Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Why did my child say the nurse's office was "closed" during portions of the day?


A: The most essential roles of the school nurse are to care for children with chronic illness and to respond to emergencies.  There are blocks of time during the day when the nurse has scheduled procedures for these students (think of these like scheduled appointments at the clinic) and certain times for walk-in visits (non-scheduled visits).  If your child is feeling sick during the times when other students have scheduled appointments, he/she should talk with the teacher. The teacher will determine if it is something that can wait until the procedures are over or if the student needs to go to the front office to call home. If the teacher feels it is something that needs immediate attention, they will notify the nurse.  


Q: Do you have medication in your office to give my child? (ibuprofen, Tylenol, cough drops, cortisone cream, Neosporin, etc.)


A: No. Rutherford County Schools does not provide OTC medicines for students. Each student must have his/her own medication signed in by a parent. A parent or guardian must sign in all medications. This includes cough drops, sunscreen and bug spray. Please bring any medicines to school in an unopened and unexpired bottle. The Nurse's office does not keep any medications/ointments/over the counter products. First aid supplies are always available. 


Q: If my child gets hurt, can you provide medical equipment, such as a wheelchair, crutches or a knee scooter?


ANo. Medical equipment cannot be provided by the school. Your child can certainly bring crutches, a wheelchair, a knee scooter, etc. to school in the event of an injury.  A parent/guardian will need to sign a liability waiver for any of those to be used at school.  Any medical documentation of the injury is also appreciated. 


Q: If my child has been to the doctor will his absences be excused?


A: Yes. With a signed note from your doctor, absences will be excused for the time specified. It's best to speak with someone in the Attendance office at school to get specific answers. 


Q: If my child goes to see the nurse and I check him out, will the absence be excused?


A: If the nurse calls and suggests you should come get your child, most likely it will be excused. This is something that can be discussed on the phone prior to the student’s being pick up. 

Examples of absences that will be excused include:

  • fever over 100.4°F,
  • multiple episodes of vomiting at school,
  • abnormal vital signs


Q: If my child is seen by a doctor and needs special accommodations for medical purposes, can you provide them?  (bathroom breaks, dimmed lights, snack privileges, etc.) 


A: Typically, yes.The school staff will collaborate as a team with you, your doctor and your child to meet your child’s needs in the school setting.


Q: Can my child bring a snack or water bottle to school?

A: Yes. Certain rules may apply, depending on the grade level/course/school. For example, they may not be able to have it in a computer lab, auditorium, or library. Most teachers allow snacks in the classroom, but it’s best to ask your teacher(s) directly. 


Q: Does the clinic have any needs or a wish list? 

A: Some School Nurses do have a wish list, yes. Check with the Nurse at your school, but common items requested include basic items like tissues, baggies (gallon and sandwich-size), Lysol or Clorox Wipes, dixie cups, unopened first aid supplies, gauze, band-aids of all sizes, medical tape, hand lotion. No medications can be accepted.


So many students do not eat breakfast or drink enough fluids and end up in the clinic with an upset stomach or headache. Often, just a snack and water helps them feel better. So, first be sure your child gets a good breakfast, every day. Most school nurses would welcome these items: small water bottles, individually wrapped snacks (like fruit snacks, granola bars, peanut butter crackers, small juice boxes, snack crackers).