A school nurse is a specialized field of nursing in which a nurse works at a school, college or university.
School nurses may provide medical care to students who are injured or ill within an educational setting, however perhaps a bigger role for those who work as school nurses is to educate students on the importance of proper health care through classroom lectures, educational material, health care promotion, video’s, counseling and through other forms of educational training.
School nurses diagnose health care issues within a school or community setting, teach students about proper health care, safety and sex education, provide family education and research potential health care problems that may affect students in the future in order to prevent the spread of certain illnesses or diseases.
Ultimately school nurses are in charge of improving the health care system of a school through student/family education, research and intervention so that students can make better health care related decisions and spend more time on what’s important to the future rather than recovering from a potential illness and/or injury.
Below you will find a list of some of the responsibilities and tasks school nurses perform while in a school setting:
- Student education: School nurses educate students about sex education, potential health care risks, the importance of developing a healthy lifestyle and proper health care safety through lectures, educational material and counseling.
- Family education: In addition to educating students school nurses may also provide education and training at the family level in order to ensure that both the student and their family promote healthy living within the household as an individual’s health care may be strongly related to the health of the entire family such as in households where an individual is a heavy smoker or where bad eating habits may cause illnesses or obesity.
- School nurses provide basic health care to students: As in other health care settings school nurses may perform a number of medical procedures in order to care for sick or injured students. This may include checking blood pressure, dressing wounds, administering medications, assessing injuries and assisting students in rehabilitation programs.
- Manage existing medical conditions: School nurses may also assist students with existing medical issues such as those suffering from diabetes, obesity, asthma and other long-term health issues.
Without school nurses the health care standards of students would dramatically decrease as well as their health care education and ability to make informed decisions about their health care and uneducated families would continue to make the same health care mistakes from generation to generation.
While students and families may choose whether or not to see a health care professional when they are sick or injured school nurses are always available and present which can help bridge the educational gap of health care among the students and families that may otherwise not seek the health care information they need to lead better and healthier lives.