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Are we allowed to notify parents of pregnancy?

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by jlrm50 jlrm50 (Member)

jlrm50 has 18 years experience .

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Not my usual realm because I work at an elementary school but the topic came up and I am unsure of the answer.  In my state, NC, are we allowed to notify parents?  

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN.

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The answer is...it depends. What is your district policy? Consent age for treatment for STDs and pregnancy varies by state.

Also be careful....we cannot diagnose a pregnancy. I have declined the offer of pregnancy test kits because 1) they expire, 2) may or may not be accurate and 3) a decision to test is a decision to treat and I have nothing backing me up. 

So if a student came to me with a doctor's report indicating a positive blood serum pregnancy test I'd get the counselor involved immediately. If a kid came in and said she took a pee test....I'd be looking up my referrals. And encouraging her to tell parents.

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LikeTheDeadSea has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a Certified School Nurse.

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After an in depth discussion in one of the classes I took for CSN, my "take-away" was that we cannot tell the parent from the diagnosing statement Ruby_Jane described above. If the student has been diagnosed by a doctor, we still shouldn't tell a parent unless a medical situation arises where the student is in danger possibly due to the pregnancy. For example, they collapse and EMS is called to go to ER, when reaching out to parent on what is going on, that could be mentioned.

The discussion with the student should focus on telling parents herself. Potentially offering yourself as a support person if she'd prefer to do it during school hours, on the phone, etc.

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jlrm50 has 18 years experience.

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13 minutes ago, ruby_jane said:

The answer is...it depends. What is your district policy? Consent age for treatment for STDs and pregnancy varies by state.

Also be careful....we cannot diagnose a pregnancy. I have declined the offer of pregnancy test kits because 1) they expire, 2) may or may not be accurate and 3) a decision to test is a decision to treat and I have nothing backing me up. 

So if a student came to me with a doctor's report indicating a positive blood serum pregnancy test I'd get the counselor involved immediately. If a kid came in and said she took a pee test....I'd be looking up my referrals. And encouraging her to tell parents.

Exactly what my thoughts were but I was curious about it.  
A parent asked me and I told her that I have never had that experience here since most of my students are not at child baring ages but, realistically, my 4th or 5th graders could certainly have this come up.

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Check the State's legal age of consent.  if its a case of abuse, then you must report it..leave it up to the state agency to let the parent know about the pregnancy.

agreeing with the above post....unless its an emergency for the student...then no

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5 minutes ago, ruby_jane said:

The answer is...it depends. What is your district policy? Consent age for treatment for STDs and pregnancy varies by state.

Also be careful....we cannot diagnose a pregnancy. I have declined the offer of pregnancy test kits because 1) they expire, 2) may or may not be accurate and 3) a decision to test is a decision to treat and I have nothing backing me up. 

So if a student came to me with a doctor's report indicating a positive blood serum pregnancy test I'd get the counselor involved immediately. If a kid came in and said she took a pee test....I'd be looking up my referrals. And encouraging her to tell parents.

I have pregnancy tests. But I refer if any are positive and review this isn't a tool to officially diagnosis; this needs to be diagnosed at a doctor's office. I have a teen health center nearby I can refer to. 

Legally in my state, I can't call/tell a parent; I can't tell anyone actually without the student's permission (unless, as mentioned above, it is student has a true medical emergency involving me calling EMS). But I sure would be encouraging them to do so. 

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5 hours ago, JenTheSchoolRN said:

[...]

Legally in my state, I can't call/tell a parent; I can't tell anyone actually without the student's permission (unless, as mentioned above, it is student has a true medical emergency involving me calling EMS). But I sure would be encouraging them to do so. 

This has been my experience as well.  

In NC, an unemancipated minor, regardless of age can consent for "medical health services for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of (i) venereal disease and other diseases reportable under G.S. 130A-135, (ii) pregnancy, (iii) abuse of controlled substances or alcohol, and (iv) emotional disturbance."

§ 90-21.5.  Minor's consent sufficient for certain medical health services

 

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN.

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Google Guttmacher Report and that should provide a list of what services teens can consent to at what age...

 

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tining has 23 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a School Nurse.

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My district policy is - no pregnancy tests on campus.  If someone discloses I can guide to where they can get a test.  Either way (-/+) I can tell the student to tell their parent.  Also stating, if you do not notify (within a few days), I will call the parent in and you will still need to tell them.

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RNTadaaaa has 13 years experience and works as a Registered Nurse.

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9 minutes ago, tining said:

My district policy is - no pregnancy tests on campus.  If someone discloses I can guide to where they can get a test.  Either way (-/+) I can tell the student to tell their parent.  Also stating, if you do not notify (within a few days), I will call the parent in and you will still need to tell them.

Your district policy is that (-/+) if the student divulges to you, you must tell the student to tell their parent/call the parent in or you can counsel/encourage them to tell their parents? 

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CanIcallmymom has 4 years experience.

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I haven't encountered this so far, but I thought teen pregnancy pretty much means they are (in Texas) considered emancipated for anything regarding their pregnancy and/or child. I need to clarify with the counselors on what they do out of curiosity as well. 

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tining has 23 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a School Nurse.

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Sorry - positive

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