The indispensable school nurse

School nurses play a vital role in students’ health and well-being. And without them, it’d be difficult for schools to manage the increasing number of students coming to schools with a myriad of health-related concerns.   School nurses have the professional expertise to help children with their health-related concerns and help to restore them back to health. This way, they help build a happier environment at schools that motivates students to show up and learn well.     School nursing and student health   Health and learning go hand-in-hand, and so does school nursing and student well-being.   Students come from various backgrounds. Some face several crisis situations, homelessness, immigration, poverty, and violence which can be detrimental on their physical and mental well-being. In these cases, school nurses help by addressing the major health and mental problems they experience. The areas of intervention include preventive and screening services, health education and assistance with decision-making about health, and immunization against preventable diseases. In fact, for many children living in or near poverty, the school nurse may be the only health care professional they access regularly.   It doesn’t end there. The school nurse’s responsibility also extends to providing interventions for acute and chronic illnesses, injuries and medical emergencies, communicable diseases, obesity, substance use and abuse, adolescent pregnancy, mental health, dental disease, nutrition and sexually transmitted infections. Which means, only with the physical presence of a school nurse at the point of care can these issues be addressed appropriately.   Improved student outcomes directly co-relate to the presence of a full-time school nurse. However, fact remains that only 40% of schools only budget for a part-time nurse and 25% have no nurse at all. It needs to be recognized that school nursing shortage ultimately affects children.   A quarter of all young children suffer from some type of chronic illness like diabetes and asthma. Add to the mix a raging pandemic that’s affecting life as we know it. In this scenario, it helps to have a medically trained professional onboard. It, in fact, is no longer an option.     Recognizing the importance of a school nurse  It needs to be recognized that if a school nurse is present to meet student needs, parents and school administrators can rest assured that children and youth can focus on learning.   So, this school nurse’s day, EduHealth recognizes the vital role school nurses play in bringing up a healthy new generation and salutes our school nurses for being true heroes, serving school communities to ensure students are healthy and able to learn.   We recognize how important you are and have your contributions have been critical to ensuring students’ continued learning in safe and healthy environments.  Thank you from all of us at EduHealth and wish you happy school nurse day.  

