School nurses are an integral part of any community. At the high school level, their job goes beyond treating cuts and consoling sick children. Their job is not only to keep students and staff healthy, but also to provide health education and counseling, support learning and involve parents and the community in creating a healthy school environment.
The majority of students who visit the school nurse are in need of some kind of medical care. It is the nurse's job to determine if she needs to treat cuts and scrapes or place an adhesive bandage on them to appease worried students. The school nurse must also treat students with stomach ailments and headaches. Students who are on regular medications are required to leave them with the school nurse. She is in charge of administering the doses at the proper times.
The school nurse often is required to provide health education to parents, staff and students. The nurse must explain to teachers what proper procedures are for handling blood and dealing with students with illnesses. When widespread illnesses occur, it is the job of the school nurse to educate the staff, parents and students about precautionary measures to take to avoid getting sick and advise them if they are ill. With many high school students considering becoming sexually active, it is usually the job of the school nurse to provide the students with advice on how to be safe.
Crisis Team Participation
If a crisis or natural disaster happens at the school, the school nurse is one of the first responders. The school nurse needs to be trained in the latest emergency response techniques and know CPR and other life-saving strategies. School nurses should go through crisis training to learn how to remain calm and respond quickly during a crisis.
High school nurses frequently come in contact with students engaging in drug use or other dangerous behaviors. It is the role of the school nurse to provide advice for the student and make sure the student sees the school's guidance counselor or a mental health specialist, if necessary. Occasionally, high school nurses encounter pregnant teenagers and must counsel them on the best steps to take to ensure a healthy pregnancy for both the teen and her baby.
School nurses are required to conduct screenings on students to determine possible medical or mental health problems. For students with special needs, the school nurse helps develop their individualized education plan to ensure the student is getting all the support he needs to learn successfully in the classroom. High school nurses sometimes provide physicals for students who play sports and cannot afford to go to a doctor.
The primary purpose of Lancaster ISD school health program is optimal maintenance, promotion, protection and improvement of students, staff and community health. The school health personnel works in collaboration with students, parents, educators, staff members and other community resources to assist the students in developing competence to cope confidently with the complexities of life. The program is designed to assure a safe, healthy environment that is conducive to learning and providing professional care for those who become ill or injured while at school.
Parents can locate health education information on the district and campus websites and in the campus clinics.
“Caring is the essence of Nursing” Jean Watson