Trips to the Nurse

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Lindsay.Lou, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. Lindsay.Lou

    Lindsay.Lou Companion

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    Apr 3, 2009

    I was wondering how often, on an average day, a student asks you to go to the nurse during class?

    For me, I have about 8-10 students a day ask to go to the nurse (out of 75 students that I see per day). This is NOT COUNTING my diabetic children, or children who take other daily medicine.

    I find it very obnoxious. Obviously, I can't say no (or even ask "why?") if someone requests to see the nurse. I just KNOW they're taking advantage and I feel like there is nothing I can do about it!

    Now, the nurse is no pushover. She doesn't coddle the students and has no problem sending them right back to class if she thinks they're fine. The thing is, you have to sign in at the nurse and wait in line (there's *always* a line). So, even if a student gets sent back immediately, by the time they go down there, sign in, talk to the nurse, and get sent back, it's been 15 minutes.

    WHAT CAN I DO??????
     
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  3. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Apr 3, 2009

    You could tell them you limit nurses visits to once per month. Keep a list of students who leave the class and if someone asks to go, check to see if they have already gone during the month. If you look at the kid and to you they look sick them you can always decide on an exception.

    I have refused to let students go and I don't feel bad at all about it. I do think it is something I can say No to. And I've yet to have a student vomit or pass out when denied a trip to the nurse. So unless your school has a policy that says you HAVE to let a student go if he/she asks, then I think you can definitely say No.
     
  4. Historygeek

    Historygeek Companion

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    Apr 3, 2009

    While I am sure there are students who abuse this I wouldn't deny a child a nurse visit. However, I would keep track of who goes and how often and talk with the nurse also to help combat the problem. Maybe the two of you together could figure out a way to control the problem.
     
  5. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    We don't have school nurses, so no one asks to go. If students complain about not feeling well I may send them for a drink of water and to the bathroom. I ask them to try to "hang on" for awhile to see if they start to feel better. If they really aren't doing well they go down to the office and the secretaries or administration call parents.
     
  6. Lindsay.Lou

    Lindsay.Lou Companion

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    Apr 3, 2009

    For the record, my school indeed has a policy that teachers are not allowed to deny a student their request to see the nurse.

    They tell us to "give the nurse a heads up" if a student seems to be abusing the system. When we do, she's good about making sure they get back to class as soon as possible, but like I said, it still takes 10-15 minutes with getting down there, signing in (and out), etc.
     
  7. jennyjenjen

    jennyjenjen Rookie

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    Apr 3, 2009

    I was told to send the student if they ask but if I notice a pattern developing with certain students talk to the nurse. If the nurse cannot break the students of the habit then involve the parents.
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    High school kids?? Pretty rarely.

    I have bandaids in my desk for the paper-cut type of stuff.

    Every once in a while a kid will need to go to the nurse, but it's not a big issue.
     
  9. justfluttering

    justfluttering Rookie

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    I had to make special passes just to stop all this foolishness with the bathroom and the nurse. My students get a strip of 5 passes per month. I tell them this gives them one trip a week to either the bathroom, the nurse or to get a drink plus one pass for emergencies. Some kids use them up fast and then get mad at me (too bad) I would have up to 10 kids each and every hour trying to go somewhere, anywhere but class. Even detention is better than class for many of my students. My kids are not interested in school and have no wish to be in any classroom. I carefully hand out the passes at the begining of the month and at the end of the month any students that still have passes I give 5 points per pass up to 25 points. This really cut down on the wandering.
     
  10. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Very rare for my students to ask to visit the nurse.

    That's a tough one.

    I concur on working with the nurse to come up with a plan.
     
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 3, 2009

    I send kids to the nurse's office pretty rarely...maybe once every month or so, and a little more frequently during cold season.

    It sounds to me like your students are abusing the system.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd keep records of who leaves your classroom and when, and then I'd start calling parents to express your concern over the health of their children.
     
  12. blindteacher

    blindteacher Cohort

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    I have had a few students abuse the nurse privilege. When a student is asking to go to the nurse often, I ask to talk to them after school. I talk to them from a place of concern, and ask them if there is a medical condition they have that requires them to go to the nurse frequently (because I do recognize that as a possibility -- I was one of those kids). At this point the student usually says "yes" and either explains in some vague terms or starts coming up with some rare and unheard of condition in way too much detail. And so then I say "let me just call your parents so they can work out a note from your doctor" and those with a real medical condition are happy to get a doctor's note. Those that are abusing the privilege usually back out.
     
