Why the school nurse matters

Why the school nurse matters
Posted on 05/07/2019
Have you ever had the chance to sit and talk to a school nurse?

If you haven’t, you might be surprised at how they spend their time. School nurses take on a lot more these days than scrapes and stomach bugs. School nurses serve as the primary link between our healthcare system and our schools. We all know health doesn’t just happen in doctors’ offices and hospitals, and nurses have been leading the charge to improve student health, and in turn academic success, for more than 100 years.

What are school nurses doing all day?

The stories are as varied and complex as the children and families they serve. School nurses develop, implement and monitor Individualized Healthcare Plans for students. In addition, school nurses conduct health screenings including monitoring of height, weight and blood pressure. They also screen for vision, hearing and color vision defects. They routinely care for ill and injured students and connect students and families with local healthcare resources.

Every day, school nurses bridge the gap between the healthcare system and real life for young people. Imagine a child with a newly diagnosed chronic health condition. The initial feelings of loss, uncertainty, and fear can be overwhelming for both the student and their parents. The primary-care provider can provide education and support, but that doctor’s office can feel light years away from the classroom.

This is where the magic of school nursing happens. The nurse, with appropriate permission, can facilitate communication between families and teachers, helping both find student-centered strategies that align learning and thriving. The nurse can train faculty and staff to respond quickly and appropriately in emergencies, reducing some of the angst and risk associated with chronic health conditions. The student, empowered over time with health knowledge and control, can return her attention to academics, relationships, and plans with her friends.

So, if you haven’t had the chance to talk with a school nurse, I hope you will find the opportunity to do so, especially today!

May 8th has been designated as SCHOOL NURSE DAY and we want to thank all of our nurses for their dedication and hard work to our schools

ACS school nurses are the absolute best!

Amanda Meister, BSN, RN RRT – Donelson Elementary School

Michelle Brady, BSN, RN - Arlington Elementary School

Amy Cathey, MSN, RN – Arlington High School

Lauren Winfield, RN – Arlington Middle School