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My Kid VS. The School Nurse

OK, seriously.  Is anyone else on a first name basis with the nurse at their child's school?  On Thursday I received the second call this week from the nurse.

My child - I'll give you 10 guesses WHICH child I'm talking about - is in the nurse's office just about every day it seems.

Yes, of course it's Adolpha.  The nurse has called home, because she's had a tummy ache, she bumped her head on the playground, she needed a band aid after gym class, and the list goes on and on.

I have a tummy ache ... oh wait, it's time for recess?  Never mind.
Earlier this week I had a call that she was having some digestive issues.  She'd gone to the restroom and had some trouble in there.  Her teacher took her to the nurse's office and they called me.

Me:  Well, did she mess her pants?

Nurse:  No.  She's kind of embarrassed.

Me:  OK, let me talk to her.

Adolpha:  Hello?

Me:  What happened?  Did you get to the bathroom in time?

Adopha:  Yes.  But . . . I just want to come home.

Me:  I know you do.  But you can't come home.

Nurse:  Actually, if a child has diarrhea we could send her home.  She's a bit traumatized.  The auto flush on the toilet kept going and scaring her while she was trying to clean herself.

At this point she only had a couple hours left in her day.  She'd miss Spanish and Computers probably.  Plus, I just knew that if Adolpha tried to clean herself up, it wouldn't be enough.  She'd need some adult supervision and the Kindergarten teachers frown on wiping butts (as well they should).

Me:  I'll come and get her.

It was a good thing I did.  As I had suspected, she was a mess.  She went straight in the tub.  After she was all cleaned up and in her jammies and in her bed (you go to bed when the nurse sends you home from school, don't you know) she admitted, "I really just wanted to be home with you."

"Yes, I know, Adolpha.  Today it was OK, because you needed to get cleaned up, but you can't keep going to the nurse's office every day for stuff.  She's not going to send you home again."

"I know."

Cut to later that week.  The phone rings and the caller ID says it's the school.  I just know it's the nurse's office.  Sure enough, it is.  Only it's a substitute nurse, because the real nurse is out with the flu (one of the "perks" of her job I would hope is twice as many sick days as everyone else in the building).

New Nurse:  Hi, is this Adolpha's mom?

Me:  Yes.

NN:  Adolpha was in here complaining of a sore throat.

Me:  OK.

NN:  Well, she's got a low grade fever and it DOES look a bit swollen on one side.

Me:  Uh huh.

NN:  (I can tell this woman is not impressed with my maternal instincts.)  Well, I just wanted to alert you since you might want to get her in to see the doctor.

Me:  Are you sending her home or can she stay?

NN:  I sent her back to class and told her to come and see me if she feels worse.

Me:  OK.  Look, I'm not unsympathetic, it's just that I get a call almost every day from the nurse's office that she's in there complaining about something.  She's a hypochondriac and a bit of a drama queen.  I'm actually glad to hear that she has a low grade fever and a bit of swelling, that's more tangible than 'my tummy feels like an elephant is walking on it - oohh nevermind is that dessert?'

NN:  Right.  Well, she does have a low grade fever and the weekend is coming.  The doctor might want to see her in case it turns into strep throat.

Me:  I hear you.  Obviously call me if she comes back again or if it gets worse.

This woman is new.  She sees an adorable Kindergartener come in with big, sad eyes and she melts.  She doesn't see Adolpha as the wily manipulator we know and love in this house.  This is a girl who can turn tears on and off like a faucet.  She has a tummy ache and can't eat "anything" for dinner until she finds out that I'll let her have macaroni and cheese.  Every night at bedtime her leg twitches or her ear buzzes or she sees spots (if I was a worrier and believed half of what she complained about I'd have her scheduled for an MRI in a heartbeat).

If I had to guess today, I would say that she had Gym and she was looking for a way out.

The throat is a new one, so it might be hurting her a bit.  I will keep an eye on her, but I'm not calling the doctor.  That's why we have those walk in clinics at the drugstore now.

I've been nominated for Circle of Moms Top 25 Book Author Moms.  Would you do me a favor and run over there and vote for me?  You don't need to register or anything!  THANKS!!!


106 comments:

  1. Adolpha sounds like my Mageth. We moved to a new school district last year and Mageth decided to break in the school nurse. 3 calls in 3 days....grrrr. I never did pick her up but I'm sure the nurse thinks I'm the worst mother on the planet. I'm sure Mageth still visits the nurse every day either for herself or a for a friend that bumped, scraped, bruised a body part but now the nurse doesn't call.

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  2. I can relate to this, though at 9yo my daughter has finally (I think) grown out of it. "My stomach hurts," was her go-to for *everything* from getting out of class, to being (prematurely) done eating her vegetables, to skipping a dental appointment. I think when she was younger it was simply a matter of her not really being able to convey her actual feelings- she didn't know all the words she wanted to say- but in more recent years it was *definitely* a manipulation tool. And for too long I was too soft on the issue.

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  3. I literally told the nurse not to call home anymore unless there was bleeding, fever, or broken bones. Mother of the year...right out the window!

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  4. I too am on a first name basis with the school nurse. Last year when my son was in 1st grade, his teacher figured out, about half way through the year, that every time they had to do word sort (cut words out and paste them in columns) he would suddenly have a stomach ache. It always coincided with that activity. He has significant fine motor skill issues, very little patience and anxiety. I don't doubt that he had a stomach ache but once we figured out the timing, his teacher and I were on to him and he spent a lot less time in the nurse's office. Fast forward to 2nd grade and it's happening all over again, related to different anxiety-inducing situations. This teacher figured him out quicker, but I still get plenty of calls from my good pal Nurse Jody. Sigh... kids... I can't imagine what my non-anxious, but super manipulative big-eyed adorable youngun is going to be able to pull off when he starts Kindergarten next year...

