Would you send your child to a school with no nurse?

Posted on: Tue, 04/15/2003 - 7:24am
Dawn's picture
Joined: 02/22/1999 - 09:00

Does your child's school have a full time nurse? Part time?

Because of moving, we are in our 3rd school system, the first without a nurse. At all. My kids go to a very small, very close-knit parochial school. Any nursing that needs to be done, such as vision and hearing screens, etc. are done by parent volunteers who are nurses. Ill children are administered to by very motherly office staff.

I haven't given it a lot of thought (the lack of a nurse) because I personally know so many of the staff and parents, I know my children are well cared for and I know they don't hesitate to call me if necessary. Plus, my kids are in generally good health. Now that my pa son is going there (since Jan.) and now that it has been raised in another thread, I'm curious about others' thoughts on this. Is no school nurse within your comfort zone? Why or why not?

Here's my thought - everyone around my pa son is as well-trained in pa as I can expect, since I did the training and they are very open to all discussion about it. My children are with the same level of medical care-giving in every other part of their lives...I'm not a nurse and neither is anyone in my family, yet I entrust them (and myself) with their care. Should I expect that there be someone at school with a higher level of medical knoweledge at all times? Would this be for the "just in case" scenarios?

I in no way mean to imply that school nurses are not an integral part of school staff...I'm sure that I would [i]prefer[/i] there to be a nurse, but since so many things are truly wonderful there, I hope I'm not being careless in not fretting about it.

Whew! Thanks for letting me think out loud! I am very interested in everyone's thoughts!

Posted on: Tue, 04/15/2003 - 8:05am
arachide's picture
Joined: 08/16/2000 - 09:00

There are no full-time school nurses in the public system here (Montreal). A community health center nurse does go to

Posted on: Tue, 04/15/2003 - 8:42am
Gail W's picture
Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

We had made the decision that our zoned school wouldn't work for us and that we would look for a new school to move into it. So we were able to create our criteria and seach for the school that met our criteria. And yes, as I posted in the other thread, a full-time nurse was one requirement for us. Many reasons, but a big one was that we wanted the staff training and education to come from a licensed RN who was employed by the school. (We did not want to be the sole educators, in part, because my husband is a physician and it would be tricky.)
My SIL agonized over whether to send her DD (my neice w/ PA, TNA, and cod fish) to the parochial school that she was very familiar with and that her 3 older children attended(small, very stong community, but no nurse) ........or the much larger public school where she was offered a 504 and a full-time nurse. After much stress, she opted for her parochial school. It has worked out beautifully for them. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 04/15/2003 - 10:34am
cynde's picture
Joined: 12/10/2002 - 09:00

Our school does not have a nurse. The public health nurs and I educated the staff, and she educated the students with me doing follow ups with DS class.

Posted on: Tue, 04/15/2003 - 11:04am
Codyman's picture
Joined: 08/14/2002 - 09:00

There are no nurses in the schools in Ontario Canada.

Posted on: Tue, 04/15/2003 - 11:06am
erik's picture
Joined: 05/15/2001 - 09:00

Yes, that is true. I neevr had a nurse in my school either (Mississauga, Ontario). This was back in the 1970s and 1980s.

Posted on: Tue, 04/15/2003 - 12:12pm
Chicago's picture
Joined: 04/21/2001 - 09:00

Dd's school has no nurse. The office staff and key teachers (such as the primary classroom teacher or any teacher that spans several grades such as science, drama or French)are trained by parents and/or outside professionals. This is true for FA, diabetes, ashthma whatever. I am fine with that, as I figure that if there are 10 or so people ready and able to give the Epi, that beats everyone counting on one person who could be at lunch or whatever the moment needed. Also we have several FA kids and probably 10 kids total with Epis.
DD is in a private school, but even our local public schools share a TRUE nurse between several schools. All a cost issue.
[This message has been edited by Chicago (edited April 15, 2003).]

Posted on: Tue, 04/15/2003 - 3:28pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I'm the same as the other people from Ontario, Canada that posted. We no longer have school nurses in the public school system here.
I distinctly remember having a nurse when I was in high school. Now, I'm not sure if she was part-time or full-time, but there was a nurse because she gave me Midol. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img]
(erik, as a side-note, that was from 1973 to 1978 [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] ).
When I spoke with the superintendent of the school board here at a recent meeting, he said that they have NEVER had school nurses in the public school system in this particular school board.
I mentioned that I had had one as a child and he said "but you're from Toronto, totally different story, more money, etc."
So, apparently where we live now, there has never been a school nurse.
The Public Health Unit does come in and give flu shots. They do not, however, come in and check with the head lice difficulties anymore. Parent volunteers do that.
I do know if I wanted support for educational purposes with the school, say giving a lecture to the school community as a whole re PA, if I felt as though I needed someone medically to back me up, I would call the Public Health Unit. They are the people that distributed that great pamphlet I posted about here (that actually was basically the same as one many other members from different places in Ontario posted - so a general Public Health Nurses print-out, modified slightly per city/town/whatever).
No, no school nurse here at all. My son is in his fourth year of school and I have always felt that the school personnel (the teacher, the school secretary, and the principal) have always dealt with any health concerns (I had two non-PA related ones last week, one with each child, both on the same morning [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] ) really well (except for Jesse's reaction and I understand why they weren't able to deal with that well now [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] ).
So, in Ontario, we don't have that choice, if you will. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]
Personally, I would like it if there was a nurse.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 04/15/2003 - 11:18pm
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Cindy Spowart Cook:
They do not, however, come in and check with the head lice difficulties anymore. Parent volunteers do that.

Posted on: Tue, 04/15/2003 - 11:33pm
erik's picture
Joined: 05/15/2001 - 09:00

Hi Cindy,
I was in high school from 1979-1984 in Mississauga Ontario, and we had no school nurse. I assume there was a nurse in the local department of health or the board of education who was available if needed, but in our school, there was no nurse.

Posted on: Tue, 04/15/2003 - 11:47pm
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Small story here.
My little guy is in an Early Childhood Program at age 3 1/2, non-pa [i]as far as we know[/i], and it is questionable whether or not he will be "officially" diagnosed with Asthma (?). As usual, I dropped him off last week and except for some minor sniffs here and there (he has seasonal allergies, much like his big bro) he was pretty chipper. I went out grocery shopping after dropping him off. My cell phone battery died (got to get a new battery, this one has had it) and I left my pager at work. The whole crew came with me big bro, and Grandma. Hubby was out in the backyard building something messy, and his pager was on bedroom dresser.
I come home to unload the groceries, check the caller id, and lo and behold, the school has called [i]three times[/i]. A lot considering it is a half day program. You can see the school from by back yard as well. I call back, and the teacher [i](whom we adore for a million reasons)[/i] relays the state our little guy is in.
About 45 minutes after dropping him off I was told
he started looking a little punk. He was lethargic, flushed, and wouldn't play. He curled up in the assistant's arms and there he wanted to stay.
She states "I think he has a fever, but we didn't check his temperature [b]because the school nurse is not in today.[/b]" I say, "Ok, I'll be there in two minutes (maybe one, lol) to pick him up." (I also explain why she couldn't get ahold of us).
editing to correct chronological order.
[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited April 16, 2003).]


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