Have you ever just had to step aside?

Specialties School



Today I felt almost useless in a situation. I had an elementary teacher come to me regarding a high school student who appeared to be having an "emotional moment" (shaking, visibly upset, etc. etc.). This particular student is not very approachable by people who don't work with them on a daily basis. I hate to say it, but he tends to put a lot of people "on edge", for lack of a better phrase. With that being said, I do not have any kind of rapport with him because he's just not one to come see me. Which is totally cool. He's old enough to know when or if he needs some medical advice. So during his situation, instead of approaching him on my own, I enlisted the help of a teacher that I know he is familiar with. I sat with her class while she visited with the student, but I couldn't help but feel bad that I had not at least attempted some sort of contact myself. My initial plan when I approached the teacher was to go as a team, but it wasn't feasible as her class would have been left unattended. She was able to get him to calm down and return to class and she and I both let him know that my office is always a safe place if he ever needs it, so for that, I was really grateful.

But it makes me wonder: have you ever had a situation where it was best if you, as the nurse, stepped aside and let someone else help in that moment?

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

I think that a good school nurse knows how to use the appropriate resources for the situation. That is what it sounds like you did in that situation.

Yes. I step back a lot if I don't know the student, but stay in case I'm needed. I think you did the right thing.

Specializes in School Nurse. Having conversations with littles..

Oh sure. Heck, I don't know everything. Especially with kids, if there is somebody that will relate better. By all means, I am ok with reaching out. To me, that is part of being on the same team.

Specializes in Pediatrics Retired.

Yes...being a student advocate means assessment and critical thinking that benefits the student; that might not involve you (or me). Great assessment with a positive outcome! GOOD ON YOU!!!

Thanks for the reassurance, guys! I definitely feel better about my decision now that I've had a chance to think it over. It really was the best thing for this student, in this situation! I feel if I had tried to interject myself during his moment, things wouldn't have gone as smoothly. I'm really thankful for this teacher and her willingness to help this young man :)

Yes! Sometimes the right course of action is no action! Too many people coming at a kid at once can escalate a situation.

Specializes in School nursing.

I think you handled that like a pro! I have sometimes been asked to help in a situation like this and sometimes I have to say - this is a bad idea, this student needs that familiar connection of xyz person. And sometimes, we are the xyz person so it goes both ways.

I think end goal is always what is best the for the student. Sometimes we are just the facilitator/connection to that goal and that is fine by me :).

Specializes in Peds, School Nurse, clinical instructor.

Sounds like you did the right thing! School nurses are amazing but, we can't always fix everything :) Good job!

You absolutely did the right thing. tough job!!

Specializes in Psychiatry, Community, Nurse Manager, hospice.

Yes. A good psych nurse knows when to step aside. Sometimes someone else has a better rapport. If you have appropriate confidence in yourself you can let that person handle it. If you don't, sometimes you just exacerbate the situation.

Kudos to you for not feeling like you had to control the situation or prove yourself and putting the student first.

Specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing.

Kudos to you for not feeling like you had to control the situation or prove yourself and putting the student first.

^ Beautifully said!!!^

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