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  5. Pffffft... I think we have the same child.... except my phone calls/ texts are " mom, come get me" all the time.... is it a girl thing? haha

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  6. My older boy is in 4th grade and I think he's been to the nurse once. Ever. I know I won't be so lucky with my wee man. He's drama.

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    1. You have raised a good boy. Do not allow your younger son to display what you are calling "drama" without consequences. Have a consequence for all undesirable behaviors and follow through with that consequence time after time after time. Negative reinforcement.

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    2. Good advice, but the behavior modification technique you are describing is not negative reinforcement, it is punishment. Punishment is implemented to weaken a behavior, while negative reinforcement is used to strengthen a behavior.

      http://psychology.about.com/od/operantconditioning/f/negative-reinforcement.htm

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  7. I'm not one for touchy feely crap, but I'll tell you right now I would be nervous about the situation. My son has high anxiety (I did too as a kid) and I can tell you 9 out of 10 times if the nurse is calling me SOMETHING is going in his little nugget that has him freaking out in his school environment and wants to be at home where he feels safe. You should ask your daughter if something at school is bothering her.

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    1. Good advice. I will talk to her. Thanks.

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  8. Oh yes, school nurse Jamie and I are practically bffs. Except she thinks I'm the worst mother ever due to my lack of sympathy (most of the time :))

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    1. Trish put yourself in the nurse's position. She does not want you to have greater sympathy. She wants you to give your child a consequence for each time she complains while at school. The nurse is there for children who are ill, injured, or have disabilities...not for complaining children. I know when your child is actually ill you are sympathetic.

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  9. Is she related to my kindergardner? I joke she and the nurse, who is a neighbor of ours, are bffs this year! My 3rd grader went to the nurse once, maybe twice in all the 4yrs she's been there so far. My youngest, at least once or twice a week! "I got hit in the eye", it was below the eye and it didn't bleed, it was just red. Granted she hasn't been sent home yet, but....I'm waiting.

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    1. You have raised a good 3rd grader. It sounds like you have some beefing up to do on your parenting of your youngest. Why exactly are you "waiting?" Your youngest needs to understand that she is not entitled to complain while at school. If she is actually ill or actually injured, she is entitled to attention. If she is only complaining, have a consequence for every time she complains. Make it a tough consequence. She will stop complaining. Please don't raise a whiner.

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  10. Oh my gosh! That's my daughter! I didn't believe her when she complained about her throat for a week (because she would complain for a SECOND and then go back to playing)... until she woke up with a seal-bark-cough and stridor and had to be rushed to the ER for adrenaline and steroids :(. Granted, that's the first time in a long time that her symptoms haven't been some over-exaggerated excuse to get what she wants... I am a huge hypochondriac... she gets it honest.

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  11. I grew up in a single parent house and I knew from the start that I better be close to death to call my mom to come get me. My mom always knew I was sick if I could fall asleep during the day.
    And we had the same rule at my house, you don't go to school or you come home from school you're butt is in bed or on the couch for sure.

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  12. My daughter is the same way. Every stubbed toe is a broken toe that needs a trip to the ER (um no...you will survive), every twisted ankle requires crutches, every sore throat is strep, etc. So when she started complaining of a rapid hearbeat and dizziness every night before bed - I didn't believe her.It was before bed after all. She mentioned it to her ped at a check up a couple weeks later and he sent her for an EKG and ultrasound (I'm sure I looked like an asshole rolling my eyes). She ended up being diagnosed with supraventricular tachycardia and requiring a minor surgery to correct some electrical part of her heart that was wacky. OMG - THE MOMMY GUILT I HAD!! I still maintain that she did it on purpose (just kidding....kind of). So I do investigate a little further these days before dismissing it but it's a full-time job trying to decide if it's the flu or a math test!

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    1. Wow. Very scary! I will definitely pay a bit more attention to her complaints. Thanks for sharing!

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    2. I will never live down the broken finger I blew off. After telling her she was fine, she finally convinced me three days later when the darn thing swelled up. Took us three more days to see the doctor with our state-sponsored free kid healthcare we had at the time. I was appropriately ashamed.

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    3. My kid is always, always, ALWAYS complaining something hurts or her stomach doesn't feel good or what have you. I totally blow it off but part of me is always afraid something is truly wrong.

      So I made a deal with my little complaining hypochondriac : I told her if she feels so sick she wouldn't want to go to dance class or gymnastics or have dessert - tell me. If not? I don't want to hear it.

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  13. My daughter goes to a small school without a nurse. Thankfully, the teachers are on to her "tummy aches" and "headaches" and "tragic knee injuries"... They know the rule is no sympathy unless there is a REAL fever (> 100) or blood... LOL! Good luck!

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  14. Krissy has been told not to go to the nurse unless a bone is sticking out of her skin. What I don't get is why I have this discussion every year with every teacher and they never say no to letting them go to the nurse. I don't blame the nurse who honestly needs to see X number of kids per week or is in fear of getting her job cut with all the reductions but the teachers should know if the same kid want to go to the nurse every day just as math is starting it is probably not a nurse issue!

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    1. I can see this from both sides. As the mom of a frequent flyer to the nurse/hypochondriac drama queen, I get that kids can use illnesses to manipulate, get out of a test, etc. I also get it from the teacher perspective that there are kids who use the nurse to shirk classes/tests etc. As a teacher, I also know public schools are more afraid than ever that someone looking for a pay day will sue their kids school for any possible mess up. If a kid was seriously ill but we dismissed it, not only would the results be from bad to tragic, but the lawsuit would be waiting too. Its all about cya.

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    2. Anonymous is wiser than you KCmomof2. The nurse has zero fear of getting her job cut. It's law she is there. Parents are actively looking for ways to sue people who have "wronged their kids." Anonymous, hang in there. Until you have worked in a school, you are clueless about what goes on.

