School Health Investigation
Discussion Question: Investigate how school health is delivered within your local school system. You can look at one specific school, or an entire school district. Do the schools in your area have a school health nurse assigned? If not, how are health care needs within the school district managed? What are ways in your area schools in which health promotion and management of existing health problems are addressed?
* Yes we do have a school nurse that is assigned to each school.
School Health Investigation SOLUTION
School Health Delivery
School health programs are one of the major strategies that might be used to prevent major health and social problems. Schools are used to provide the instruction and experience that prepare young people for their role as healthy, productive adults. The global school health initiative aims at improving child, adolescent, and community health through health promotion and programming in schools (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2019). With the help of healthcare professionals like school health nurses, these programs ensure acute and emergency care delivery, care coordination, chronic disease management, and family engagement.
Within my local school system, school health is an important component of preventing major health issues among students. Qualified professionals like school nurses, nurse practitioners, dentists, physicians, health educators, and allied health personnel provide school health services. Focusing on the role of nurses, both Registered Nurses(RN) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) coordinate care in schools. The individuals may function under the supervision of a licensed physician while also demonstrating autonomy in other nursing roles. Registered nurses with bachelor’s or advanced degrees can function independently in a community or school setting and coordinate community services in managing students with significant health problems (Levinson et al., 2019). In my district, one professional school nurse can function to provide school health services to 1500 regular education students. However, special considerations are available in special schools and where students have complex medical conditions like immune disorders, unstable metabolic conditions, and teenage pregnancies.
School Health Nurse
Elementary, middle, and secondary schools are the prime settings for public health programming. Evidence indicates that 11.2 million US children are at risk of chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, and emotional conditions (CDC, 2019). These students may benefit from regular school health programs to address their challenges. School nurses lead in the development of procedures, policies, and programs for the provision of school health services at the district or individual level. In my local district, there are health nurses assigned to schools. Depending on the workload, schools can have both the RN and LPN working with children, teachers, and parents to improve their health (CDC, 2019). Although recommendations from organizations like the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) require children to have daily, direct access to a registered nurse, the lack of clear federal policies and issues like nursing shortage limit other institutions from acquiring a school nurse.
Health Promotion and Management of Health Problems
School nurses help in the management of students’ conditions through assessment, diagnosis, and planning for treatment. The nurses offer preventive care like flu shots and other forms of screening, as well as acute and emergency care (CDC, 2019). The nurses spend time with students to learn their behaviors and address issues like substance abuse and teen sex. Through health education approaches, school nurses are able to address issues like early pregnancy, adolescence, violence, and drug abuse that can impact the students’ performance (Levinson et al., 2019). Another essential aspect of school health and health promotion is communication and the involvement of families in the care of their children. School nurses can hold talks with parents, educate them on their child’s health, and offer education on supporting their child’s health. Lastly, referral services are available in schools for children that might require specialized care due to advanced disease or deteriorating health conditions.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). CDC healthy schools: School health services. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/schoolhealthservices.htm
Levinson, J., Kohl, K., Baltag, V., & Ross, D. A. (2019). Investigating the effectiveness of school health services delivered by a health provider: A systematic review of systematic reviews. PloS One, 14(6), e0212603.
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