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Alone with students


My new job is with a Catholic School and, presumably due to all the assault scandals they have had, they now have a policy where no staff member can be alone with a student ever. I know I can keep the door open for most of the time but imagine there may be times where it is not appropriate for the kids to have others watching them. If I have to close the door I would need to find another staff member to come be in the room with me. Just wondering how tricky this will be and if is the standard or just due to my employers' history. Does anyone else have this policy at their school?

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

It seems to fly in the face of medical privacy r/t FERPA. It essentially means that anytime a child comes to the health office, another staff has to bring them and stay with them- it wouldn't work at my school.

When there's anything "sensitive" that has to be looked at I assess the child behind the privacy screen with another adult just on the other side. It's not perfect, but it's something...

Flare, ASN, BSN

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

there are things that I won't do by myself - namely anything that involves anything with a bathroom. I won't look at any students genitals unless it's a true emergency and again i will find another adult and pull them into my office. Thankfully that doesn't come up very often.

I have zero control, however, on the young students (usually boys) that ask to use my bathroom and decide to leave to door wide open or exit with their pants still around their ankles (with my office full of young ladies of course:facepalm:)


Has 25 years experience.

I'm not sure. This is a tough one.

I agree with Jed on the FERP.

I have lots of kids come in with sensitive issues like cutting or suicidal ideation, suspected pregnancy. If this is the case I ask my secretary to hold kids unless limbs are falling off, I go into my other room, I close the door and I listen until I see where the student needs to be referred.

I understand the school's point, and applaud them, but there are also state laws which protect the child's privacy.


Specializes in Home Health,Dialysis, MDS, School Nurse. Has 20+ years experience.

I feel that is kind of overboard. Like the others, if it involves an assesment of any private areas or even just a preschooler who had an accident, you bet there will be 2 of us there. But a student who wants to talk to me privately? What about a teacher/principal/counselor who needs to talk to a student about an issue? Kids aren't going to be as open if you pull in some random staff from the hall to listen in...


Has 21 years experience.

I'm never alone with students if it involves bathroom accidents or disrobing. I'm fortunate that I have a male staff member that will come in and assist Pre K boys if needed with the bathroom accidents with me on the other side of the door and this gentleman will stand outside the door if it's a little girl while I assist with clean up. My biggest problem seems to be the hovering teacher aids and classroom volunteers that don't want to step out of the clinic when they deliver a student to the clinic. I'm told the nurses don't have to share details of clinic visits with any one other than parents.

Flare, ASN, BSN

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

i should add - the powers that be swapped out my solid door for one with a huge window. there are times i want my old door back - most times. But there are also times that I close and lock my door when i'm doing something sensitive, whether it's talking to a student that wants to discuss something sensitive such as self harm or what have you or even just make a call to cps. If someone comes up and tries the door, i can shake my head no and they can indicate if they are bleeding out. I do have privacy curtains that I can pull so that a student I'm talking to is kept private.