Suicide and other need to knows

  1. **Admins, please don't put on facebook**

    I am a bit upset at the moment because I just met with one of my counselors about a student and she made a comment about "well you know what happened on Instagram already" and my face must have shown that I had NO idea what she was talking about. She apologized and then filled me in that one of my daily med kids threatened suicide on Instagram and there was not one but TWO meetings in the school about it and there is a plan in place. She is only here part time so her other half is the one who sees the student and keeps her files, but NO ONE THOUGHT TO TELL ME!

    And then I saw a little kinder walking around in a boot, and I have no documentation on that. I talked to the parent who said they gave it to the teacher. The teacher "didn't know I needed it" since he was ok walking.

    I get every papercut, itchy head, and upset parent forwarded my way, but when one of threatens self harm no one thinks that the nurse, who sees the student every single day, should know?

    Maybe it's because I have life kicking me in the shins in general lately, but this reallly really hurts.
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   MrNurse(x2)
    School nurses. like it or not, are adjunct staff. They are not seen as part of the team, because educators only view the team in terms of education. To be fair, hospital nurses do the same thing with PT, OT, etc. I don't see this changing, so you may as well understand it that this is not a personal or professional slight, it is a bit of self centeredness on their part.
  4. by   Farawyn
    Don't take it personally. We are invisible. They only see us when we aren't there and they have to deal with something.

    As for the suicide kid, that is important that you know. If you have a weekly Crisis Intervention meeting or Student Support, you should be part of that team, and that means you get the need to know stuff.
    Tell that to the Principal.

    As far as the other thing, I would put out a "friendly reminder" that any student injuries, illnesses that are brought to the teacher's attention by the student, and not by you? that you need to know about it.
    As in, "Suzy is wearing a boot. I didn't hear from you, so I just wanted to know if there were any special considerations?"
  5. by   dakotadenise
    I work with K-12, but K-6 and 7-12 are kind of separate areas/different secretaries and admin, ect. After spending my first year in the dark and looking like an idiot about stuff that went on in HS, I went and talked to the principal and secretary. I told them of a couple incidents, one where I had no idea a girl was suicidal/actually just gotten discharged from a mental health hospital. They admitted that they had overlooked me, but added me to their list of people to inform and things have been pretty good with communication since. Sometimes you just have to point out the obvious to them!
  6. by   WineRN
    I plan on touching base with the other counselor and principal about it.

    And I hear you guys, we are the least important staff until we are suddenly the MOST important staff when something serious happens. I think my extra anger is because this is one of my daily med kids I'm pretty darn close and I would NEVER think they would be going down that path of thought and I am dealing with complications myself from a recent medical procedure.
  7. by   Farawyn
    Quote from WineRN
    I plan on touching base with the other counselor and principal about it.

    And I hear you guys, we are the least important staff until we are suddenly the MOST important staff when something serious happens. I think my extra anger is because this is one of my daily med kids I'm pretty darn close and I would NEVER think they would be going down that path of thought and I am dealing with complications myself from a recent medical procedure.
    Yes, and I'm sorry. I was thinking of the problem and not your feelings on this.
    I don't think the OVERSIGHT was personal, but yes, of course you feel emotional about this.
    I'm really sorry. It is so upsetting when you realize a kid you care about is just so sad.
    *hugs*
  8. by   NutmeggeRN
    Yup

    Tried to have a conversation with the front desk person....using the 7 B's argument

    The response is that she cannot triage...

    I told her triage is Dead, Alive and OK or needs to be helped....She was not impressed
  9. by   peacockblue
    I have one counselor who really views me as part of the team. We work closely together and I feel like it really benefits the kids. She knows which kids are close to me and I know which kids are close to her and we problem solve together. Our other counselor, not so much. She keeps everything a secret. Deaths of parents-secret. Psych hospitalization-secret. Eating disorder-secret. It is much harder to work with her. Not really sure what to do about it except be thankful for the one who appreciates and works with me.
  10. by   NutmeggeRN
    Quote from peacockblue
    I have one counselor who really views me as part of the team. We work closely together and I feel like it really benefits the kids. She knows which kids are close to me and I know which kids are close to her and we problem solve together. Our other counselor, not so much. She keeps everything a secret. Deaths of parents-secret. Psych hospitalization-secret. Eating disorder-secret. It is much harder to work with her. Not really sure what to do about it except be thankful for the one who appreciates and works with me.
    Yup...I feel your pain
  11. by   JenTheSchoolRN
    Quote from peacockblue
    I have one counselor who really views me as part of the team. We work closely together and I feel like it really benefits the kids. She knows which kids are close to me and I know which kids are close to her and we problem solve together. Our other counselor, not so much. She keeps everything a secret. Deaths of parents-secret. Psych hospitalization-secret. Eating disorder-secret. It is much harder to work with her. Not really sure what to do about it except be thankful for the one who appreciates and works with me.
    A good counselor is gold. I am very lucky to work with one and with an admin team that keeps me in the loop. But it wasn't always that way. I had to push my way in a bit, felt like proving myself, to be honest. But after that, it was like I gained the key to a secret door.

    Keep asking those questions, WineRN, it can help, even it is starts simply by being included on an e-mail chain.
    Last edit by JenTheSchoolRN on Nov 9
  12. by   ruby_jane
    Each time something like this happens it's an opportunity to (as Jen said) push your way in and educate the staff about what you really do. Of course you needed to know about the suicidal ideation - you have daily contact with the kid, and you might be helpful. OF COURSE you needed to know about the boot - that's a parent's bad, though.

    You're a good nurse. Keep on keepin' on.
  13. by   WineRN
    Update: I spoke with the principal and he said that he was told I knew and couldn't attend the meetings. Which is wrong. He promised to always talk to me himself if he notices I am not present and he would be following up with all of the counselors today to remind them that I am always a part of conversations like this. Which makes me feel better but I still plan on making time to talk with the counselor about lying about talking to me. She is new and only part time and new to the school system, so she probably doesn't see me as a member of the team but she shouldn't be lying about talking to me.
  14. by   JenTheSchoolRN
    Quote from WineRN
    Update: I spoke with the principal and he said that he was told I knew and couldn't attend the meetings. Which is wrong. He promised to always talk to me himself if he notices I am not present and he would be following up with all of the counselors today to remind them that I am always a part of conversations like this. Which makes me feel better but I still plan on making time to talk with the counselor about lying about talking to me. She is new and only part time and new to the school system, so she probably doesn't see me as a member of the team but she shouldn't be lying about talking to me.
    Good for you! And I'm glad your principal listened to you and appears to understand your value. When a principal in on your team, it helps so very much. I am very lucky to work with two very supportive principals and it makes my job a heck of lot easier.
    Last edit by JenTheSchoolRN on Nov 9

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