Friday, December 2, 2016

November 2016

Nursing Assessment Tools

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Of course I feel like November flew by...  
You would only be surprised if I said otherwise, right?

I'm feeling a little behind in my schedule 
because I'm into my 4th week of the CNA train-the-trainer course.
I guess I forgot how much time it takes to take a class :)

As for my school nurse thoughts for November...
You can tell by my picture I was thinking a lot about assessment.

Nurses can't diagnosis, 
but  nurses can offer students and parents our assessment skills.  
  • Use the tools available to you in your office.
  • Give parents all of your assessment data for them to share with their doctor or NP.
  • Document, document, document.- your results, your interactions, your phone calls 
What else can you think of that I forgot to include?  Please share :)


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

October 2016

October 2016 - 

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This month seemed to pass in a flash!

  • By now you've should have a handle on your new student required paperwork & you should have all forms turned in or students on an approved schedule.  I keep track of my "in-series" kiddos on a google drive sheet!  
  • My typical weekly follow up cases include- doctor related PE excuse notes, concussion status, & vision and hearing re-screens.  For these situations I use the old-school "piles on my desk" tracking system!  I will say the piles are organized, clipped together, and labeled; for now this sort of system seems to work :)
  • I'm getting ready to schedule the yearly dental clinic.  We usually see 80-100 students over a span of three days.
  • I'm also re-vamping the system I use to track IEP students who have a primary or secondary label of OHI & would love to hear if any of you have a system already in place- please share :)  *update- in 2020 I came up with a Google sheet. You can download it for FREE here.
  • I'm also enjoying the GREAT, WARM weather we've been having in Illinois & look forward to watching the CUBS WIN game 7 tonight!!
PS Do you follow my IG account?  Follow Me ...  the_school_nurse

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Friday, September 30, 2016

September 2016

....September 2016....

I can't believe it is the end of September already!
This school year is off and running!  

Here are a few things I'm working on...

  1. Vision & Hearing Screenings- I try to finish all of my vision and hearing screenings (all 188) within the first few months of school.  My goal is to have them all done by the end of November.  I have the equipment set up in my office so I can quickly screen as time allows. 
  2. Domain & Consent Paperwork- These are items that are ongoing throughout the entire school year.  I have an old-school hand written list that I use to track the names of upcoming meetings and the date I need to have the online paperwork completed by.  This system seems to work well for me.
  3. Concussions- We've come up with a good set of concussion protocols and are learning to work together with teachers and coaching staff to implement them.
  4. Standing Orders / Physician Directed Nursing Protocols- I appreciate having these on file every school year.  I'm in the processing of updating them :)
  5. Reading- In my off time I've enjoyed some reading!  I've finished 8 books this month- 2385 pages total to add to our staff reading log!
I would love to hear about what you have going on in your office- what is on your to-do list?  
Do you need any help or suggestions on how to improve your practice?  Please let me know :)

Thursday, September 1, 2016

August 2016

What- it's the end of August already!

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I managed to enjoy my summer, but feel the older I get the faster the months go by :(
I would like to try 4 day work weeks for a while this school year!
I would love to hear about your summer :)

Students were only in attendance for 13 days during the month of August ...

In just 13 short days my office successfully a lot.
So much that I can't believe it is only the beginning of the school year!

Here are a few things we managed to squeeze in 
and a few I am planning to accomplish over the next month or so...

Please feel free to comment about any big  school nursing plans you have for next month!


  1. 606 student related health center visits
  2. 1 ambulance call
  3. 10 Vision & Hearing screenings
  4. 400+ immunization reviews
  5. Renewed NASN membership
  1. More cool office related pictures
  2. Schedule meeting to review concussion policy
  3. Get going on 10 domain meeting forms
  4. Complete the 'documentation of evaluation' forms for several upcoming IEP meetings

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Monday, May 23, 2016

May 2016

WOW- Where did the school year go?

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I can't believe today is my last day before summer really begins!

This school year seemed to fly by- in a good way I guess!

I have a busy summer planned- I bet you do too?
Feel free to let me know what you'll be up to.

Here are a few things I have planned:

  • finish my final edits in my chapters for the soon to be released updated Individualized Healthcare Plans for the School Nurse book!
  • think about next school year....
  • teach a few CNA classes at the local junior college
  • hang out at the pool
  • drink some DD iced coffee!
  • enjoy spending time with my family :)

Blog posts didn't make my list :(

However, I did start up a school nurse Instagram account & plan on posting there.

