School nurses are squeezed

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by flutterbee, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    When I was in school, we had a school nurse in our building all day every day. Now if we send medications to school, it is the secretaries in the office who administer it.
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Yup, same scenario where we are. We don't have a full-time nurse, we have "health clerk". And she's only there part time. In her absence, it's the principal's secretary that takes care of the kids who come in sick, injured or need medications administered. Sheesh, I could do that!

    The only nurse that comes close to our school is assigned to several schools, including our middle school. When we were going to put a health plan together for difficult child 1, she didn't do a thing to contribute to the document -- simply took what I wrote and said "here you go" to the school. Not sure if I should be flattered by the indirect compliment or puzzled over what she really does to earn her paycheck...
  3. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    I don't think this should be a teacher's responsibility.

    I may be mistaken, but I think most state regs address this issue.

    In our district, kids can't take any type of medication to school -- including cough drops or other over-the-counter medications. The medications that are taken in by the parents must be in the original bottle. For OTC medications, they must have a prescription written by the doctor. The nurse keeps all medications in a locked cabinet.

    Although inconvenient sometimes, e.g., getting an Rx for asprin, I have to give the sd kudos for their procedures in this regard.
  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    It is one thing to dispense medication but a totally different thing to be doing finger pricks and adjusting insulin pumps.

    difficult child attends a very small school. His teacher is the one who dispensed his medications at afternoon break time. I cut some pills in advance so she did not have to take time to cut them in half. They were kept in a locked cabinet and she recorded what and when she gave a dose. She should not have had to do this, the school nurse was not there on a daily basis.

    I really think there needs to be a school nurse on grounds at all times. You just never know when there will be a medical emergency that someone other than the teacher needs to take care of so school can continue for the other students. The nurse can keep logs of incident reports and send a report home the end of the day explaining what happened, what medical attention was given, and any follow-up advise (get extra rest tonight, consider taking to doctor, apply ointment again at ____, etc.). A daily report should also be sent home stating what medications were given and at what time - and if there was any issues such as student did not want to take the medications or refused to, etc.

    The teacher can get distracted and forget to give a medication. It should be a nursing duty. Teacher's should not do anything beyond simple first aide and dispensing oral medications - no pricking, adjusting, ect.

    The teacher who did prick the finger, should have done so in a private room - though she probably could not leave her students unsupervised. I don't think it was fair for that student to have the entire class present for this.

    It takes a special teacher to be comfortable with this, but it should not be her responsibility. If the parent's could not come to school to do this, they should have pushed the SD to have a nurse there whenever it was necessary. If something happened with the teacher doing this, it could be a messy law suite for the SD.
  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Our district has nurses full time on the junior high and high school campuses, and half time on the elementary, with a health aide covering the other half of the time. medications etc. should definitely not be the teacher's responsibility. As a substitute teacher, I am not comfortable with issuing medications, and I wouldn't want someone who did not know my child issuing medications to her. I have been in classrooms that are "peanut-free zones", and I have a basic idea of how to use an epi-pen, but that's as far as it goes.

    Most teachers are really good about leaving clear instructions about their students' medical issues, so I have an idea of what to look for.