School Nurses: What do they do?
Not too many people know what a school nurse does every day. If you think a school nurse only responds to student complaints of tummy aches and bumps or bruises you are mistaken. Yes, we do those things; but we do so much more. School nurses insert catheters, monitor blood sugar levels, calculate food intake along with insulin requirements and administer insulin for diabetics, give tube feedings, administer medications, console children with emotional needs, provide education and support to teens who are pregnant, monitor children with seizures, give allergy injections, monitor blood pressures, treat injuries, work to prevent and control communicable disease, assist faculty in identifying the effects of illness on their students, over-see immunization requirements, screen for vision or hearing impairments, mandatory scoliosis screening, and provide assessment and referral for health problems.
We are often the first responders in the event of an emergency. We consult with parents, pediatricians and other health professionals. School nurses teach student classes on health, nutrition and drug abuse prevention as well as providing training for faculty and other school employees on preventing the spread of and protection from infectious diseases as well as teaching CPR. We attend student conferences and sometime make home visits. We maintain and share information with teachers and families on health related resources for families.
School nursing has changed. Of the 52 million students across the nation attending schools, 10-20 percent have chronic health, emotional, or social problems. School nurses are required to develop, implement and monitor the care and care planning for these students. And this is not all we can do! So, yes, we do have band-aids for the cuts and scrapes but we do so much more!