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I’m a nurse, not a miracle worker

I’m a nurse, not a miracle worker
Science RF –

We have all been there. You are in class, feeling light headed, nearly about to pass out. You proceed to cough, and as time passes, your chest begins to hurt. As you raise your hand, your teacher immediately notices your sick demeanor. She sends you down to the nurse’s office without a second thought. On the way down, you break out into a coughing fit again; only to be offered an ice pack. 

Although it may sound foolish, when it comes down to it, an ice pack is the most a school nurse is legally permitted to give a student. 

According to the New Jersey State School Nurses Association, “…only licensed physicians or advanced practice nurses (APNs) are permitted to make a medical diagnosis or prescribe medications. Certified school nurses are registered nurses (RNs) and thus must have a physician’s order to administer any over-the-counter medication or prescription medication.”

However, although a nurse may not be permitted to administer certain medications,

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it is important to remember to carry your own. A school nurse is not responsible for your medications unless you have an individualized health plan (IHP).

According to, a parent must ask their child’s healthcare provider

for an official document regarding the child’s health issues and what is required for a healthy support system.
From there, the parent needs to bring in the document and have a meeting with the school nurse or administrators. Then a discussion is held amongst school administrators, the nurse, the parents and the student regarding the steps needed to be taken in order for the child to go through the school day safely and comfortably. 

The next time you feel sick do not expect the nurse to work miracles. Come prepared. If you know you are prone to have certain symptoms and have the means to take care of yourself at home, do not hesitate to bring them on your own. Do not blame the nurse for not being able to provide anything but an ice pack.

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