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  15. My friend's daughter does this all the time. Once, she said she was having chest pains. They ended up at the hospital and she had an ekg AND had to wear a Halter monitor for 72 hrs. And it was NOTHING. as suspected. She just wanted to get out of class.
    My oldest started on this path...but my husband teaches 5th grade at her school so he told her not to even try it. She was stuck there all day everyday unless she was vomiting or had a fever. ;)

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  16. I've actually been the victim of the other extreme of School Nurse, the Hypochondriac nurse where every affliction is the bubonic plague. My kids are vaccinated for chicken pox, yet we get a call from the nurse telling us she has the pox and needs to be taken out of school. The Dr. actually cracked up: "Um, they are mosquito bites". Sure enough, the swamp land grass at the playground had mosquitoes.

    Or another time we were told she has a flesh eating bacteria, turned out to be an allergic reaction from dandruff.

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  17. I have a nice one for you. My daughter recently had the flu. When I sent her back to school they immediately sent her to the nurse "to be checked". My daughter didn't even ask to go. She called me and said she had a low grade fever of 100.5 and I had to pick her up because she wasn't allowed in school with a fever above 100, and "I understand she recently had the flu.". Yes,I said, but she is better now and I took her temp right before I put her on the bus and she did not have a temp. Well, she has one now and you have to come get her. I picked her up, took her home, took her temp, and she did not have a temp by my thermometer. At this point I asked my daughter why she went to the nurse and that is when she told me that she didn't ask to go, that she was told to go. I was fuming. I called the nurse back and let her have it. She then told me I could bring her back to school. At this poing my daughter was crying her eyes out because she felt like she was banned from school. She is 5 and in kindergarten. This was on Thursday. I then kept her home on Friday too because she was crying again and scared to death of going for fear they would do it again. So she missed an entire week of school in total with being sick and with the stupidity. She went back today and tonight just happens to be parent-teacher conferences. I can't wait.

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    1. Melissa, it is much harder to send a child home than to send them back to class. I guarantee you the nurse did not WANT to send your daughter home. I guarantee you there is a school policy in a handbook in her drawer that if she doesn't follow she will hear about it. She will hear about it from your daughter's classmates' parents, about how she "exposed them" to her "fever." Please do not assume your nurse is out to get you or your daughter. She is only following a policy probably in place by your state law.

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    2. As a school nurse I can assure you that most district policy states that a child has to be fever free without medication for 24hrs. Before returning to school as this prevents contagion. Trust me if the nurse said her temp was over 100.0 it probably was, the equipment we use is usually the same as the hospital, same with our degree. I highly doubt you would have questioned the (as you stated) "stupidity" of a nurse had you taken her to the doctor or hospital. I like to think of all parents as a bell curve some become irritated when I call for a fever and others upset with me if I don't call about a splinter. I sleep fine at night either way knowing I did the best I could and what is best for the students'.

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  18. Oh yeah, I get that, too. The only thing that might give my kids pause about coming home is I always say, "Oh well if you come/stay home, we're going to the doc b/c you might have STREP." They know what that means- strep test. They HATE the strep test. Those nurses have jammed that swab down their throat one too many times. They'd rather be at school. I WIN.

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  19. Why is it always the daughters? My kindergardener got up told me "I have a headache, a stomach ache Dana sore throat". Oh really? That's kind of a lot of drama first thing in the morning, get up or I'm calling Santa. Fast forward to 1pm, after nap time...I get a call, she has fever of 102+ and lithargic. Yea, that pesky strep throat. Problem it this happens so often, I never know when to believe her!

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  20. How about the nurse who sends your sweet first grader back to class with a broken foot. She got hurt on the playground and the nurses xray eyes said it was just fine and sent her back to class without calling.

    I never had a problem with my son, but my daughter is all started in Junior High. She HATED that school and it was an issue, my daughter had the nurse calling me all the time. Um what dimwit hasn't figured this out yet, the kid can't be that sick ALL the time. I only picked her up once when they had a sub nurse who didn't back me up. UGH!

    It's High School now and I don't want to jinx myself, but my daughter actually loves her school :)

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  21. my kid is still in preschool so there is no school nurse yet but he's woke me up SEVERAL times over a stuffy nose. I feel bad for him 'cause it sucks to not be able to breath but when i'm already running a humidifier, rubbing his face, giving him children's sudafed, and taking him to the chiropractor for it I don't really want to be woke up at 4 am over it. I'm pretty sure if he'd keep his damn fingers out of there the swelling would go down and he'd be fine...

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  22. I lost my Mother of the Year status a long time ago.Once my oldest son had conned my husband into believing he was sick,but what he really wanted was to stay home and play his new video game.Instead of carting him to school,I made him clean house until school let out.He never pulled that again.
    When the same son was in middle school,the office called me to come get him because they said he had pink eye.So I dutifully trotted up there with my then 18 month old son and the 2 year old I was babysitting only to find that his eyes weren't even a tiny bit red.Talk about being pissed.And they didn't want to send him back to class even though it was obvious he didn't have pink eye.That's when the toddlers learned a couple of new words and I made the principal come out of her office to check my kids eyes so he could go back to class.Turns out,one of his teachers was pregnant and more than a little paranoid-she had been sending kis home over every little imagined illness for a while.The principal must've gotten on to the teacher too because when I met her later she said,"Oh,YOU'RE Joe's mother."LOL yep.

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  23. ok reading this whole thing and I just can't get past the fact that your school still has "a nurse" and "a nurses office". Good Lord, our school system cut those positions so long ago I don't even remember having them?!? Our secretary's handle all the tummy aches and strep throat and lice! lol. Feel lucky!

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  24. I can so sympathize! My youngest son is much the same way. I'm convinced that the only reason I don't get calls every day from the school nurse is that they don't have one at our school. He's at me almost every day with a "tummy ache" or a "headache" or whatever will get him out of what he doesn't want to do. I have a new tactic with him now. When he's had numerous complaints in a row I tell him, "Oh no, with all those problems we might have to take you to the doctor to get a shot." If he's not really sick, he backs off right then. "OH, no shots mommy, I'm better." This also works for annoying things like getting up 25 times per night after bed time. I just hope he doesn't figure out any time soon that the doc doesn't have shots for most of that. lol

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  25. you are so funny - love your posts.

