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School Makes Me Sick: How to Fake Illness

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The editors at Associates Degree in Nursing decided to research the topic of:

School Makes Me Sick: How to Fake Illness

Kids these days

- an estimated 10% of school-aged children fake an illness to get out of school
- 5% of children, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, suffer from 'school phobia,' a serious form of school avoidance that causes children to really feel physically ill at the thought of attending school

Tricking the School Nurse

- Be consistent
- In the morning, claim to have a sore throat and ask for cough drops
- later, tell the nurse you have a sore throat, headache, and ache all over
- make sure you fit at least 3 criteria for the target illness, but don't overdo it with medical terms
- pair your symptoms appropriately - don't try to combine a stomach ache with an earache.
- Ride the sick bandwagon
- cite the same symptoms of classmates or family members who have been recently sick
- Give them credit - School nurses have seen it all
- They're on to you: 77% of healthcare providers said 1/4 or more of their patients omitted facts or lied, and 28% estimated 1/2 or more of their patients do

Best Illness to Fake - the trick here is to be as contagious as possible

- Pink eye
- how to do it: rub a small amount of red lipstick and hair gel along the lids of one eye (not both)
- Diarrhea and gas
- admitting to more embarrassing symptoms, will make your story more believable
- Be like everybody else
- notice if there is a particular illness going around and claim the same symptoms

Oldest tricks in the book - don't make common these mistakes

- Don't overdo it: Don't fake snore, don't make fake vomit
- Don't ask the nurse to call your parents, have her suggest it to you.
- Don't fake an illness a nurse can prove you don't have (ie an ear infection)
- Know your acting skill level
- Oscar-level illness to fake: vomiting, sprained ankle (or similar injury), fevers

Faking a Fever - faking a fever is the quickest way to get sent home, unless you get caught

- claim to feel sleepy - lowered body temperature makes you feel drowsy.
- Make your forehead warmer:
- bury your face in a pillow and breath heavily - will cause you to look flushed
- Make your mouth warmer:
- While in the bathroom, put hot water in your mouth and swallow the hot water before the nurse takes your temp.
- A mercury thermometer can be vigorously shaken to make the temperature appear higher
- the infant setting on some digital thermometers will read slightly higher
- Make your hands clammy:
- Ferris style: cough into your hands and lick your palms

These tricks aren't just for kids

- In the US, 52% of employees admit to calling in sick to work when they were not actually sick.
- Other countries: China with 71%, India with 62%, Australia with 58%, Canada with 52%, the U.K. with 43%, and Mexico with 38% and France with 16%.
- why? employees felt stressed/needed a day off: 62% in the U.S. Other reasons selected included needing to take care of a sick child, having too heavy a workload, and not having enough paid leave.
- So, how did they spend their day off? The top two activities in the US were staying home and watching TV or staying in bed.
- Unscheduled absences, like when an employee calls in sick at the last minute, cost organizations 8.7% of payroll each year source:
- In a 2009 survey, 28% of patients surveyed acknowledged sometimes lying to their health-care provider or omitting information.
- Patients ages 25 to 34 were more likely to lie than older patients, according to a 2004 online survey of 1,500 respondents conducted by consumer medical news website. And men were two times as likely to get caught lying as women.