MEET YOUR NURSE
Many people think that the school nurses' job consists only of applying band-aids, giving medications and sending home sick children. Although this may have been true many years ago, times have changed. School Nursing has now been defined as a specialized practice of professional nursing that advances the well being, academic success, and life-long achievement of students. To that end, school nurses facilitate positive student responses to normal development, promote health and safety, intervene with actual and potential health problems, provide case management services, and actively collaborate with others to build student and family capacity for adaptation, self-management, self-advocacy, and learning.
WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES A SCHOOL NURSE MAKE?
Is my child too ill to attend school?
Parents are often confronted with this decision when their child complains of not feeling well. The guidelines shown on the inside of this brochure may be helpful. It will not cover every medical condition and does not take the place of seeking medical attention. Please consult your doctor for specific medical advice.
Fever - 100 degrees or higher - A fever is a sign of illness. A child with a temperature of 100 degrees or higher should not attend school. The child should be free of fever (without the aid of Tylenol or Motrin) for 24 hours before returning to school.
Sore Throat/Colds/Cough - Minor cold symptoms are common and usually don't interfere with school attendance. A persistent, frequent cough and/or constant nasal drainage may affect your child's performance at school, and he/she may be more comfortable at home.
Rash - A rash may cover the entire body or only one area. A child that has a rash that is draining, has open areas or is causing the child to itch excessively should not attend school. A rash accompanied with other symptoms such as: a fever, sore throat, irritability, vomiting, etc. should not attend school.
Vomiting/Diarrhea - A child who has vomited should wait 24 hours and be able to retain solid foods before returning to school. A child who is having frequent diarrhea stools should not attend school. If there is cramping/abdominal pain with diarrhea, the student may be more comfortable at home.
Eyes – A child who wakes up with their eyes "glued" together may have "pink eye" or conjunctivitis. Other symptoms are redness (or pink) of the eye, gritty feeling in the eyes, itching and discharge of the eye. We are unable to determine here at school whether it is viral or bacterial pinkeye or even if it is contagious or non-contagious. This must be done by a doctor. Please keep in mind that "pink eye" is highly contagious and we need to work together to prevent an entire classroom from exposure. Your child needs to stay home on medication for 24hours before returning to school.
WHAT DOES THE SCHOOL NURSE DO?
The primary role of the School Nurse is to support student learning. The nurse accomplishes this by implementing strategies that promote student and staff health and safety. A School Nurse, with appropriate preparation, takes a leadership role in serving as the coordinator of all school health programs in the following manner. She serves as the coordinator of the health services program and provides nursing care. She provides health education to students, staff and parents. She identifies health and safety concerns in the school environment and promotes a nurturing school environment. She also supports health food services programs and promotes healthy physical education, sports policies and practices. She provides health counseling, assesses mental health needs, provides interventions and refers students to appropriate school staff or community agencies. The School Nurse also promotes community involvement in assuring a healthy school and serves as school liaison to a health advisory committee. She also provides health education and counseling, and promotes healthy activities and environment for school staff.
WHAT SERVICES DOES THE SCHOOL NURSE PROVIDE?
As the health services expert, the School Nurse serves as the health professional for the school community and provides the following services:
Illness and injury assessments and interventions
Identification, assessment, planning, intervention and evaluation of student health concerns
Health assessments and participation in Individualized Education Plan Development
Pediatric nursing procedures such as tube feedings, catheterizations and other technical procedures
Screening for health factors impacting student education
Activities and education to promote health and prevent alcohol and substance abuse
Chronic disease management and education
Individualized nursing care plans and services for students with disabilities and/or health conditions that interfere with learning
Assessment and interventions for students with mental health needs
Crisis team participation
Health curriculum recommendations
School/community/ health care provider liaison