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  26. I love this! I am on a first name basis with our school nurse because I talk to her more than anyone else!

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  27. When I was 8, I called home sick every day for three months straight. I didn't feel good. No fever. No visible symptoms. Finally, I broke out with the shingles on my back. Turns out, I'd had strep the whole time and no one believed me. My poor mom felt terrible. To this day, I rarely run fever for anything. If my temp is 99 something serious is wrong. I had walking pneumonia last year...no fever, no easily discernable symptoms.

    In spite of my own history, I don't bring my kids to the doctor every time they whine. My oldest is rarely sick, and actually likes school. My youngest is like Adolpha. Constant drama. But she knows, no fever means you're going to school. Fortunately, the school secretary has kids of her own and a finely tuned bull shit meter. You have to get past her in order to see the nurse.

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  28. I want to reiterate something important said above. Both my son and daughter are in the nurse at least once a week (at the same school). I can't remember the last time I picked one of them up (I even had a friend deliver motrin)!

    However, when my daughter was a 1st grader, she was going mulitple times a week with a stomach ache or head ache right at the end of the day. Turns out, she was being picked on at after school care and was trying to get out of going there. She didn't want to tell on anyone for fear of retribution. We got it corrected pretty easily. Please make sure there isn't an emotional component to the problem and the nurse is being used as a safe haven!

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  29. My daughter and the school nurse are best friends. I am in nursing school and everything that I study is suddenly my daughter's issue. She told the nurse that her eye was crusted shut and I wiped it off and sent her to school which resulted in a very nasty look from the school nurse and a brand on my chest as worst mom ever. Another time, she told the nurse that I sent her to school without doing her breathing treatments (which her sister needs). These visits resulted in a meeting with the school to find out if she gets enough attention from me at home and a lesson on how to play with my child. I would like to punch our school nurse in the throat... btw she is not a nurse, she is a secretary trained in first aid.

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  30. Ha! Reminds me of my favorite Shel Silverstein poem entitled "I Cannot Go to School Today". When my children do the fake sick routine, I recite the first two stanzas....

    "I cannot go to school today"
    Said little Peggy Ann McKay
    I have the measles and the mumps
    A gash a rash and purple bumps.

    My mouth is wet, my throat is dry
    I'm going blind in my right eye
    My tonsils are as big as rocks
    I've counted 16 chicken pox.

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    1. And ends, "what? What's that you say? You say today is Saturday? Good-bye! I'm going out to play!" One of my favorites too!! Lol

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  31. We finally had to tell our secretary to call only if our daughter is vomiting or losing blood. Our little manipulator was going to the clinic weekly (always to be sent back to class) with some kind of complaint. One day she wouldn't go back to class, complaining to the secretary of an upset stomach. When I got the call the secretary said she had a big pouty lip and looked so sad. When I got on the phone with her she said her throat hurt. When I picked her up she did look a little pathetic...until we walked out the front door: She grabbed my hand, started skipping, and cheerfully asked, "So what are we doing today, Mom?" We embarked on a day full of the worst errands I could think of and she hasn't been back to the clinic since!

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  32. I also told the nurse to only call me when there is blood, broken bones, head trauma, or death. of course, they did NOT call me when my 6 year old got hit in the head with a bat, but I was getting phone calls left and right for small paper cuts and stubbed toes...I finally had to put it in writing what to call and what NOT to call for..

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  33. I teach at the same school as my son. Thursday night he was a little crabby. I actually thought of keeping him home Friday. He had a bit of the sniffles. Friday morning, he was feeling great and wanted to go to school. At recess, he comes to my class, puppy eyes and all. His head hurts, his eye hurts, he feels bad and thinks he needs to go home. And he can't find his hat (school rule, no hat no play). I tell him he brought his green hat and help him find it. I then get "thanks" and off he goes. Guess he was feeling better.

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  34. If my kids come home from school they have to stay in bed, no questions asked. They can read if they want to but no TV or video games of any kind. BRATT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, tea and toast) is served all day. They usually stay home ONCE and decide its much more fun to be at school!

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    1. Love it! You get my nomination for parent of the year!

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  35. When I was in 4th grade, I was racing another girl on the playground. I was winning so she grabbed the hood of my jacket and yanked, causing me to skid across the cement on my knee. My entire knee cap was scraped and bleeding with little stones in the wound. The nurse slapped a band aid on it and I went back to class. When I limped off the bus later that day, my mom was pretty ticked they didn't call! Those were the days!

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  36. Our youngest son was an "Adolpha", too. He grew out of it a few years ago--of course, he's 49, now!!

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  37. I *just* ran into this with a kid while helping at school today:
    "My tummy hurts."
    "Do you feel like you're going to throw up?"
    "No."
    "Does it just feel upset?"
    "No. My throat is starting to get scratchy, and it started yesterday, and I think I'm coming down with something, and, and, and..."
    "Well, if you really feel sick, you can go sit in the office and see if you feel better."
    "I'm new, so I don't know where the nurse's office is."
    "There isn't a nurse's office, so I'd have to take you to the school office."
    [third party]"I can take her there."
    "No, you can finish your lunch, and if you ['sick kid'] are really feeling sick, you can pack up your things and go sit in the office for a bit to see if you'll feel better."

    Magically went back to eating chocolate-covered fruit snacks.

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  38. My daughter was on very friendly terms with the middle school nurses. Once, when I went up to give her allergy medicine, I mentioned to the nurses that they allowed her to "visit" them way to often.

    They commented that they just loved my daughter, she was so funny, and that they had gotten in trouble with the principal for letting my daughter miss classes and stay in the nurses office. Seriously!!!!!

