News from Nurse Hickey
Definition of School Nursing
"School nursing is 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."
(National Association of School Nurses, Board of Directors, June 1999)
The Comprehensive and Coordinated School Health Services consists of eight elements:
4)Food and Nutrition Education
5)Counseling, Psychological and Social Services
6)Safe and Healthy Environment
It is understood that the principle function of the school is to instill sound health behaviors; give factual health instruction; provide a safe, pleasant and emotionally supportive environment; and to recognize and refer for treatment students with physical, emotional and social handicaps. Through support and modification, the schools are able to eliminate health-related barriers to learning and provide the basis for empowering each student to become an educated consumer. The health services provide for Emergency and Basic First Aid, administration of medications and medical treatments as ordered by a physician, health screenings as mandated by law followed by referrals as needed. The health service is not for the purpose of diagnosing. All students will be referred to their family physicians for this purpose. The continued health and welfare of each student remains the direct responsibility of the parent/guardian, not the school. Medical responsibility as assumed by the school terminates with the immediate administration of first aid and proper notification and discharge of the student to the parent/guardian or to a responsible individual as designated by the parent/guardian.
Optimum health depends upon the integration of the family, community and school resources. We rely on the family and community services to assure that each student enters school in a state of physical, mental and social well being. In unison, the family, the community, and the schools cooperate to keep the students healthy during their school years. Through screenings and student visits, communication remains open as referrals are made to the family and appropriate resources. As educated students, they are better prepared to make self-directed decisions regarding their health. Thus the program responds to the needs of all students by promoting good health and life-long health related concepts.