I am a newbie school nurse;I have five schools (three elementary,one Middle, and a small HS program) Aside from being overwhelmed with the sheer number of students that I serve and the amount of need out there I think that generally I'm doing ok (at least most days!)
One thing I am having trouble with is determining my role in each of these schools. Most of my schools are used to not having the nurse in the building, (there is no place to sit, no computer or phone to use, and the healthrooms are small often multi-purpose spaces); I get the feeling that at least one of my schools would prefer a "hands off" /consultative approach. My problem is that this is not the type of school nurse I want to be! How can I accurately assess the needs of the school if I spend no time there?
The majority of nurses I work with fill a more consultative role. I am wondering, is that the way to survive this long term, or should I keep trying to establish my own way to do this? If so, what are some good approaches to use ? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Oct 25, '07
Yikes!! 5 schools! I'm not sure how you can do what all you want. By the time you make sure all immunizations are OK, do your mandated screenings and make sure the staff who is responsible for your schools when you're not there know what their doing, I don't know how you'll do anything else. How many students do you have? Do you have health aids in any of your buildings? I'm in a High school with around 1,000 and eve that seems like a lot. And I'm in the same building all the time.
Oct 29, '07
Thank you for responding to my post. Maybe I can't do everything I would like serving 2700 students; you do have to focus on the essentials... and with five schools that is a daily juggling act, especially given that this is my first year.
I know that many, many school nurses serve the number of students that I do (1:750 sounds like an alternate universe); so I am wondering at the higher ratios do you all feel that you are just covering the basic essentials of the job or is it possible to add value to your schools by teaching health promotion, making personal connections with students, etc? Any more thoughts?