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  39. I'm a substitute teacher, so I always get the kids who think they can con me into letting them go to the nurse for any little thing. But my rule is you don't go to the nurse unless I feel a fever or see swelling, excessive blood, or a bone sticking out or they throw up. It's amazing how much better most of them feel when they realize I'm not naive.

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  40. OH. MY. GOD.

    As a second grade teacher I have dealt with this since the beginning of the school year. My sweet little hypochondriacs seem to want to go when we do "boring" things like cursive, but lo and behold when we have a spelling game everyone is fine!

    It got to be so ridiculous that I had a talk with the nurse about it. We agreed to put my class on a "three strikes" sort of thing. Each student gets three nurse passes (they're little papers with a nurse silhouette on them, I just printed them from MS Word) a month. Setting aside true visible emergencies like vomiting and massive bleeding, they must use one of their nurse passes every time they go down to the nurse. Once they're done with three, that's it for the month. We had a long talk as a class about how to choose if it's a necessary time to use a pass. I have one student that's used two of his three in two days. I'm hoping they'll figure it out once they're bored, can't go get a drink, can't go to the bathroom, and are out of nurse's passes. We'll see!

    You should talk to Adolpha's teacher about ideas to help, especially since she likes to go home just to be with you. Kindies are a bit tricky because they're still grasping what an "emergency" is and they're getting used to being in school for extended periods of time.

    May the force be with you!

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  41. I remember always feeling "sick" on gym days also...of course, that's when we had to wear those snazzy little blue one piece gym suits. I think that is why I hate exercise today...

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  42. The nurse called to tell me my 1st grader had been to her office repeatedly in one week with a tummy ache. When I asked him about it, he replied "She has crackers, and I was hungry..." like that's a perfectly fine reason to go to the nurse!

    Keep in mind, the kid is never more than 2 hours (tops!) from his next meal or snack!

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  43. Our school nurse retired a few years ago. As she was packing up her office word got out she was giving some of her trinkets away. I have never heard so many creative reasons given to get down to Mrs. Perry's office. Kids were purposely picking scabs, falling down, and having awful coughs...in June.

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  44. My mum once chewed me out when i complained of a stomach ache before church. She'll never live down the about to burst appendix that resulted in. All that said, it's not like I hadn't conditioned her a-la "boy who cried wolf."

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  45. I swear our nurse has me on speed dial, and we're def on first name terms. Sigh.

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  46. I hurt my foot pretty badly once, and my mom made me wait for my dad to get home to look at it. He too a quick look then told me to "walk it off." I knew that this was no ordinary sprain (since I'm a bit of a klutz and had had several of them) and kept pestering my mom to take me to the doctor. She got mad after about 4 hours or so of me begging her to take me, and told me to get one of my good friends to take me to the hospital if I felt it was that bad. I guess she started feeling guilty, because she finally took me to the ER when I called him up to take me. Turns out, I had three broken bones in the middle of my foot.

    The guilty feeling didn't last too long though, because now she swears that the whole thing didn't happen and that I am making it all up to make her look bad! My sister, friend, and dad all back me up on it, but she's sticking to her story.

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  47. I was on a first name basis with the school nurse while my daughter was in elementary school. She was there several times a week with vague, unrelated symptoms. The nut doesn't fall far from the tree, however, because MY mother was on a first name basis with MY school nurse.

    On a different note, I teach preschool, and my NUMBER ONE RULE (and every child in my class can recite it on command) is, "Do not throw up in Miss Dyanne's classroom." I spend an entire circle time every fall telling them to STAY HOME if their tummies don't feel good.

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  48. ice, ice bags handed out for every problem . about all a nurse or first aid office worker is allowed to do for the "sick" student . Not too comfortable and doesn't take long. If that is all the attention the child gets the frequent visits often stop.

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  49. My daughter is like the boy who cried wolf; everything hurts her. She had a brand new pair of leggings that were big on her and she was crying and I was looking for tags and losing my steam and and I said, how are they hurting you? And she blurted out: they're not Pink!!!!

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  50. Mine does the same, so recently when her tummy hurt and couldn't go to school, we sent her on anyways, telling her that she'd have to lay in bed if she stayed home. The nurse called me 20 minutes later to come get her. I did and she threw up ALL IN my car!! Ugh, really sick. Damnit. Also, last week, unstoppable bloody nose and crying from a fall on the playground. Maybe I dont have a hypochondriac, maybe I have a clutz. :) Devan

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  51. Ok, I'm going to have to disclose that I have a HUGE ISSUE with school nurses. Most of them (not all) are nothing but record keepers and control freaks, who dole out diagnoses and medical advice as if they actually know what they are talking about. As a nurse practitioner, I have had my share of challenges with them. I have blogged about it: http://pedinp.blogspot.com/2012/04/ive-got-headache.html

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    1. I will read your blog. Had a very heated discussion with the school nurse two weeks ago. I was called because of 100.0 temp! I took my own thermometer and it was 98.7. She proceeded to tell me that she took it with "HER" thermometer and it was 100.0, so I asked her to take it again with "HER" thermometer. She did and it was 99.6!! I proceeded to tell her that was no reason to call me. If my child is in distress or has a high fever, by all means, but 99.6! Come on!! Also, he had just come from being outside where they were cutting grass and he has allergies! To make matters worse, she asked my mother(the grandmother) about it the next day and had the audacity to ask what the Dr. said. My son has been perfectly fine since and I have only had to give him over the counter allergy meds twice since!

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    2. This is why I am so glad our school nurse is an RN. I know we could have it so much worse than the thousands of visits the kids take a day!

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    3. Oh, the temperature thing! A fever is 100.4 and above. I've seen kids who have been sent home with a rash, which I have diagnosed as mosquito bites. And these are RNs!

