Why School Nursing May Be For You
Taking the temperatures of little kids, helping to set the broken arm of a kid who fell on a playground or checking classrooms full of kids for head lice, if all of this sounds appealing to you then school nursing may be the specialty for you. School nursing is the type of nursing that revolves around promoting and providing healthcare to the student body and the staff. School nurses need to be very versatile as they will need to wear very different hats while applying their skills in an academic setting.
A school nurse plays a variety of roles in the academic arena and one of those roles is clinician. Even though these types of nurses are no longer in a hospital setting they do rely on their clinical nursing skills to diagnosis and treat even in a school environment. When children contract the flu or other illnesses the school nurse is able to properly assess a child's condition because of the clinical training he / she has gained. School nurses at the university level often are nurse practitioners who administer health exams ranging anywhere from yearly physicals to gynecological exams and required vaccinations. So if you would like to use your clinical skills in an academic setting you should consider school nursing.
School nurses also act as health educators. A nurse has first hand experience in dealing with many diseases and this makes them very informed on why it is necessary to inform the school community about particular health issues. A perfect example of this is the organization of health fairs for high school or college students. Health fairs are a great way to screen students for a variety of health related issues that may affect their population such as sexually transmitted diseases or meningitis. Nurses in a school setting also use the information they obtain from health surveys taken by students to advocate for particular health care services that may be lacking in the academic community. Thus, if assisting students to better understand their health is of interest to you school nursing should be ideal.
Of all roles a school nurse plays the ability to ensure and promote healthcare for the academic community is one of the most important. School nurses in conjunction with nutritionists help to create healthy menus for students. They insure that the spread of communicable diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella and now even chicken pox is prevented by keeping up to date records on the immunizations of students and providing those immunizations if necessary. Furthermore, they work alongside other school professionals such as health teachers and school counselors to educate students about their bodies and how to live healthy lives.
Being a school nurse can be a very rewarding experience as you will be the impetus for providing and establishing a healthy outlook in a school environment.