Find me & Follow me on IG       :    the_school_nurse

Monday, May 2, 2016

April 2016

April 2016- Where did the time go?

I'm so lucky that I have a wall of windows in my office! 
I love spring- pretty, blooming flowers 
catch my eye every time I walk to my desk!

What to do as the year wraps up....

It's actually time to start wrapping up this year and to start planning for next year!
Here are a few tips; I hope they help keep you organized and on-task....

Wrap Up...

  1. Make sure you finish this school year with all of your missing required health requirements turned in.  There are probably a handful of new students with outstanding requirements and now is the time to get those forms in your hands.  
  2. Pull the charts of the students who are graduating or moving up to a different school in your district.  Since I'm at a high school we pull the charts of the graduating students.  We make sure all immunizations are written neatly on the state form, scan the forms, and have them uploaded into our computer based program which saves the forms forever- or at least for 60 years :) Then we house the full chart in a storage room.
  3. Prepare your end-of-the-year report to share with your school administration and/or school board.  It is so easy to tell people "I'm so busy"  "We see a ton of kids everyday"... but what does that really mean?  Start keep some stats and write them down. This is what I tracked this year, but want to add a few items next year and keep better #s too.  Anyway, for this year I tracked: the # of daily office visits by students (next year I want to add staff visits), daily medications, completed athletic drug screen #s, Moms Who Care passes and meetings, breakfast passes, V&H screenings, IEP medical reviews and billable nursing services.  I track by day or month but my report is written by month. 

Plan Ahead...

  1. Print and address envelopes for all of your summer letters.  This is a huge time saver!  
  2. Get charts ready for your incoming students.  I have freshman entering so I have labels printed with student name, DOB, and student ID.  I also use labels for a 5x8 notecard for each student.  I apply the labels to each, keep them in alph order, and they are ready to go for registration next year!  Any forms I receive from feeder schools can go directly into the folders :) 
  3. For more info on my student charts and cards read this post-
Kind of a long-ish post.  
I hope it has a few helpful tips for you!  Please share any other ideas!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

March 2016

Can you believe it is the end of March already!?

There are just a few things I wanted to share with you this month....

  1. I've been busy planning ahead for next school year already!  In fact- I've added & will continue to add some good school nurse resources on my Teachers Pay Teachers site.  Find them here!  I have a few "free" items available too :)
  2. If you are a school nurse in IL, I highly encourage you to subscribe for an I-Care password!  Site found here.  This is a wonderful resource for finding student immunization records!
  3. It is rare to receive thank-you notes- especially from a student.  The lower left picture above is a thank-you my office received from a student several years ago.  I wonder how she is doing now?
Hope everyone has (had) a fun & relaxing spring break.  
The end of the school year will be here before we know it!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Notes from The School Nurse

February 2016

Here are a few things I want to mention this month....

I read this quote earlier this month ... "Be comfortable being uncomfortable"...  How true is that?! There are many times as a school nurse when we are part of a very personal and sometimes uncomfortable conversation, but it's OK.  We need to have those conversations with students, parents, and even other staff members.  It is usually in those uncomfortable situations that we are able to grow- on a personal and professional level- and hopefully for the better too!

Remember last month when I thought it would be fun to write a book?!  I've already starting writing down some possibly chapter titles!  They make me laugh and I think other school nurses will be able to relate!  I'm curious if you have any chapter title suggestions or book title suggestions?

I recently took my 11 year-old daughter to the doctor... One of the questions the nurse was required to ask her was "Are you ever afraid when you are at home?"... I knew the purpose of the question and so it didn't really phase me.  Until, that is, my daughter answered "Yes!".... I about fell over.  The nurse spun around in and chair and I started to rephrase her question (which might have been wrong of me), but my daughter interrupted and said "Well, sometimes I get afraid of the weather because it reminds me of the tornado".... The nurse let out a sigh of relief and looked at me and said "OK, I'll mark her answer as a no."  I realize the questions have to be open ended, but there are a lot of things at home that might make an 11 year-old child afraid... the fear of the weather being one of them!  

Until next month...

Friday, January 29, 2016

January 2016

What I learned in January 2016....

  1. I shred a lot of paper!  I mean a lot!!
  2. Sometimes dealing with adults is harder than children.  
  3. I like to plan early, but we are already planning for next school year & that makes me a little sad!
  4. I like using the I-Care immunization look up system!  Have you tried it yet?
  5. I want to write a book & a sitcom using stories/situations that I've heard & seen in my office :)