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  52. The MAJORITY of school nurses are actually not nurses. My daughter tried pulling the same crap when she was younger. Having a REAL nurse as a mom, pretty much handicapped her. I was up at her school a few years ago, when a kid comes in with a bloody nose. While the kid's nose is bleeding, the "nurse" actually was calling the mom to come get him. I couldn't believe it. I asked the kid, "do you get nosebleeds a lot?", and the kids replied "yes.". So, while the AIDE is on the phone, I applied pressure, had the kid bow his head between his knees, and VOILA! The bleeding stopped! The aide couldn't believe it, and I asked her if she had any medical background training. All they take is a first aid course. They're instructed to call the parents with anything. Well, I gave her a crash course in real first aid that she never forgot, and is still thankful for.

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  53. At our School we have a fulltime Nurse and A Doctor that Volunteers in there several times a week if the Nurse is unavailable. My 2nd grade son doesn't go often but the times he has they usually just send him back to class (he actually begs to go back to class) but the girls in his class seem to go every other day for some reason or another.

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  54. I was Adolpha. I was at the nurses office all the time. Then one time I was home for 3 days because I had strep. I went back to school on the fourth day when the medicine kicked in. Then on the fourth day I woke up with a stiff neck, sore throat, and stomach ache. My mom was so angry she thought I was faking it and told me that if I didn't want to go to school anymore that was fine with her. Then she told me to stat practicing "do you want fries with that" because that is the only job I was going to get since I wasn't going to graduate. After me crying and still complaining she called the doctor. She was told that I was having an allergic reaction to the medication, and I needed to come back to the doctor and get new medicine. She felt horrible after that and came and apologized.

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  55. I'm friends with my school nurse on facebook! Both of my kids went to the nurse today. My daughter had some crackers and ginger ale for her tummy ache and my son fell and hurt his knee. But he didn't "realize the hurt" until about twenty minutes into reading class. Go figure. That's when he finally asked to go get ice. They both frequent the nurse's office, my son more so than my daughter. Hopefully one day they will grow out of it...

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  56. Our school nurse is a saint! She is nurse, counselor, hygiene specialist, diabetic care facilitator, substitute parent...you name it and she does it. Today was a perfect example: Mr. Conniption was freaking out and the district case manager didn't know what else to do,so into the office he came. He was demanding that we call 911 to bring him to the hospital for all his anxiety (he is 10). Nurse asks if he's in math...why, yes he is. "Okay. We can't call during math class. Come look at this mess of a desk. Did you get that puppy you were talking about last week? What are you having for lunch?" After about 10 questions, he finally loses patience and asks if he can go back to class.

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  57. As a substitute school nurse, I don't call unless it's an actual fever over 100 F. Sore throat? Here gargle some salt water and go back to class! If they come back and no fever or swelling/redness and they don't want to gargle salt water? That's why emergency cards ask for permission to give tylenol (depending on the age, I'll call and leave a message that it was given and what time)and back to class! Most parents have to work.....

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    1. Thank you for understanding that most moms have to work! I wish our school nurse would understand that...

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  58. Like a couple of your other readers, I was an Adolpha myself. For me though, it was to get away from those who were bullying me. And get out of the classwork that I had fallen behind in, because I was a procrastinator who had a horrible short-term memory when it came to homework and what I was supposed to do. Seems kind of a wonder that I'm going *back* to school to pursue a Graduate degree. But I'm glad to know that I'm not the only child who did this...or still does this...

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  59. My little brother did that in school and naturally the 'crying wolf' thing happened. The nurse ALWAYS bought it until he was actually sick. He went back to class and threw up on the teacher's desk, so it was ok.

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  60. My school didn't have a nurse, just the secretary that took your temp and sent you back to class if it was normal. In 5th grade I would get bored in class so I would make up excuses to go sews three school janitor (bathroom was out of toilet paper, a lightbulb was out, anything). My teacher caught on quickly but would always let my friend and I go hang out with him because we were done with our work and bored. He also worked for my dad's friend so I knew him outside of school so it was not as weird as it sounds. :)

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  61. I just know this is the road my daughter's on. Two-and-a-half, and she complains about something new everyday. Yesterday, she told the doctor her ears hurt, right before she was declared free of an ear infection. She also has a stomach ache every five minutes. The next eighteen years should be interesting.

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  62. Our school nurse is also our neighbor. The last time our daughter went to her, she sent her back to class and called me. She noticed something and suggested we get it checked out. She was right, her doctor has diagnosed her and we're scheduled to visit Children's hospital in Boston next week.

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  63. My oldest, who is now an adult and still is the hypochondriac, a gene she got from her father (my ex). She can be so dramatic, after a minor car wreck (she totaled a new to her step-father's car) she got a cat-scan. She was so bad, the nurse in the ER told me to go outside in the waiting room and said, "If she is going to want to do adult things, she will be treated as one." (No broken bones or internal injuries at all. She then wondered why her step-father gave her a "look" when we left the hospital at 2 AM. I told her: "You're very lucky that is all he did, you are very close to the ER and the morgue."

    She still calls when she is sick and it always is the end of the world. (Suck it up, I think.)

    My son, I think in 5 years of school, he has been to the school nurse perhaps 2 times and both for good reason. The school nurse at his school is a male and also appears to "know" these kiddos very well.

