health.

106 Likes; 5 Followers; 7 Articles; 159,101 Visitors; 14,360 Posts

What the law says about breastfeeding and work

The federal Break Time for Nursing Mothers law requires employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to provide basic accommodations for breastfeeding mothers at work. These accommodations include time for women to express milk and a private space that is not a bathroom each time they need to pump.Aug 17, 2018....

...Employers covered under FLSA must provide a private space for lactation that is not a bathroom. "Private" means that other people cannot see an employee while she is pumping breast milk. Often this means putting a lock on the door, but some companies use mobile screens or tall cubicle areas. The space does not have to be a permanent, dedicated lactation room. This section shows many solutions for providing permanent, flexible, or temporary spaces and even mobile options that can be used in virtually every type of industry. Learn more about providing appropriate locations for nursing moms to express milk.

Space in the nurses office is NOT a private space as it is necessary to be accessed by students as same time employee ----- this is in violation of the law. Nurse/Employer can not select time for pumping--it's up to discresion of nursing mother: law requires employers to provide "reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child's birth each time such employee has need to express the milk"

"A place other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk" - U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division, Section 7® of the Fair Labor Standards Act - Break Time for Nursing Mothers Provision

Additional consideration:

What should a lactation room include?

In addition to a chair and a flat surface for pumping equipment, nursing mothers appreciate lactation spaces that include:

Lockers or hooks for their belongings while pumping

Electrical outlets to plug in an electric breast pump or recharge a battery-powered pump. Double electric multi-user pumps are quicker than manual pumps and are helpful for working moms on a tight schedule.

Comfortable seating. Milk flows more quickly when a woman is comfortable and relaxed.

Breast pumps provided on-site by the company. Women bring their own attachments (breast shields and milk collection containers) but do not have to carry a potentially large and heavy motorized pump to work.

A white noise machine or similar device for common areas. Pumps can be noisy, and some women may be embarrassed about disturbing coworkers with the sound of a pump in a shared space.

A small refrigerator or cooler for women to store their milk. Breastmilk is food and may be stored in a company refrigerator in the same way other food is stored.

A sink with running water close by. Women can quickly clean breast pump attachments after a pumping break.

A mirror to adjust clothing after pumping

Cleaning supplies like paper towels and wipes to clean the space after use.

Information about breastfeeding support services, such as the Office on Women's Health no-cost breastfeeding Helpline at 1-800-994-9662. The Helpline is available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time. Help is available in English or Spanish from a breastfeeding peer counselor who has breastfed and received training to help other women with breastfeeding questions.

Edited by NRSKarenRN

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Spidey's mom works as a RN.

5 Likes; 4 Followers; 76,168 Visitors; 11,279 Posts

As usual, Karen Rocks!:nurse: :yes:

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48 Likes; 22,966 Visitors; 2,387 Posts

As usual' date=' Karen Rocks!:nurse: :yes:[/quote']

Agreed!

My school converted a large walk-in storage closet (that has a window and outlet) that has a sink outside it into a pumping room. There is a sign-up sheet, however, since we have multiple teachers pumping. Thankfully, my school has always been very supportive when it comes to this.

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Flare is a ASN, BSN and works as a School nurse firefighter.

296 Likes; 2 Followers; 5 Articles; 33,476 Visitors; 3,900 Posts

I agree that it is probably a losing battle for you, but it is also unreasonable for the admins to expect you to upheave your entire routine without any prior warning. I think it is in your best interest to at the very least make notice that this is not an ideal situation as the anteroom within your office does have a dedicated purpose for students with chromic conditions that need use of it at around the same time. I understand and agree that the teacher has the right to pump in a private room that isn't a bathroom, but there is also a duty to advocate for the students and a balance needs to be met. It's not going to be enough for the admin to turn this back on to you to find a reasonable solution either. This was sprung on you.

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kidzcare has 5 years experience.

177 Likes; 19,065 Visitors; 3,213 Posts

Soooo... why would anyone think it is a good idea to pump milk in a germ-filled health office? Would you want your pumping equipment exposed to that? Or the milk as the bottle is detached from the tubing and the lid put on? Gross.

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OldDude works as a School Nurse.

943 Likes; 5 Followers; 1 Article; 27,734 Visitors; 4,559 Posts

Soooo... why would anyone think it is a good idea to pump milk in a germ-filled health office? Would you want your pumping equipment exposed to that? Or the milk as the bottle is detached from the tubing and the lid put on? Gross.

You already know not to apply logic or reason to school administration...

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694 Visitors; 38 Posts

Our school avoided this for awhile. I pumped in a side room in my office. I let 1 or 2 moms pump there too, again this was a side room that we only use for school physicals (and it did NOT have a lock on it either) but most pumped in their classroom during plan period. However that was not in compliance with the law. 2 years ago they converted a faculty bathroom into a pumping room. Using the nurses office is not in compliance either because it's not private. Don't get mad at the pumping teacher, she has the right to pump at work and sounds like her employer (the school) sucks. They are trying to skirt the law by using YOU, and of course will get pissed that you are questioning it since it upends your entire routine and access to needed supplies

To prove a point I would line the kids up outside the door, and make them wait the 20 mins. Email administration that the kids are waiting xyz time because you cannot access the med room. I would even link them to the law and say using the med room is not in compliance with the law

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