Nurses’ Office visits need more confidentiality

Ellie Cawthorne, A&E and Social Media Editor

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Last year, I was going through a particularly rough patch in my life, specifically surrounding my anxiety and depression. Typically I wouldn’t share this type of personal information in a school publication, but I feel as if this may be vital in telling my story.

I broke down crying in the middle of a warm up in my fifth period gym class. Nothing triggered it per say, besides all of the build up from the strenuous work I had been doing the past four periods. My teacher handled it better than anyone ever could and I am thankful for her genuine care and concern for my mental health to this day.

She pulled me out into the hallway and I explained my situation to her through my tears. We agreed that it was best that I went home because my mental health wasn’t in the place it should be for school. She wrote me a pass to the nurse’s office.

My experience in the office that day was less than ideal. First, I was told to go get a pass from my sixth period teacher as it was the end of fifth. I, for one, was not in the shape to go to my sixth period class. I also didn’t want to have to explain to yet another teacher what was going on. I did anyways and went back to the nurse’s office.

My second and most important issue was the abundance of student aides in the office that period. Last time I visited the nurse’s office, there were four aides. It’s embarrassing announcing to the congregation in the nurse’s office that you are feeling ill, no matter the situation. I don’t want someone I don’t know or one of my classmates being aware of what’s going on with me and my health.

I believe that students should have their privacy respected when in the nurse’s office.

Student aides should not be at the very least inside the office so students feel comfortable discussing how they feel without the fear that another student may hear them and share with others what they heard.

The Health Information Privacy Law and Policy, or HIPAA, is a law that gives you rights over who can look at and receive your health information. Currently, schools are not required to follow this law.