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  64. i can totally relate. in first grade my step daughter went to the nurse daily. she's a very clutsy girl to begin with, throw in pencils and their own desks and you're just asking for a disaster. poked her eye with pencily while bending down to look in her desk or dropped something or had a head ache. well half the class in first grade reported headachees after lunch because their teacher was a yeller. anyways, i had to make a signed contract with the nurse, teacher and principal to not let her go to the nurses office unless she was bleeding from a major wound or throwing up or close to falling over passing out. the daily calls stopped instantly. until of course they had tomatoe soup at lunch and she spilled it over herself (every time i threatened her shes not allowed this option anymore at lunch). this particular day, the nurse decided to wash her pants in the sink, and then microwave them dry and she called me to inform me (an hour afer the inident) that she burt her pants in the microwave. (no duh!) i was like, do i need to bring her pants? i work from home and live a mile from the school if that. no, she went to class in her wet soggy, burnt pants because they ahd no replacements. if she would have called me while in the office at lunch, i could have run over and provided new pants so she wouldn't be the kid with the sorcch marks and wet pants the rest of the day. now my littlest is in kindergarten and i said forget there is even a nurse (she would go daily to ask to come home and be with me). so far, no green nurse slips have come home, no calls for her. the now 3rd grader step daughter has been in there 4 times....(tomatoe soup again, poked eye, paper cut and fell over own feet). i told her she better stay out of that office or she will get the ban again.

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  65. That was totally me when I was little. I was always "sick" when in reality I just wanted to go home.

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  66. ... All that said, can you hi-five Adolpha for me please. ;)

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  67. lol! I AM the school nurse for an elementary, and of behalf of all elementary school nurses - we understand!!

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  68. My daughter is 9 months old in a classroom type daycare and I already get the bad mommy looks. She tends to pull her ears from time to time. The first three times they told me about it I ran to the doctor's office because I didn't want her to be in pain from an ear infection without my doing anything about it, her ears were always fine. Last time I just poo poo'd their reports of ear pulling for two days before finally bringing her and finding this time she did have an infection. OOPS! Due to a communication break down I neglected to send diapers with her last week when they were out and just yesterday I got a request to send her with a hat from now on (I had a bonnet on her in the am but she pulled it off in the car with her daddy so he just left it there) so that when they bring her outside her ears don't get cold. I pretty much always get the "poor-child-with-the-deadbeat-mother" tone at this point.

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  69. This blog post and so many of these comments are indicative of children wanting to be home with their Mother. They crave your love and attention. Have any of you considered home schooling?

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  70. my 9 year old apparently loves the office ladies that provide our "school nurse" job. They now let HIM make the phone calls. Except he cons them with a fake excuse and calls to see what I'm up to. But they call otherwise for stupid stuff "Oh he and his friend were in gym class and he got smashed in the head with a ball" ..because him and his one friend paired together are the boys who were born without sport instinct and they were probably spinning circles or being ninjas instead. Then they called to tell me he fell on the playground, but he was fine. Ok why call me and waste my time? Then he called himself to tell me he ALMOST broke his leg and what does he want me to do? I said "get your happy ass back to class " and he told the ladies "my mom said to get my happy ass back to class"... mom of the year award was yanked from my throat. My son is on the autism spectrum and the teachers aid grabbed his hand hard to pull him out of a class room and he flipped shit and was yelling "you're crazy, you're all crazy, my mom says so!".....d'oh.

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  71. We don't have a school nurse in our district, but at my daughters JUNIOR HIGH they allow the kids to walk in and use the phone at any time without asking for permission or even finding out WHY they need to call home... well, I am a nurse and I work 5 days a week in the home care setting and I get a call daily from my 13 year old daughter (it must be a girl thing) just to say "HI" and see what I'm doing. Half the time I'm talking to a patient and ignore the call (because now I know it's her and it is just to hear my voice). I have a couple patient's who know about my daughters calls and tell me to answer the call because they think it's "just so sweet" that she calls...

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  72. Mine is the same. Give that boy any excuse and he's in the nurses office requesting his cold compress and tlc. I wonder if they secretly hand candy out in there the amount he's there!

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  73. Reminds me if my son who once went to the nurse (for the 8th time in a week) because he "ate too much dinner"...a full SEVENTEEN hours before.

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  74. you are too funny. i am familiar with the nurse call as well. as a nurse student i try to be nice but i know i always have that 'come on, does she really need to come home' attitude.

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  75. 6th grade was awful. All town elementary schools combined into middle school that year. Students were broken down into "teams," all classes/gym/etc were only with those on your team. Teams were supposed to have rather even # of kids from each school, so could get to know new kids without being cut off completely from friends. Well, my team had just me & 2-3 other kids (not exaggerating) from my school. Our families each pointed this out to school but told nothing could be done (essentially like going to a totally new school, which is tough when your 11/12 -awkward age- & cliques already formed). Plus, was bored in classes & got picked on for being very short (which happened in elem school but my friends had my back...now they weren't around). School also had rule that could only carry books for your current class to avoid "back problems." So, each grade had its own wing/area so didn't have to race btwn classes/lockers each period. Early in year someone set off a cherry bomb, messed up some lockers, including mine. Got assigned new one...on other side of school because all 6th grade wing ones were taken, so I'd race around all day. Started to get legit headaches by midmorning (stress) & went to RN daily. After kept happening my mom asked what was up; luckily I was old enough to explain. My mom made arrangements so I wouldn't fall behind & I transfered to a private school for 7th grd - headaches stopped, no trips to rn. So, want to reiterate what others have said - just check in with Adolpha to see if anything's up that might be contributing to her being "sick." Side note...LOVE your blogs. :)

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  76. As a couple of others have said, feel lucky to have a nurse at your school. Our schools don't always have nurses, so guess who gets to give out medicine, count carbs for the diabetic kids, take temps, call parents? ME! haha I'm a teacher's aide with no medical training and terrible at detecting liars....makes me nervous when they say they are sick so I call the parent and get their two cents every time. Makes me so nervous to have to give out meds, also!

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  77. I'm 25 and still won't let my mom forget about not believing the stomachache that turned out to be appendicitis. Granted, I'm a huge drama queen and have tendencies for hypochondria...but that one will live in infamy!

