RN assisted with Savana Redding drug search

  1. In light of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling yesterday in the Savana Redding case yesterday (13 year old girl subjected to strip search for ibuprofen at school, witnessed by the school secretary and the the school nurse, was found to be a violation of her civil rights), does anyone see a problem with the school nurse having participated in the strip seach?

    Are drug searches a normal part of the school nurse job?

    Did this nurse exceed her authority and/or display very bad judgement?

    Is this something the Arizona Board of Nursing should investigate?

    I throw these questions out there for discussion, and I can provide more info about the court's ruling if needed.


    HollyVK RN, BSN, JD
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    About hollyvk, BSN, RN

    Joined: Aug '06; Posts: 118; Likes: 88
    Healthcare Informatics; from US
    Specialty: 25 year(s) of experience in Peds, GI, Home Health, Risk Mgmt


  3. by   Be_Moore
    BSN, JD. Nice. So did you go to nursing school with the intent on going into a JD program? I've considered doing such, and moving into health law.

    Honestly as long as said nurse wasn't actually participating but was there as a witness, said nurse should be fine. I suppose that the argument could be made that the nurse could (should?) have refused to be a witness, but my counterpoint would be that most school nurses don't have their JD's..so it's not necessarily their place to understand all things about school policy and the legality of strip searches when trading of prescribed medications is suspected.
  4. by   Purple_Scrubs
    I had not heard the outcome of this case, thanks for posting it.

    For me, as the school nurse, not just no but hell no would I strip search or assist in strip searching a student of any age. I would not allow it to happen in my office, and if other staff members participated despite my objections, I would either call admin for backup, call the student's parents, or the police. There is NO WAY I would allow this to happen without a fight.

    If there was a legitamate reason for a student to be strip searched (I don't think ibuprofen suspicion is legitimate, for the record), at the very least the parent should be present and consent. Even with the parent's consent, I would not do it without the student's consent as well.

    As far as the BON getting involved, basically I think what she did was assault, so whatever the board would do for any garden variety assault should apply. I am hopeful that the NASN will issue some sort of statement or opinion (or they better if they want my membership renewed). It will be interesting to see how it plays out, at any rate.
  5. by   morte
    i am sad that anyone would think this was ok.....and i am sad that we are not empowering our young women to refuse such
  6. by   OC_An Khe
    Why wouldn't "just being a witness" be taking part in the strip search. At the least in enabled the process as it wouldn't have taken place without a witness. I to would have refused, unless the search was being conducted by an appropriate officer of the law.
  7. by   DolceVita
    Well the strip search might not have taken place if the nurse had not been there as a witness.

    I think it is despicable that they put the nurse in that position. I would love to know what she really thought of the whole thing. IMO I think being a witness is as good as giving your stamp of approval.

    I expect it might be kind of isolated being a school nurse -- no peers to have immediate support.
  8. by   gonzo1
    This is why I would never want to be a school nurse. How could you possibly know what to do in all the strange situations that can arise in the care of children.
    I know I would be beside myself with confusion as to whether this should be done or not. And if I don't agree, does it put my job at jeopardy.
    Unless the school nurse has a very advanced degree, or is also a lawyer I feel very sorry for her to have to make such a decision.
  9. by   wooh
    Perhaps with this school nurse there as a witness, she could at least make sure no further wrongs were committed. I'm not going to judge the nurse either way without the full story, especially without hearing the nurse's side of the story.
  10. by   VivaLasViejas
    I've never been a school nurse, but I have VERY strong feelings about the Constitution and I would never in a hundred years participate in, witness, or God forbid, conduct a strip search of a 13-year-old girl......especially not for ibuprofen!!! :angryfire

    I was outraged when I first heard of this case, and I'm glad the Supreme Court ruled the way it did although I think there should be some monetary compensation for the girl and her family that could be used to pay for counseling, if needed. I know I'd have needed it if somebody had put me through such an ordeal at that tender age. EVERYTHING is embarrassing when you're a young teen........that poor kid could be scarred for life because of those stupid adults who are supposed to be educated in the psychology of children and teenagers. For shame!