The professional body of school nurses is governed by the national association of school nurses. The organization has its headquarters in Washington. The association works mainly by providing general guidelines and support to the school nurses. The revised standards for nursing practice are issued by the organization in 2011.
Assessment, outcome identification, diagnosis, implementation, planning, and evaluation are the part of the standards set by the organization. AAP (American academy of pediatrics) guidelines issued for the provision of health care to the school, students are very similar to NASN standards.
The guidelines that are issued by AAP are as follows:
1. The children will get the necessary care, including emergency care in the school.
2. The nurses should keep the track record of the state vaccination records of the children.
3. The nurses will do the required screening of the children, according to the state law.
4. They will make the environment of the class comfortable for the children that have health problems.
Health care services include federal school health programs. It has eight parts. These school programs are developed by the federal government in coordination with the centers for disease control and prevention (CDC). It involves health education, health services, physical education, counseling, nutrition services.
The federal school health program was developed in 1987 that was fully successful till 1992. The program expanded in 1998, parents and community were included in it. School health policies and practices study started funding the programs for HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) prevention in schools.
In 1992, CDC started funding the other disease prevention programs also. These programs are awareness programs for students based on heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and prevention towards substance abuse.
School based health programs started funding school based health centers. The family centered, community based clinics that are run within the schools, and gives expanded healthcare services.
School nurses play many roles in school. They work as caregivers, educators, counselors, consultants, and case managers. The nurses work as direct caregiver. It is the traditional role of the nurses. It is the primary responsibility of the nurses to give care to the ill, injured child and school members. Nurses in public and private schools give care during the school timings while the nurses on day boarding give care to the children for 24 hours.
The nurses are an important part of day boarding as they act as gatekeeper of the complete health care of the children. They nurse acts as a health educator for the children individually and in the classroom. The nurses instruct the children regarding nutrition, hygiene and safety. In many schools the nurses also teach the students about the changes in their body during puberty.
The nurses act as case manager for children having complex health problems. This implies for the students with disabilities of chronic illness. The children that need physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy also come under this category. They provide health information to the administrators, teachers and parent teacher groups.
They inform the children regarding the changes in their health based on the changes in the school environment. The children feel free to discuss their health problems with the nurses. If nurses feel the urgency they inform the management, teacher or the parents according to the situation.