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What's your relationship with school counselor?

by thebodyshop thebodyshop (New) New

I'm a first year school nurse at a private school K-8. Our school (mental health) counselor wants information from me about the allergies and health conditions of our students but refuses to share any information with me. One day I get an email "Have you seen Ian?" When I ask "Ian who?" she responds "Oh, you'll know if you see him" and refuses to say any more. One 8th grade student confessed to me about thoughts of self-harm; I reported it and she helped her through it. When the student returned to school, the counselor came to me and "ordered": "If *** comes to talk with you, just send her to me." And finally, when I mention that I frequently have students come to the clinic complaining of a h/a or s/a and after assessment realize its just stress over a test or social issue so I help them work thru the stressor, the counselor says that at that point I should be sending them to her since that is HER area of expertise not mine. Help!

Sounds like the counselor has a few issues of her own. Maybe she is insecure, or just a controller. At any rate she is not playing well with others. Your positions should ideally dovetail for the best service to students and staff. Maybe you could request a meeting with her and your administrator…. maybe that would just tick her off. Good luck!!!


Has 25 years experience.

I share an office suite with the SW, so it's fine. We mostly work together on stress or emotional related issues. I also have a good relationship with the School Psych and Guidance, but with the Special ed, Teachers not so much. They seem to want to own the DD kids and not share with me too much.

SnowyJ, RN

Has 28 years experience.

There are times i wish I knew more about some of our students with issues, but our counselor does try to keep me in the loop. Her office is next to mine and we often share responsibility for care if we aren't sure what is emotional and what is medical.

There is a bit of a disconnect with me being informed of changes in the family dynamics. a couple weeks ago I called a Dad to pick up a sick child. (He had primary custody.) Turns out he had been arrested for endangering the welfare of a child!! I was apparently the last to know. I don't think I was intentionally left out if the loop, it was an oversight. But still frustrating.

I think it's important to be able to work together effectively.

Wave Watcher

Specializes in Community Health/School Nursing. Has 7 years experience.

I don't really like our school counselor. She will come into my clinic when I'm taking care of a student and start giving the student medical advise or start asking them medical questions like it's her job. I look at her and smile (while wanting to smack her face off) and tell her, "If you would shut my door as you leave my clinic it would be appreciated." I'm waiting on her to do it one more time and I will have to say something to her because she is in no way qualified to even ask my students if they have a headache. She even tried to tell me how much ibuprofen to give a child....she said, "Oh, he's 10 years old and he can have 2 teaspoons." Really?? I asked her how much does the child weigh and she just looked at me. Told her that she might ought to know if she's going to be dispensing medication since it's based on weight not age. *insert sarcasm* Oy vey.

Blue_Moon, BSN, RN

Has 18 years experience.

I get along well with the counselors at my schools. They aren't at the same school every day so when they aren't there then I get asked to "talk to this student" who is having issues. I don't have lots of time to deal with these issues on top of all my other duties so as soon as I see the counselor when they're there I'm quick to talk to them about these issues so they can take over. A lot of illness complaints go hand in hand with emotional issues so it's nice if someone is there that's willing to deal with it. I don't have that luxury every day. I'd be quite happy if I could just send any student anytime to the counselor if they needed help working through stressors!

I don't see the problem other than her being vague about students she knows may have an issue. Maybe she feels it's a breech of confidentiality if she talks to you about emotional issues the kids are having. Maybe you could just ask her to let you know in general which kids are struggling with something emotional so you'll know when they come to see you it may really be something related to that. If she wants you to send those kids that are upset to her then I'd do it. If she kept assessing sick kids and not sending them to you would you be upset? Maybe that's how she's looking at it.

I get along very well with the counselor. We work as a collaborative team. I am comfortable asking questions and she is comfortable to approach me as well. We are there for one reason and that is the education of the student wellbeing.

Well, the last school counselor at a middle age daep school was manly, inside and out and was first challenging until she found out that I was experienced and knew the in's and out's of what I did and she did and then it was pretty smooth. Now, this year, first year at an elementary school where the counselor has been here 25-30 years, it has been a pill. But I spoke to the previous nurse and she feels the same so now I'm cool. This counselor walks the floor every 5 minutes in every one's business. From the receptionist, to the attendance, to the nurse, to the principal. Her way is the best way. She knows many kids but she doesn't know to back off. She is hyper, very talkative, nosy, prying, babying, snooty, rambles, etc. She barges in the clinic often, giving advice, ..etc. Wow, yeah. We all hope she will retire. She never let you think on your own or search things out. She always add more to stories and drama.