School nurses’ role in bullying prevention

Bullying is a common issue faced in schools that needs to be addressed on priority by students, parents, school nurses, and the entire school community. Physical violence, name calling, cyber-bullying and any aggressive behavior that is intended to harm, intimidate, or humiliate a peer are forms of behavior that come under bullying. While schools are uniquely positioned to educate students and staff about the effects of bullying, the fact remains that bullying is prevalent even today in most schools in the US. It has been estimated that one of out four students in the US is a victim of bullying, and three quarters of the population are being regularly bullied both verbally and physically. Of those students who reported being bullied, 13% were made fun of, called names, or insulted; 13% were the subject of rumors; 5% were pushed, shoved, tripped, or spit on; and 5% were excluded from activities on purpose – National Center for Educational Statistics.   How school nurses can help in the prevention of bullying The school nurse’s role in preventing bullying includes the identification of students who bully, are bullied by others, or both. You can collaborate with school personnel, parents, healthcare providers and community members to create a safe school environment. As a non-disciplinary, non-academic staff member, school nurses like you can engender trust and accountability in students. You can build a unique rapport with students, that allows them to confide in and build trust in you. When students talk to you about themselves, it will allow you to intervene into and address actual or potential school violence. Since you are a part of the school-based interdisciplinary team, you will come across students with health issues, attendance problems, discipline, or behavior issues and more. Students regularly designate the school nurse’s office as one of the safest spots in the school. Knowing that there is someone like you to talk to, who also has the power to do something, can be reassuring for children. Utilizing your expertise in assessments, you can identify behavior that could be perceived as malicious, such as angry outburst, running away, sleeping in class and so on as possible effects of violence. You will also come across physical symptoms that could be cased by violence, such as headaches, stomach aches and injuries. This knowledge will enable you to intervene when necessary and make appropriate referrals.   The school nurse can assist in several ways. You can: 1. Stay aware and have knowledge about bullying, aggressive behavior, victimization and the long-term consequences of bullying. 2. Be knowledgeable of why it is not okay to label students as “bullies” or “victims. 3. Put together a school team and act as a key member identifying bullied students or those who bully others. 4. Share information and observations on how to identify students at risk. 5. Screen students with recurring episodes of somatic complaints for bullying and stress. 6. Create a safe environment in the school, where students can openly talk about bullying or other incidents of violence. 7. Build strong relationships with other staff members so they can share concerns about bullying in schools.   School nurse’s role in bullying identification and intervention While any student can be bullied at school, students with disabilities, academic difficulties, speech impairments are particularly at risk. Students may even be bullied based on their physical appearance such as glasses, hair color and weight. Students who bully and get bullied can face serious and often, long-term consequences. 1. Increased absenteeism 2. Diminished educational achievements 3. Behavior issues 4. Low self-esteem 5. Sleep deprivation 6. Depression 7. Anxiety 8. Self-harm 9. Dropping out of school 10. Mental health issues   Bullied students are also at risk or physical symptoms like: 1. Stomach pain 2. Sleep disturbances 3. Headaches 4. Tension 5. Bedwetting 6. Fatigue 7. Decreased appetite School nurses can identify cases of bullying based on these symptoms and intervene with bullying prevention approaches that include crisis management and school violence prevention using a multi-tiered prevention approach.   Crisis management interventions must include: 1. Training school staff to assist in bullying incident response 2. Assessing, planning and implementing programs for after crisis intervention both in initial and long-term phases of treatment and recovery 3. Coordinating the medical response disaster plan until emergency medical services arrive 4. Providing nursing care for affected students 5. Applying crisis intervention strategies that help de-escalate a crisis situation and help resolve the conflict.   School nurses can develop school-based bullying addressal programs that educate students and staff and advocate for student support. 1. Multi-tiered support system: A framework which includes universal programs or activities for all youth within the community or school, selective interventions for groups at risk for being involved in bullying, and preventive interventions that specifically address students already involved in bullying. 2. Integrate bullying prevention efforts into school activities: Bullying prevention efforts that are well-integrated into the school’s activities create effective communication and establish social-emotional learning practices. They work towards creating positive school environments that prevent bullying, suicide and other student concerns. 3. Social emotional learning: Helping build self and social awareness, fostering relationship building and guiding effective problem solving. These practices help in understanding and appreciating differences in others and development of self-management skills. 4. Setting clear behavioral expectations: An awareness and understanding of behavioral expectations in all environments is essential. Students tend to feel safer and more supported in classrooms that are managed effectively. 5. Establish reporting and response policies: Policies should include topics such as how to address bullying-like incidents as well as training for school staff on bullying prevention and intervention. Educate family members on how to talk to their children about bullying and the importance of talking to the school nurse in case of such an incident. 6. Collect data on incidents on bullying: Periodically surveying students to understand incidents of bullying they have experienced or witnessed can help in its prevention. School nurses can use a school nurse software like EduHealth that track help school…

Effective strategies for school nurses to deal with stress banner

Effective strategies for school nurses to deal with stress

  School nurses like you play a key role in student healthcare management and it often has you juggling multiple priorities to meet growing workplace expectations. This can put you under a lot of undue stress, directly impacting your everyday activities.   In a research study, 48.5% of school nurses reported medication errors, with missed doses at 79.7% being the most common category of error. A contributing factor could be the responsibility for a large number of students, which in itself can be a reason for stress in school nurses.   This article looks into factors causing stress in school nurses, how technology can help and, the importance of having a school nurse health system in schools.    What are the reasons for stress in school nurses?  School nurses help students in managing factors affecting their physical and mental health, and often, ignore your own health in the process.  At educational institutions, school nurses have:  1. Growing administrative workloads   2. Responsibility of caring for more children than they can     These are school nurses’ challenges put broadly. Let’s look at them in a little bit of detail:    Major Administrative workloads  Collecting health forms and taking care of the data, managing immunization compliances, school health report creation, timely medication administration, emergency care of students and staff are some of the many activities that school nurses manage every day.   Using paper-based processes to manage these activities is not just time-consuming, but involves significant effort from you, putting you under a lot of stress.     Responsibility for more children  NASN recommends 1 school nurse for 750 perfectly healthy students and the ratio becomes 1:225 for students who need daily professional nursing services.   However, today most school nurses work for more children than they can care for, resulting in their growing anxiety.  There are other stress factors that come as part of the job, affecting their performance and overall quality of student care.     Putting school nurses at ease  To avoid such adverse situations that school nurses face, you can use a system like EduHealth. EduHealth is an all in one school health management software solution.  School nurses can avoid anxiety to great extent with the help of school nurse health systems. An efficient school heath management software like EduHealth includes functions that simplify the management of the following student data like:  Digital records of students’ health history with allergy information, information on previous medical ailments and comprehensive medical records  Electronic immunizations records, medical prescriptions, and related health records Authorization letters from doctors and parent’s notes    Doctor visit records  And the system can even help you with medication reminders so you never miss another dose of your student’s medication.  School nurses can access all records with a click of a button. And you can even generate detailed reports, taking away a whole lot of effort you’d previously put into searching for right information on paper documents.   And the benefits don’t end here.   This way, EduHealth helps you stay in control of your tasks, give students the care they deserve and ensure medication safety without stressing you out.     What is the importance of a school health management software?  An efficient school health management software is a must-have for educational institutions. Schools should adopt technology solutions that are capable of enabling school nurses and ensure delivery of quality medical care for the students at the school. EduHealth’s user-friendly dashboard clearly lists the school nurse’s tasks for the day, and facilitates an environment for school nurses to perform their tasks quickly and free of errors.   Without proper health management software, school nurses will run into problems like:  Reduced productivity  Poor mental and physical health   Dissatisfaction at work    How can health management software support school nurses overcome such problems?   For starters, it helps you in creating daily routines and keeps you focussed on your duties. School health management software can assure:  Improved collaboration with different participants in the student health framework  Quick creation and retrieval of students’ medical file  Prompt feedback mechanism  Technology awareness among school nurses    Conclusion:  Technological innovations have simplified jobs for many – including school nurses. School health management software systems have made access to important health documents so much easier, enabling the efficient delivery of care.  With a strong support environment, powered by electronic health record system EduHealth, school nurses are in a better position to meet growing and changing healthcare expectations and are not under undue stress of administrative workloads.     

