It's a good point, but honestly at that point I think I'd be calling CPS before the parents, depending on what the student says. (And again, I'm in elementary, so I have no experience dealing with this - just what my gut says.) As terrible as it is, there are parents out there who abuse their children, and if the student is that young then a CPS visit might be a good thing?
Or maybe a phone call to home saying "your student has been presenting with vague upset stomach complaints, there is XYZ going around the building, she doesn't need to go home at this time but you might want to call her doctor for an appointment to double check she doesn't have a virus."
Really here's what it boils down to for me:
Sometimes I feel like discussions about teenagers turn into "what is the responsibility toward the parent" instead of toward the teen. (Not saying this one has!) They're tied together, but the teen is the priority. If she's old enough to make those choices, we shouldn't be going behind her back to inform her parents. If she's NOT old enough to make those choices, we should be protecting her, even if we're protecting her from her parents. And where's the magic line between old enough and not old enough?
This is also making me think about pregnant autistic women, and the difficulties they face in being considered competent. But that is way off subject, I've just had this window open 30 minutes (lots of walk ins!) and my brain is firing all over the place.
The other aspect of responsibility, is that we are NOT primary health care offices (although I have heard of some high schools doing that). So is it just our responsibility to refer the student out to their PCP? Like a student with mostly well-controlled asthma, whose parents refuse to bring in any inhalers -- it's potentially life threatening, but we can't take her to the MD ourselves, all we can do is request and refer, unless/until an emergency happens. If a student is pregnant and healthy, does it benefit her for us to interfere?
I also am not trying to be combative, I'm kind of thinking "on the keys" (instead of "out loud" lol). I think I'm going to bring this up with the other nurses in my district and see where their thoughts lie. It's an interesting question.