When I get frustrated with what seem like "pointless" visits, I ask myself why they might really be visiting the office...do they really think this problem requires a nurse and I can educate on how they can help themselves? Do they need a break from class, and if so, why? Are they struggling with curriculum? Are they having a hard time sitting still? Is there a social situation going on? Or, are they looking for someone to show them love, compassion, and attention?
I truly believe that every student that comes into my office is in there for a reason, it just may not always be readily apparent.
I find it helpful to be pleasantly honest with my middle schoolers, if I don't think ice will help, I'll tell them and give them a reason. If they are insistent, and sometimes rude about it, I will refuse to give them one and if they have something to say about it, I direct them to the principal to share their concerns (luckily my principal is extremely supportive of my decision making).
I will also make comments like "This is your third headache this week, do you think we should call home about it so they can take you to a doctor?" I find that some kids will say no, and then I will stop seeing them for a while. The kids that say yes, their parents usually help control the unnecessary visits with a single discussion once the student is home.
Last year the number of visits to my office began to rise, with many unnecessary visits, in the winter. I made it a point to go to each lunch and explain to the kids that I am only one person, and I was having X number of visits a day. I reminded them that it's not just helping them that I have to do, but I also have to write about each interaction and it can be time consuming. I made a hard and fast rule that if I saw any student three times in one week, other than daily medications/chronic condition kiddos, I was going to call home. The kids were made aware of this. I also reminded them that "If it's not bleeding, you aren't getting a band-aid", which kids still quote to me regularly .
My last strategy I use is referring "frequent flyers" to our guidance counselors. Why is Cindy seeing me three times a day, for what seems like minuscule problems? Maybe your guidance counselor can see if somethings going on.