Working with your school nurse
School nurses have broad responsibilities
The American Federation of Teachers notes that school nurses are responsible
for higher levels of care, including:
- Administering medications and monitoring response
- Monitoring respiratory status, seizure patterns and blood glucose levels
- Checking for parasites, skin infections and infectious diseases
- Keeping an eye out for sexual and physical abuse
- Conducting health screenings
- Overseeing a variety of complex health conditions
- Managing medical emergencies
In fact, more than 97 percent of school nurses care for students with
diabetes; about 95 percent care for students with seizures, and upwards of 93
percent care for students with chronic and severe asthma. In short, school
nurses can mean the difference between life and death.
Get to know your child's school nurse
Health experts recommend getting to know your child’s own angel of mercy,
especially if he has a chronic condition, such as asthma or diabetes. Even if
your child doesn’t have a medical condition, it’s a good idea to drop by and
How to work with the school nurse to protect your child's health
To make the best of your relationship with the school nurse:
- Join forces with the nurse in promoting good health in the school by keeping your child home when he is sick, especially if he is running a fever. In addition, notify the nurse if your child develops an infectious disease or condition such as pinkeye or strep throat.
- Keep your child up to date on her immunization schedule. Make sure your child has all the appropriate shots and boosters for her age, and give a copy of those records to the school nurse each year.
- Provide current emergency contact information. The school nurse should have a way of contacting you in the event of an emergency. It is also important to provide a back-up contact should you be unavailable during the day. In addition, the office should have your child’s doctor’s and dentist’s office number.
- Keep her informed. Alert the school nurse to any health and medical issues your child has, such as allergies, vision or hearing problems, etc., and any accommodations that need to be made for him. If your child has an ongoing condition, it is a good idea to meet periodically to update medical information.
Information provided by the Children’s Hospital Philadelphia, PA.