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We have a student doing a placement with us and she has a really bad B.O problem. Any one have any ideas how to tell her. She is making the whole room smell really bad. I don't like using lots of air freshner. She is with us untill next July so we have the worst to come. We are outside for a good part of the day but I can't make her stay out for more than her fair share of the time. Any ideas gratefully received.

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Apart from some plain sensitive talking No! Personally, I would just talk to her as privately one to one as you can and explain. There may be some reason why it is beyond her control - maybe she is allergic to the body odour sprays etc., maybe she is looking after her own laundry and doesn't get around to doing it that often, perhaps she hasn't had many girlfriends to discuss "girlie" type topics with. I know it's one of the conversations that any of us dread, but best to be up front and honest and be as understanding as possible and explain that this is an important part of our business - we have to be highly presentable and personable to everyone we come into contact with. Good luck with this one!

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I don't envy you this one. As Panders points out there may be many reasons for these odour problems.

 

My daughter (13) has a body odour problem......but the main problem is that she cannot smell it herself....or so she says. She perspires a lot and she has accepted me as her mum telling her. She showers every day and uses a good deodrant but stills smells.

 

I wouldn't know where to start with talking to this student. Something has to be done especially as she will be with you for a long time. Telling her sensitively and privately is the only way.

 

Good luck! :o

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had same problem. I bought her some sure max protection clean fresh deodrant. it is like a roll on expensive £4.98 but excellent for bo problems. my student is on medication for epilepsy so i said to her i know you medication has side effects does it make you sweat alot. she replied no. i was stuck. anyway i said that we had noticed that she seemed to sweat alot and said i had used this deodrant and it works well. after that things have been much better.

 

best of luck she will thank you for it i'm sure

 

buttercup

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Many years ago I attended a "supervisory skills" course and they covered this topic :o

 

Firstly, hints don't work! So, no "gosh it's warm in here, isn't it hard to stay fresh" comments!

 

We were told to take the person to one side, quietly and discreetly, at the end of the day/session and gently tell them that there is sometimes a bit of a smell around them.

 

You could point out that children are very blunt about such things and that rather than her feelings being hurt by a comment from one of the children you've chosen to talk to her yourself, or for her to think that anyone else on the staff has mentioned it.

 

Then, run through the basic hygiene code you expect of anyone in the setting - daily showers, clean hair, short nails etc etc. Point out that you are all expected to set a good example for the children and this is a vital part of it. Someday she may come across a child with a similar problem and be expected to handle it herself.

 

She will probably be embarrassed and/or upset but it's a case of being cruel to be kind, I'm afraid.

 

Good Luck!

 

Nona

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My husband had to tackle this once with a colleague and the chap in question had absolutely no idea that his odour was so strong. He was extremely grateful that someone had had the guts to say something, rather than just talking about it behind his back. Thereafter he made much more of an effort and the problem improved considerably. Like nona says, don't try to hint as this is unlikely to work and will only make things worse when you do eventually get to the point where something needs to be said.

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Many thanks for your comments. I have been talking to college today about this. Its also a problem there and the tutor incorporated personal hygiene into the lesson a few weeks ago but that obviously didn't work so I am going to tactfully have a quiet word with her at the end of the session.

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Bubblejack - you've been on my mind, wondering how you got on?!

 

It wasn't easy when I had to role-play it on my course, so you have my sympathy :o

 

Nona

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"I will not see the student until Friday"

 

Oh no! You've got too much time to get nervous about it! One more reason for wanting Friday to come quickly :o

 

Let us know how you get on, please.

 

Nona

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Well yes i did think of phoning her, simply because i want her smelling clean on Friday but i thought that would be the cowards way out BUT then as one of my staff said she would not feel so embarassed. I have brilliant staff and a few of them have offered to tell her for me Ah bless them but I feel as supervisor I must do it. I also have the advice and support of all of you THANKYOU. I am not scared but roll on Friday and the following week because I am now thinking that if she doesn't try to resolve it , do we want her in the setting? I have talked to Ofsted today just to confirm that she couldn't complain to them. They were very helpful and confirmed that they would dismiss a complaint like that. I feel a bit worried because she is a mature student with two young children. Hmnnnnnn my mind is now working overtime. If a child was unkemp it would be my duty to report it. What hastle some of these students are.

I have a few issues with other students.A staff member quite rightly said today that we are so fussy about who we have working in the setting but we take students who we know hardly nothing about.

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I can't help but think that her college tutor should have had a word with her before she started her placement with you!

 

When I had a student her tutor came out to see me first and we went through my Induction pack together. Students were told to check the dress code, hygiene rules re nail varnish, piercings etc. before their first day in the setting.

 

Surely they have a duty to her as a student and you as a setting to address this issue with her instead of leaving you in the "hot seat" ??

 

xD Look! I'm getting cross on your behalf :o

 

Nona

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I pulled her to one side and asked her if there was any reason, medical etc. etc. She didn't seem shocked and said that she will" sort it out" I am so proud of myself. I just took on a different persona and pretended it wasn't me talking. My 30 years experience of working with children must have helped. If she doesn't "sort it out" I am going to contact the college and ask them to find her another placement. After all as nona says Its the colleges responsibility. I take students as a favour I don't ask for them and never include them in the ratios even if they are long term placements. Thanks everyone

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I was thinking of you today and hoping it went well.

 

Nona is quite right that the college should have sorted this out before she came to you. I do feel sorry for her too of course.

 

Well done for dealing with it! I would have really struggled with tackling an issue like that. Let's hope things have improved by next week.

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Bubblejack - I'M SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!

 

You've done the hardest part so now set yourself a target date for her to "sort it out" and don't let it go on a day longer.

 

I know how difficult you found it and it can't have been easy for your student to hear but you've acted with the best intentions.

 

I hope next week brings a "fresh" start for you all ( :o sorry, couldn't help myself!)

 

Nona

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