Schools + School Nurses = Safe and Healthy Students

Schools + School Nurses =
Safe and Healthy Students
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School Day
 A classroom teacher sees Tyler wheezing and
suddenly struggling to breathe Is Tyler experiencing an
episode of asthma?
Is Tyler experiencing a lifethreatening allergic
With proper assessment,
medication and treatment
(inhaler and/or nebulizer)
the student may return to
class and continue with his
academic program.
With proper emergency
care, Tyler can be safely on
his way to the hospital.
Without it, he could die
within minutes.
School Nurse
A School Nurse has the nursing assessment skills
to manage this potentially emergent situation
as well as provide daily care for:
– Chronic conditions (diabetes, asthma, seizures)
– Medically complex conditions (requiring tube
feedings, tracheostomy care, catheterization)
– Mental Health support
– Emergency care
– Injury and illness care and prevention
 Diabetes
– New cases have almost doubled in the past 10 years
– Requires monitoring, injectable medication
administration, potential for emergency care
 Food allergies
– Increased 18% in children under 18
– Requires preventative measures, emergency care
 Asthma
– Affects over 10 million children in the U.S.
– Requires monitoring, medication
 Epilepsy
– 45,000 children under the age of 15 develop it each year
– Requires medication (often given rectally) within minutes
of onset, emergency care planning
 Obesity
– Incidence of obesity has tripled among 6 – 11 year olds
and more than tripled among 12 – 19 year olds
– 33% of students are overweight or obese affecting their
physical and mental health
 Medically complex concerns
– Require ventilator care, tube feedings, medication and
other complex medical cares
per 100
U.S. Students
Our students need a
school nurse!
Overall, from 15% to 18% of children and
adolescents have some sort of chronic health
condition, nearly half of whom could be
considered disabled
18 out of every 100
in every school!
Mental Health
 One in five children and adolescents have a
diagnosable mental health disorder in the
course of a year
 Academic achievement can be improved
– Early detection
– Timely referral
– Access to appropriate services
School Nurses spend
32% of their time
mental health services
 School Nurses develop Emergency Care Plans to
guide the response to life-threatening health
– A student with an allergy (bees, food or latex) who
needs injectable epinephrine immediately
– Students with seizures need their medication within
minutes – often given rectally
– Students with diabetes may need injectable glucagon
to treat a life-threatening low blood sugar episode
– A student with asthma who is struggling to breathe
may need a nebulizer treatment
Prevention and
 Immunization rates are higher in schools with
school nurses
 Unlicensed personnel in schools make more
medication errors than nurses
 School nurses can identify environmental
hazards at school based on injury patterns
A School Nurse first identified H1N1 Flu based on the
increase in illness in her school!
 School nurses reduce absenteeism
 A higher nurse to student ratio is related to better
attendance rates
– Less likely to dismiss students early than unlicensed
– More time in the classroom provides more time for
– Increases a student’s chances for success!
 When students are kept in school, parents are
able to be productive at work and at home
 Appropriate use of health care saves time and
money for everyone
Fewer 911 calls
Appropriate referral
Every teacher
deserves a
School Nurse, so they can
Every parent
deserves a
School Nurse, so they can feel
confident that their child is
safe at school.
Every student
deserves a
School Nurse so they can be
healthy, safe and successful at
Chronic Health Conditions
 Perrin, J.M., Bloom, S.R., Gortmaker, S. L., (2007). The
Increase of Childhood Chronic Conditions in the United States.
Journal of the American Medical Association, 297 (24) 27552759. doi: 10.1001/jama.297.24.2755.
 Branum. A.M. & Lukacs S.L. (2008). NCHS Data Brief, Food
Allergy Among U.S. Children: Trends in Prevalence and
Hospitalizations, 10,
 Ogden, C.L., Carroll, M.D., Curtin, L.R., Lamb, M.M., & Flegal,
K.M. (2010). Prevalence of high body mass index in U.S.
children and adolescents, 2007-2008. JAMA 303, 242- 249.
 Farris, KB, McCarthy, AM, Kelly, MW, Clay, DL, & Gross, JL.
(2003). Issues of medication administration and control in
Iowa schools. Journal of School Health, 73(9), 331-337
 McCarthy, AM, Kelly, MW, & Reed, D. (2000). Medication
administration practices of school nurses. Journal of School
Health, 70(9), 371-376
 Maughan, E. (2003). The impact of school nursing on
school performance: A research synthesis. Journal of
School Nursing, 19(3), 163-171.
 Pennington, N & Delaney, E (2008). The number of
students sent home by school nurses compared to
unlicensed personnel. Journal of School Nursing, 24: 290
- 297.
 Wyman, L. (2005). Comparing the number of ill or injured
students who are released early from school by school
nursing and nonnursing personnel. Journal of School
Nursing, 21(6), 350-355.