How Can a School Nurses Help in Managing Asthma in Students?

  Managing asthma in students: how school nurses can make a difference   How can we ensure that students with asthma are able to thrive in school, despite the challenges that come with managing their condition? Managing asthma in schools can be complex, especially when you have to consider a range of factors from identifying triggers and monitoring symptoms to administering medications and communicating effectively with parents. For school nurses, ensuring that students with asthma are safe is critically relevant. Asthma affects an estimated 1 in 13 school-aged children, it is a condition one is likely to encounter frequently. School nurses play a crucial role in ensuring the well-being and academic success of students with asthma. In this blog, we will explore some of the key strategies that school nurses utilize to help students with asthma, manage their condition and stay healthy and happy in the classroom. Right from creating individualized asthma action plans to promoting asthma-friendly environments, we try to explore the practical tips and best practices that can make a real difference in the lives of students with asthma. What is asthma and what are its symptoms? Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that affects the airways, causing inflammation and narrowing, which leads to recurring episodes of wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. Common symptoms of asthma include: Wheezing (a whistling sound during breathing) Coughing, especially at night or during physical activity Chest tightness or pain Shortness of breath Fatigue or reduced stamina Understanding these symptoms is essential for identifying and managing asthma in students effectively.   What are the triggers for asthma attacks? Asthma attacks can be triggered by various factors that includes: Allergens: Pollen, dust mites, mold, pet or insect allergens. Respiratory Infections: Colds, flu, or sinus infections. Irritants: Tobacco smoke, air pollution, strong odors, or chemical fumes. Physical Activity: Intense exercise or prolonged physical exertion. Weather Conditions: Cold air, humidity, or change in temperature. Emotional Factors: Stress, anxiety, or excessive laughter. Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin, or beta-blockers. Identifying and avoiding these triggers is crucial for preventing asthma attacks in students. The role of school nurses in managing asthma School nurses have a challenging role in managing asthma among students. Some of their key responsibilities include: Asthma Assessment: Conducting initial assessments to identify if a student has asthma and assess their symptoms, triggers, and overall control of the condition. Individualized Care Plans: Developing and implementing personalized asthma care plans for students. The asthma care plan needs to be collaborated and communicated well with the healthcare providers, to ensure appropriate management and emergency response. Medication Management: Administering and monitoring the use of asthma medications, such as inhalers or nebulizers, as prescribed by healthcare providers. Emergency Response: Being trained to recognize and respond to asthma emergencies promptly that includes administering emergency medications and seeking further medical assistance, if needed. Collaboration and Communication: Collaborating and communicating with students, parents, teachers, and healthcare providers to create a supportive and asthma-friendly school environment. Data Collection and Monitoring: Collecting and maintaining accurate student records with asthma, tracking their symptoms, medication use, and overall control to identify trends. This helps to provide appropriate interventions. Referrals and Follow-ups: Making referrals to healthcare providers or specialists for comprehensive asthma care and ensuring regular follow-up appointments. Staff Education and Training: Conducting training sessions for school staff members on asthma awareness, emergency response, and the implementation of asthma management strategies.   Using school EHR system to manage asthma in students By leveraging technology, school nurses are better equipped to provide personalized care, monitor asthma control, and communicate effectively with parents and healthcare providers. This helps to create an asthma-friendly environment that supports the well-being and academic success of students with asthma. The Electronic Health Record (EHR) system is one of the the reliable ways that can help school nurses to manage asthma in schools. These digital tools offer great benefits and opportunities to streamline asthma management, enhance communication, and facilitate collaboration among school staff, healthcare providers, and parents. The EHR system provides school nurses with a centralized platform to record and access comprehensive health information of students that includes their asthma history, medication records, and individualized asthma action plans. This digital database allows quick and easy retrieval of essential data, enabling school nurses to make informed decisions and provide timely interventions in managing asthma. One of the best advantages of using an EHR system in asthma management is the ability to track and monitor students’ asthma-related data over time. School nurses can input and analyze information such as peak flow measurements, symptom patterns, and medication usage trends. This data-driven approach empowers school nurses to identify any potential triggers, recognize patterns of asthma control, and intervene proactively to prevent future asthma attacks. EHR systems also facilitate efficient communication and collaboration among key stakeholders (parents, healthcare providers, and emergency responders) involved in a student’s asthma care. School nurses can securely share relevant health information with healthcare providers, ensuring seamless coordination. This digital platform also enables effective communication with parents, providing regular updates on their child’s asthma management, medication schedules, and any changes in their condition. By implementing an EHR system in schools the school nurses can improve their work productivity and streamline process much faster and more efficiently. The benefits of school nurses’ interventions in asthma management Research has shown that school-based asthma interventions led by school nurses can improve student health. School nurses’ interventions may include identifying and addressing triggers, monitoring and providing medication administration, promoting proper use of inhalers and spacers, and educating students, staff, and parents about asthma management. The involvement of school nurses in managing asthma has numerous benefits for students, schools, and the overall education system. Some of the Benefits of School Nurses’ interventions are – Improved Health Outcomes: School nurses contribute to better asthma control, reduced symptoms, and fewer asthma-related emergencies among students. This leads to improved overall health, fewer school absences, and enhanced academic performance. Empowerment and Education: School nurses educate students, staff, and parents about asthma,…