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  78. I had the exact opposite childhood. My mother was a nurse and my father a microbiologist. So until I was sicker than a hosiptal patient, I didn't get a whole lot of sympathy for being ill. Upset tummy, a sore throat and a fever over 100? Ugh. I'd be limited to juice, sprite, ginger ale, and something like mashed potatoes to eat, then sent to bed early, only to be woken up at an ungodly early hour so that dad could shove and oversized q-tip down my throat and run a rapid strep test. (Because early morning samples before you've had a chance to eat, drink or even brush your teeth are the best ones). Assuming the test came back positive, he'd take a second to send to the doc, who would call in an RX, so mom could pick that up as soon as the pharmacy opened. I'd get to stay home on the couch eating bland food and vomiting, while watching bad movie rentals or sleeping until about noon, which is when the school would have my missed work for the day ready to be picked up. So the afternoon and evening would be school work instead of movies and naps. Fever checked every hour or so to see if any progress was being made. And, naturally, because after 24 hours of anti-step meds one is no longer contagious, assuming I was not longer puking, I'd be back at school the next day--even if I truly felt like crap. I was often returned with a note after 24 hours, from the doc, confirming that yes, I still had a fever but was no longer contagious and thus was "clear" so to speak.

    I only broke one bone as a child... my pinky finger. I was in trouble for loosing my glasses at the time, so when my entire hand and arm turned black and blue, I naturally didn't get any sympathy. After all, I could still move it without shrieking in pain. It was a few days later when I walked into my piano lesson that the teacher walked me back out to the car and insisted I get an x ray. Nurse that saw me checked my mobility by bending my finger way back and only got an mild comment of "that hurts" from me. X ray confirmed the break, so nurse wrote me out of gym for the week (it was volleyball week), told my mom to make sure I kept it taped to the adjacent finger, and commented that I had a "surprisingly high pain tolerance. :P

    Having known a number of other kids whose parents were in medicine, I gather my experience is not that unusual.

    Having said that, whenever I was truly hurting or ill--even with some unusual conditions (gout at age 17 anyone? rare childhood bone disorders?) My medical parents made sure I got really good, prompt care.

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  79. I remember another funny exchange when I was old enough to start taking my own temperature and raiding the medicine cabinet for an OTC like a generic Tylenol when I knew was still in the "not sick enough" category. It was the middle of the night and I felt like death warmed over. According to the clock, I had 4 hours to go until I could take another med, according the box label. I'd had a mild fever all evening and had been trying to sleep it off. I'd even woken my mom up once already that night, only to get no sympathy for a 100 degree temp. Finally, I gave up, went to my parent's bedroom again(door unlocked). I tried mom first. Sleeping like a rock. I got some mumbling comment about juice and Tylenol. I wasn't surprised as I knew she'd had a rough day and was exhausted. I tried dad next. Similar reaction but with and added "fever's not that bad." I grabbed his hand, put it on my forehead, and said, "actually it's feeling worse." He jumped then and exclaimed that I felt like I was "on fire." He asked when I'd last checked my temp. Turned out my fever had spiked up to 104.something in the last hour or so. It ended up being a stomach bug that was going around, but I still thought his reaction was funny. I teased them for at least a week about, "So 104 isn't that bad of a fever, now is it?"

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  80. I am a school nurse and trust me, some kids are great actors! I will let the first time slide if mom has been called and is on her way, but it only happens once! Teachers like to play nurse though and when I send a kid back to class they say I dont know what I am doing and that the child needs to go home.. I only call parents when I think they need to go home (fever or vomiting or excessive blood) but I have had moms call me yelling because I didnt let them know their child had wet their pants ( i gave them clean clothes)

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    1. It is people like you that drive me crazy! You think because you are the "school nurse" that it gives you the right to make the call on whether or not the parents should be notified! Ridiculous! It is the parents decision, not yours! Get off of your high horse! You may have a nursing degree, but you are not that childs parent, and most likely NOT the person they would go to for medical advice! Call the parents!!

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  81. Oh my god I'm going to puke! You parents are ALL missing the point! It is YOUR problem. Your child IS your problem. Give your child a consequence for each time she complains while at school. Do your parenting for god's sake. Ugh.

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  82. As a school nurse, I can tell you that a phone call at the beginning of the year giving us a heads up that your child may be a chronic visitor would be greatly appreciated!! That way, we can say, "well, sweetie, I've already talked to mom and she said you need to try to stay here today." That way we can only call you for those things that we find to be serious on our nursing assessment; i.e. serious injuries, illnesses, etc.

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  83. As a school nurse, I can tell you that a phone call at the beginning of the year giving us a heads up that your child may be a chronic visitor would be greatly appreciated!! That way, we can say, "well, sweetie, I've already talked to mom and she said you need to try to stay here today." That way we can only call you for those things that we find to be serious on our nursing assessment; i.e. serious injuries, illnesses, etc.

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  84. I'm sorry, but anyone else tired of Pediatric Nurse? this is humor people! Take it as that.

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  85. I subbed at a Middle School for a while as an aide in the Clinic. The regular nurse was on medical leave and her sub was a young, cool, well-liked RN who gave out CANDY to the kids as they left. We filled up PAGES (25 kids per page) in the check in book EVERY DAY! She thought the kids needed a break from class and she liked to get into their business and offer advice. She also did a good bit of parent criticizing and bad-mouthed the regular nurse. When I found out she was attempting to sabotage my efforts at getting a full time teaching job at the school, I realized she had some MAJOR issues and I reported her and got the heck out of the clinic!

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  86. mom, is that you? ha this reminds me of myself as a kid. i remember the one time my mom really needed me to stay home from school because she needed my help with a project for work so she went to wake me up (i knew she was gonna wake me up for school. so i in my most dramatic way told my mom my heart was hurting and i felt like i was gonna die at school) my mom tells me 'ok let me start the car , im taking you to the hospital.' then wispers under her breath and i was gonna have you stay home from school to help me. i remember quickly bouncing up and saying 'im just kidding i feel good, can i stay home and help?' my mom let me stay home just because she really needed my help and aftr that day she didnt believe any fake 'i dont feel good' lol.

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