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Posted on: Tue, 01/29/2002 - 11:03am
Carefulmom's picture
Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

Lam,our school nurse is only there one day a week also (Tuesdays only). Nevertheless, it is her job to coordinate the 504 meetings. The fact that she is there so little makes it all the more important for the teachers to be trained. Your school should still be able to work out a day the week before school starts to have a 504 meeting. Our school nurse schedules all the 504 meetings the same day in the end of August, and our school has 600 to 700 kids. It is her job to work this out. If I were you, I would call and ask her about this. It would solve your problem, and she should know that you can`t leave your child there if no one is Epipen trained on the first day. It is her job to see that doesn`t happen. Also, it is a good chance to see if she is allergy aware. If not, you probably don`t want to send your child there anyhow, as everything will be a battle, if the nurse is not your advocate. It is better to find all this out in advance. Even though our nurse is only there on Tuesdays, she has solved numerous problems for me, and on one occasion went against the principal when it was to my daughter`s advantage.
[This message has been edited by Carefulmom (edited January 29, 2002).]

Posted on: Tue, 01/29/2002 - 11:39am
Carefulmom's picture
Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

Lam, I had to go answer the phone, so I am back and here is a story to illustrate the difference between the principal and the nurse. I believe that the principal will do what is best for the school, whereas the nurse will do what is best for your child. When my daughter started kindergarten, the kindergarten kids had their own play yard and the teacher was always there. The teacher was trained to use an Epipen. The kids didn`t go to the cafeteria, because kindergarten got out at 11:30. When my daughter started first grade everything changed. They all eat their lunch in the cafeteria, even if they bring there own lunch they still eat it in the cafeteria. Then they go out to the big playyard, which is staffed mostly by volunteers which are always changing, and one paid employee who is there one and a half hours a day. I asked that the cafeteria staff be trained to use an Epipen, and that was no problem. I also wanted the playyard employee to be trained, because if she had a reaction it would most likely be while eating or a few minutes after. Well, the playyard guy came up to me, said I should home school my child, he would never learn to use an Epipen, and that if asked to he would quit. Then he went to the principal and complained about me. The principal came charging after me, and the story had been changed around. Suddenly I was the bad guy. She was worried about this guy quitting, because it is hard to replace someone who only works 11:30 to 1:00. No one wants to break up their day for only an hour and a half of pay. Anyhow, she was worried about him quitting and having no replacement, so she took his side. Why? Because she was more worried about her school than my daughter. So, I waited until the following Tuesday when the school nurse would be there, and first thing I talked to the school nurse. She said she would take care of it and call me. Two hours later, I got a phone call that they would be training this guy, as well as EVERY EMPLOYEE IN THE SCHOOL! I was shocked. It was because she saw the medical importance of having a trained person on the playyard, the principal was instead looking at the school`s best interest. There is another mom on these boards, also in California (as I am); her school nurse felt it was only necessary to train two people in the entire school, so this mom is very dissatisfied. My point is it is better to size up the nurse in advance and also that she should be your child`s advocate, whereas probably the principal will see this as just another inconvenience in her busy day.

Posted on: Tue, 01/29/2002 - 10:21pm
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Thanks for more info regarding your personal situation with the school nurse. Interesting point of view that the principal cares for the school, and the nurse cares for the children. I'm sure we will meet with her at some point.
We've started the ball rolling with the principal, and so far he's given no indication that we should've started any other way, so we'll stick with him and proceed as he suggests - unless we really feel we need to do something differently, i.e. the info going home over the summer.
I feel very strongly that the faculty and staff should have the general information on peanut allergy and anaphylaxis at their fingertips for absorption over the summer. I would feel much more confident knowing the f/s have had more than just a few days to absorb the information. (That's my big word for all this: ABSORB. It really does need to be ABSORBED, and a few days' notice won't allow that to happen. IMO.)
Thanks again for your info and suggestions. I appreciate your help.
[This message has been edited by Lam (edited January 30, 2002).]

Posted on: Wed, 01/30/2002 - 2:25am
Carefulmom's picture
Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

Well, I really hope your experience is different from mine. Maybe the people I deal with are different, but my experience has been that if you give them three months to read the material, they won`t do it until they have your child anyway. I really hope you have better luck. It doesn`t hurt to try. You certainly have nothing to lose. And maybe your experience with the principal will be better than mine. Nevertheless, I would still size up the school nurse and see what her familiarity and attitudes are about PA. It can make a huge difference as to whether your six years in elementary school will be relatively safe or whether each thing will be a battle. For example, if you want a peanut free classroom and the school nurse says it isn`t necessary, you will have a battle to fight. There are so many parents on these boards who have had either great or terrible experience getting the school to accomodate PA. If the school nurse isn`t allergy aware, better to find out now so you can decide whether it is serious enough that you have to pick another school. One of the school nurses I interviewed said the 504 would say that Epipen shall not be given until I have been contacted by phone and I have given verbal permission. At work, sometimes it can take several minutes to find me. I felt that these several minutes could be the difference between life and death, also it really illustrated that this nurse did not understand the seriousness of PA, and there was no way I would have sent my child to that school. I really don`t mean to sound like all will be terrible; it may be great, but I think you need to have an idea which it will be before starting your child there.

Posted on: Tue, 02/12/2002 - 3:44am
Gadget's picture
Joined: 10/01/2001 - 09:00

I had our allergist do an inservice for my son's preschool. All I did was call the allergist and tell him what was going on (preschool was going to institute a policy of not administering Epi-pens and just relying on 911). I told him that the director of the school would be calling him to set something up. Within the week, the allergist was at the school giving an hour-long workshop!! He did not charge anything, but we bought him a $50 gift certificate to a restaurant, and of course, thanked him profusely. The preschool teachers said it was the best workshop they had ever attended! Fortunately, the school saw the light and will now administer the Epi-pen if necessary. Words cannot even describe how grateful I am to this allergist!!!!! Good luck with your school!


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