Nursing Management at School: A School Nurse’s Roles and Functions
For students to learn more efficiently, they must be ready physically, mentally, and emotionally. Therefore, being healthy is a must when it comes to learning. School nurses are considered as a vital part of every school. However, they are oftentimes taken for granted and their role in the school has been narrowed by some to just treating scraped knees. What people do know is that a school nurse actually does more than that, their work contains a range of activities that benefit not only the injured but the well-being of the whole school community.
What they do:
- They serve as the school’s first line of defense against epidemics and disease outbreaks
School nurses supervise the health of the school’s entire population and then serve as a link between the institution and public health officials. By doing so, they also prevent and control the spread of communicable diseases;
- They serve as a liaison between school personnel, family, community, and health care providers;
School nurses work closely with students, parents, and teachers and other members of the health care team and provide support and guidance on various health issues ranging from obesity to sexual health.
- They act as the primary responders to critical events that take place within the school property;
Injuries and accidents are inevitable even on school grounds. With the hospital far from reach, school nurses act to treat emergency cases and provide first aid to students.
- They provide express health services for students
School nurses conduct immunization programs and administer medications for emergency cases;
- They identify hazards to health in the school community
Things like junk food and lack of clean water can be harmful to the health of an individual as it may be the cause of diseases. School nurses identify these health hazards that are present within the school and develop plans and strategies to get rid of those problems that may cause health problems to the school populace;
- They act as leaders when it comes to the stipulation of health services, health policies and programs;
Being health practitioners, they promote leadership and act as advocates when it comes to promoting health and prevention of the occurrence of diseases. They endorse having a healthy school environment and conduct health teachings to students
- They perform screening programs
School nurses screen and interview students on a regular basis and do referrals for health conditions such as vision, hearing and BMI; and provide a vital safety network for the most fragile students;
- They manage students with chronic condition
Students with conditions such as asthma and seizures can still go to school and learn as school nurses develop plans and programs to help them cope despite their situation;
With the presence of school nurses comes improved attendance of children in schools and better academic performance. School nurses produce and uphold healthy learning environments, encourage wellness within their school population as well as advocate for their student populace. With their role in promoting health, preventing and managing diseases, dropout rates and absences are significantly reduced.