As the school nurse role evolves, there are increasingly more health concerns for the school nurse. Does the locale make a difference in the problems, or are health problems in children and adolescents universal? In some inner-city areas, violence is a prevalent issue. What do you think are the biggest problems in your areas?
The role of the school nurse has definitely evolved since I was in school. I remember the school nurse in elementary school was very kind in her starched white uniform and when you went to the “clinic” you were told to lay down on a cot and put a cool washcloth on your forehead. According to Nies & McEwan, many of today’s health challenges are different from those of the past and include behaviors and risks linked to the leading causes of death such as heart disease, injuries, and cancer (p. 580). There is an increase among young people to participate in unhealthy behavior such as smoking, drinking, drugs, and poor nutrition, decrease physical activity, increase sexual behavior, violence, suicide, that will put them at a risk for health problems (Nies & McEwan, 2015) In 2013, the population of Chesapeake, Virginia is 230,571 (United Stated Census Bureau) Chesapeake Public School Nurses in 2011-2012 treated 681,526 students in their clinic; treated 117,058 ill students; treated 98,041 students that needed first aid and injured themselves; performed 62, 089 nursing procedures; counseled 175, 158 students and parents; and administered 128, 869 medications (Chesapeake Public Schools, 2012). WOW, that is a lot of patients!
This week’s lessons discusses the evolving role of the school nurse not only attending the students’ needs but involvement in “policy-making activities at both the local and state levels (CCN, 2015) The question proposed in this week’s lesson regarding some of the roles for the community health nurses is also applicable to the school nurse. The school nurse is the clinician, case manager, advocate, educator, researcher, administrator, change agent, case finder, coordinator and consultant in order to meet the complex needs of students. According to Nies & McEwen, many of today’s health challenges are different from those of the past and include behaviors and risks linked to the leading causes of death such as heart disease, injuries, and cancer. In the suburb that I live in there has been no violence reported by students in the school system that my daughter is a fifth grade teacher. I think the locale of the school system can increase potential risk for violence.
In the school system that my daughter is a teacher she says that they deal more with behavior problems and lack of parental involvement in the child’s progress. There are more students that are being treated with mental illness at such an early age. She had one child that was diagnoses as a bipolar. There have been several cases of child abuse that she has had to report. She feels a challenge to education system is holding children more accountable to meet requirements verses appeasing parents. Many parents are the first to say, no it’s not my child when in fact their child is the leader of the disruptive group.
Since President Bush initiated “no child left behind” program, I think this has caused challenges for the teacher to develop more creative styles of teaching without the support of administration and parents. I did not realize that the school nurse role included seven elements that they need to focus on that was listed in this week’s discussion. I thought their primary role was clinical services that included first aid and screening. After reviewing the elements, I can see this as an interdisciplinary team approach that should include teachers, lunch room staff, parents and students to ensure that students receive a top notch school health program that will provide them the tools to have a healthy lifestyle.
United States Census Bureau. Retrieved from:
Chesapeake Public Schools, (July, 2012). School Health Advisory Board. Retrieved from: http://www.cpschools.com/shab_2012.pdf Nies, M. A., & McEwen, M. (2015). Community/Public health nursing: Promoting the health of populations (6th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Saunders/Elsevier. Chamberlain College of Nursing. (2015). NR443 Week 4: Community Health Roles, Settings, and Interventions.[online lesson]. Downers Grove, IL: DeVry Education Group
Community school nurses have a very difficult job. School age children have such a variety of health concerns that can be congenital, environmental, behavioral, and socioeconomic. (Nies & McEwen, 2015) Where does a CHN start? Promoting wellness, health education, and identifying deficiencies within the schools, and creating programs to improve services is a great beginning. I do believe that most problems that we see in children and adolescents are universal. Inactivity, obesity, poor nutrition, and substance abuse are a few examples, but these problems can escalate even more when as a child’s socioeconomic condition worsens. When researching statistics I was shocked to find out that that 8.3% of teenagers in Broward County had engaged in sex before the age of 13, that is higher than the national average of 6.2%. (floridahealth.gov) To make things worse, Broward County also has the second highest rate of Infectious Syphilis in the state.
HIV and Chlamydia are also on the rise compared to the rest of the United States. Sexually transmitted diseases in this demographic are increasing but teen pregnancy is on the decline. This I believe is a real problem, sex education must start in our homes with parents and transcend into our schools. According to our reading, sex education in our schools remains controversial. However, it seems like a necessity for our youth to have a nonjudgemental forum in which they can receive accurate information
Wow, I was amazed at the statisctis for STD’s in Broward County and wanted to see how Chesapeake Virginia rated. Per 100,000 there was 588.3 per people diagnosed with Chlamydia and that is higher than the state of Virginina and nationally. Gonorrhea was 108.9 compared to national level of 107.5.
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