Being a school nurse: Challenges and How to Resolve Them

  School nurses play a multifaceted role in supporting students and communities with their health needs and this is just one of their many responsibilities. They serve in a pivotal role that bridges healthcare and education. Most key responsibilities of school nurses have risen as a response to the local need. School nurses are part of several school health activities like combatting chronic absenteeism, physical and mental health care, health promotion, educating staff, attending child protection conferences, administering vaccinations, and addressing bullying issues.    Health promotion (96%)   Educating school staff (94%)   Attending child protection conferences (82%)   Administering vaccinations (73%)   Addressing bullying issues (65%)    Besides providing emergency care, school nurses also   Act as case managers for students’ continuing health care needs at school   Coordinate height, weight, vision, hearing, and dental screenings   Administer medications   Perform procedures and assessments   Communicate with health care providers, therapists, parents, and school staff   Provide health education to students, school personnel, and families   Provide a career shadowing experience for nursing students      Challenges of school nurses   When a school nurse is present to meet student healthcare needs, parents and school administrators know that children and youth can focus on learning. Despite being a motivated and dedicated workforce, school nurses face multiple challenges in a school setting.    NASN data shows only 39% of public schools have a school nurse all day, 35% have a school nurse who works part-time, leaving 25% of schools without a full-time school nurse. The most frequently reported school-based challenges school nurses face are having limited resources and a high caseload. They also faced barriers like communication challenges, multiple documentation requirements, conflicting needs and points of view, and working in isolation.     Limited resources and a high caseload: School nurses are heavily dependent on the school’s budget and resources when it comes to providing healthcare. The department is a small fraction of the school’s budgetary concerns. When working in a limited budget and high caseloads, school nurses may have to adjust their approach to healthcare.    Communication challenges: School nurses sometimes face challenges in communicating effectively with school administration, parents, doctors, pharmacies, health care bodies regarding student health because they have too many priorities and limited resources that enable them to meet these expectations.   Multiple documentation requirements: School nurses have the responsibility of updating student health records and maintaining them. This isn’t an easy task and can be time-consuming to the extent that it keeps them from doing what they were meant to do – taking care of students and communities.    Conflicting needs and points of view: Providing healthcare is not the primary objective in an academic environment. School nurses must contend with competing interests and points of view when caring for students in a school setting. In certain instances, while nurses would recommend that a child’s healthcare be prioritized, school administrators may want to keep a student in school instead of addressing their healthcare needs.   Working in isolation: School nurses will work in relative isolation as compared to the traditional healthcare environment. They’ll no longer be able to depend on the advice and support or colleagues. In some cases, school nurses are the only healthcare professional on the campus, which can create feelings of loneliness and seclusion.    Overcoming the challenges   While the disciple of school nursing has come a long way, there is much there is to be done for their betterment. The NASN recently submitted a petition for funding 10,000 school nurses to join for the upcoming school year. The school nurse is more important than ever and expanding their presence in the school setting is essential. They help students grow and thrive. And a professional school nurse is needed for every school because school nursing is the foundation of students’ physical and mental health.    To support them in their activities, they need infrastructure that enables them to do their best work. School nurses must be an integral part of school healthcare policy creation and amendments because they are actively involved in student healthcare and would be able to provide expert suggestions for improving the health of the student community. School nurses need to work in collaboration with school administration and faculty to ensure student health is given due priority. They also need to educate the teaching community about the dangers of overlooking unusual student behavior and student health concerns, and why it needs to be addressed for the student’s overall health.    School nurses also need to be familiarized with digital health records systems to simplify student health documentation requirements. They need to be relieved of the paperwork and enabled with digital systems that simplify medicine administration, immunization tracking, and more. EduHealth is a comprehensive educational healthcare solution for school nurses to collect, track, and manage student health information. Designed by school nurses, it has features connecting the entire schooling community of students, parents, administrators, school nurses, and more. Nurses can access student health history and immunization and health-related documents in a single button click, making their jobs and lives infinitely easier.    EduHealth also enables easy communication with the healthcare community during student health emergencies. The portal allows them to connect with doctors and pharmacies. This simple solution allows them to overcome several challenges related to student health-related documentations, communication with schooling and healthcare community, medicine administration, medical history record maintenance. And enables them to spend more time doing their jobs and caring for students.   Schools nurses contribution to the well being of students must not be overlooked School nurses play an important role in the health and wellbeing of children, with a broad range of duties, from health promotion to support individual pupils with specific conditions. The work of school nurses is essential in supporting children to have a full, active and healthy school life. With such an important role to play, it is vital that more school nurses are recruited and given the given the necessary power and infrastructure to ensure they have the capacity to making the positive contribution to children’s health. EduHealth is a tool that enables them to achieve this. 