  13. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Apr 4, 2009

    I don't know if this works in high school, but I offer peppermints (think Pizza Hut) for all tummy aches!

    Not that it would do any good for my kids to ask...we don't have a nurse! There is a gal who comes in to do head checks now and then...
     
  14. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    If anything, I have the exact opposite problem. I have kids who need to go to the nurse but won't unless I make them.

    I have a couple that think they shouldn't have to work if they don't feel good. My answer is simple, "Do the work or talk to the nurse." (I've aggrevated the front office during my last class on more than one occassion with that one, but my cardinal rule is "You will not sit in my class and not do the work....PERIOD.")

    I've also been known to text the coaches and let them know that Johnny was feeling too sick to do the math today so you might want to watch him during practice. ;) (That one always gets a good response.)
     
  15. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    I might have one or two a week that ask to go to the nurse. Usually I call the nurse first to let her know the kid is coming. If the student is abusing the nurse I have no problem calling home. That's one of the reasons I call the nurse first. I try to head off all of the tummy aches right after lunch and head aches. Most of the time they don't need to see the nurse, there's nothing she will really be able to do for them. Anywhoo, since you can't deny them I would talk to the nurse and compile a list of repeat offenders. Then I would either talk to the kids about it or call home and talk to parents. If you can't do that either it might be up to the nurse to make some calls home.
     
  16. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Apr 5, 2009

    The other day I had 4 kids in the same class need to go. I'll never say no; I would hate to take the chance that a kid really WAS sick.

    One of them had to be convinced. But this African American kid was paler than I am... and I'm blonde with blue eyes. I had another kid walk him, and warned him to stick close; I wasn't sure that Derrick would get there without passing out. ( Fortunatley he made it.)

    Our nurse is pretty good about sending the well ones right back.

    Three of the 4 went home sick. The 4th couldn't get a hold of a parent to pick him up, so he lasted the whole day, poor thing.

    But how bizarre--it must have been a bug that happened to hit those particular kids at that particular time.
     
  17. GeorgiaSPED

    GeorgiaSPED Rookie

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    I agree with Cassie. If you call the parents and say "your child might need to go to the doctor, because he/she has asked to go to the nurse 5 times in the past several weeks." Parents can be great allies.

    As for my school, our "school nurse" is assigned to an elementary, middle and our high school. She is almost always at the elementary school, so if she is needed it takes her 20 to 30 minutes to get to the school. If it is an emergency they call the EMT, otherwise if you are sick the front office calls the parents and tells them to come pick up the child. I've seen our nurse a few times, nice and quite capable, but she can't be in 3 places at once.

    Recently, I did have a student say his foot hurt and he needed to go to the office. I let him, but he went a few feet and said ugh I don't think I can make it (he's quite dramatic). So I pushed the buzzer and called for someone with a wheelchair, he was so embarrassed...it ended up being the principal to pick him up who does not put up with his drama. :) He hasn't tried that again. (Oh I do need to say he was seen running down the hall later that day.)
     
  18. azure

    azure Companion

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    May 4, 2009

    I've been subbing for 7 years, and I very rarely let anyone go to the nurse. As mother of 2, I think I have good instincts about how a child looks and acts when they are really sick. I can tell by touching their forehead if they have a fever. If they say they feel like they're going to throw-up, I tell them to sit down, but if they feel like that is really going to happen, just run out.
    The nurse does not let them go home unless they have a fever or are throwing up in front of her.

    If a child comes up to me and asks to go to the nurse, I say, "What's wrong?" If they say their head hurts or their stomach hurts, I say, "no." People work with headaches all the time and stomach aches (if real) often pass. The exception is if they tell me they have medicine in the nurses office for migraines, and even then I will often call and verify that.

    If a child tells me they need to use their inhaler, I generally allow that, but once I called and checked on that too because I was very suspicious of this kid, and turns out I was right--no inhaler in the nurse's office. Normally teachers leave notes about students who may need to go to the nurse.

    I agree with the others about talking to the parents of the "frequent flyers" and stress how much class time they're losing due to these visits to the nurse. My guess is most of them probably have low grades.
     

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