A school nurse's work isn't an easy one. After all, this specialist has to take care of so many children at once and they have to make sure that they are all safe and sound at all times. If a student has a cough, the nurse has to give them cough drops. If they bruised themselves, this amazing person has to have an extra pack of ice in the freezer. But a school nurse's job isn't only about waiting for a student to come with a headache and giving them medicine when they need it. It involves so much more.
From keeping school grounds safe to providing students with a counselor, from saving a life to helping resolve the "adult" issues, let's see what a school nurse is allowed to do at work.
20 School Nurses Keep An Eye On Students At All Times
Just like police officers who can do cross-checks to see that everything is fine in a neighborhood, school nurses do welfare checks to ensure that students are doing good. Even if sometimes no one notices it, they do it all the time. They watch kids at recess and they can check on them in classrooms. Truly, nurses have eyes everywhere!
19 They Can Check How Home Issues Affect Kids
Sometimes kids don't perform well at school not because they're lazy and don't want to study, but because they're distracted by home issues. In this case, a nurse can step up and check whether anything threatens the child's physical and psychological health. A nurse from Daily Nurse explains how she does it, "I am working on district-wide strategies to address the impact of stress and traumatic events on the minds of our students."
18 Students May Ask For Help If They Have A Catheter
Sometimes, a child's health situation demands them to use a urinary catheter and it doesn't mean that they can't go to school in this case. In fact, if they need any help, they may come to the school nurse who can assist them to drain their tube into the toilet or do anything else that will help them feel better about their situation.
17 They Have To Attend Field Trips With Students
If you think about it, you'll recall that the school nurse was accompanying your class at all out-of-state field trips. You might have never noticed them while they were there, but they would come there with you for a reason. Anything can happen on a field trip, especially if you're going far away, so it's good to have a person who will help in case of need.
16 Performing Tests To Detect Use Is Also Their Thing
It might seem weird why a school might even need to know this kind of information about children, but a school nurse can actually make a test to detect if a student uses certain stuff. It's especially important when it comes to school athletics. It's a common rule in sports to check athletes for performance enhancements and it's logical why it's needed.
15 And They Can Also Help Quit Bad Habits
Pretty much everyone has bad habits. Some of them aren't really dangerous, but others need to be stopped as soon as possible. If a student has any bad habits, even something as "innocent" as eating chips every day, a nurse can help them quit by explaining the harmful effects on their health. See, nurses are actually interested in students' wellbeing!
14 They Perform Annual Physicals, As Well
Performing annual physicals, nurses help students and their parents see whether they should be concerned about their health. It's especially important for the students who are in sports. Before joining a team or a league, they have to undergo a physical exam that will show if their health situation allows them to play this particular sport.
13 And Work Side-By-Side With The PE Dept
You probably understand why a school nurse should work closely with the P.E. department. They don't only contribute to creating healthy P.E. programs for students, but they also ensure that everyone is safe during the class. And in case anything happens, who is there to give first medical help to the student? Right, it's no one else but the school nurse!
12 Nurses Can Save A Life By Administering An EpiPen
Knowing how to administer an EpiPen is one of the basic requirements for a school nurse. A lot of people are allergic to simple things, such as peanuts or bees, and in case they come in contact with the allergen, a disaster can happen and the EpiPen is the only thing that can avert it. In this situation, a nurse's skill may help save a life.
11 Keeping Medical Secrecy Is A Must
Sometimes, students find themselves in tricky situations. They need help but they don't know who to turn to. They're too afraid of talking to their parents and they don't trust their teachers that much. In this case, they can also go to the school nurse who won't only listen to their problem and offer a solution, but also provide utmost care and confidentiality.
10 Learning Issues? A Nurse Might Help!
If a student feels out of their league at some point, they should know that a school nurse can help them. The specialist will assess their situation and see if they have any learning difficulties and prevent them from studying. Afterward, they can give advice on how to go around different classes and study at a pace that is beneficial for the student.
9 Giving Shots During The Flu Season
Although not all parents favor vaccines, it's important that those who want can get their child a flu shot right at school. It makes things much easier because in this case, you don't have to find the time to visit a doctor along with your kid to give them a shot. You just ask your school nurse or school administration if it's available at your school and keep calm because your kid won't get sick this flu season.
8 Nurses Help Create School Routines
Although schools seem to be safe, emergency situations can happen at any time. Creating routines teachers and students should follow if this kind of situation arises is something a school nurse has to do. Besides, nurses are also in charge of documentation of health information about all students that can be used in some emergency cases.
7 And Monitor The Safety Of The School Grounds
The school principal and teachers, as well as nurses, have to think about the safety of the environment at the school grounds. According to AAP Publications, "The school nurse provides for the safety of the environment by participating in environmental safety monitoring (playgrounds, indoor air quality, and potential hazards)." So taking a walk and watching if students are safe during downtime is just another duty of a nurse.
6 Nurses Connect Students With A Counselor If They Need One
Although nurses aren't therapists, students can still come to them if some emotions overwhelm them and they feel that they need counseling. In this case, a nurse can refer a student to a specialist in their area or just connect them to a counselor who works at school. The nurse can also help the student feel more comfortable around the therapist because sometimes they may feel weird at a consultation.
5 They Can Also Help With Pregnancy Tests
Nurses aren't only needed in elementary schools to give shots to little kids. They're just as important in middle and high schools. As soon as students enter a period of their life when they begin to "get closer" to each other, a nurse's help can become essential. Whether a female student needs a morning-after pill or a pregnancy test, a nurse is the one who can help her get it.
4 Nurses May Assess Students' BMI
In many schools, nurses are able to evaluate students' BMI, which stands for body mass index. Taking proper measurements can help better assess the health of a student and understand whether everything is generally fine with them, or if they need to lose some pounds to enhance their situation. It shouldn't be discouraging, but it should only motivate a student to work on their health.
3 They Check What Students Eat
To ensure that the students are healthy, it's essential for a school to provide them with healthy food. For this reason, school nurses always watch what the students are offered at a cafeteria. They make sure that all necessary nutrients and a proper amount of calories are there in their food and, of course, they have a list of students' allergens to keep them safe.
2 They Can Coordinate With A Child's Life Outside Of School
Every good parent wants their child to be healthy. But things happen and problems come up once in a while. And when it happens, a school nurse should be in touch with the child's doctor to ensure that they come back to school safe and sound. A nurse on Daily Nurse gives an example of this kind of situation, "If a student comes in with a rash, it may need clearance from a doctor before we can get that student back to school."
1 Obviously, They're All About A Healthy Environment
School nurses work with other staff members to make sure that students have a healthy learning environment and they also provide adults with resources on how to remain healthy themselves and give a good example to students.
Well, it looks like a nurse's job isn't only about her office. It's happening throughout the school and without this specialist, many things would be very different.
Sources: Daily Nurse, Baby Gaga, AAP Publications