Five ways in which a school nurse benefits the school

  School nurses play an integral role in helping students maintain physical and mental wellbeing during their schooling years and beyond. For children in most communities, school nurses serve as the only healthcare professional the child will ever know. This is evidence of the importance of their role with respect to student and community health, providing comprehensive health services to children and youth.   So, how does a school nurse benefit the school?  After the child’s home, schools represent the second most influential environment in a child’s life. And the school nurse is the healthcare representative on the site. An understanding of a school nurse’s role is important in understanding the many benefits of having them in a schooling environment. School nurses help children learn about health, identify health risks and illnesses, address physical and emotional issues, administer medications safely, verify immunizations and more.  School nurses provide leadership for the provision of health services and beyond in a school setting helping keep the community a healthy and safe place for children.  

School Nurse Roles and Responsibilities

Roles and Responsibilities of School Nurses is not a stagnant criterion. This varies according to situations and getting nurses prepared for any forthcoming student emergency is the prime motto of Eduhealth. NASN, the National Association of School Nurses is one of the foremost authorities which prescribes rules and regulations for School Nurses. Main aim is to promote health services and education for students.     Provide Healthcare Services: Healthcare services should be provided when it is needed. Timing and precision are important in this aspect. Following are the points to be taken care of during this process:   Identifying and managing chronic health conditions like asthma. Monitoring students for health conditions and sports injuries. Providing priority care using sophisticated technologies and user interfaces. Creative alarms to alert school officials about emergencies. Identifying special needs specific to each student to align the healthcare needs.   Promote Health Care Education:   Provide and distribute health information and knowledge through portal. Take part in community initiatives which specifically promote student health. Promote Health care education and awareness through social media.   Take initiatives in providing healthcare services   Collaborate with colleagues to take initiative for Healthcare services Take measures to streamline processes by reducing costs Initiate process quality activities and measure results.   Screen and refer students for health conditions   Track student’s data and go through the screening process. Screen students for care needs. Identify and refer students for improving health conditions.   Promote a healthy school environment.   Promote preventive measures to avoid illnesses. Create awareness amongst students about possible injuries and illnesses. Get help from qualified experts to promote a healthy environment.   Assume leadership for health policies and programs.   Health policies and programs to be created and implemented. Leadership clubs to be formed to share ideas related to health policies and programs Create and adhere to event alerts and news.   Advocate for students with disabilities who have special health care needs.   Track and identify students with disabilities. Monitor their health regularly through the portal. Identify special health care needs and implement solutions.