Health Aide Duties?

Specialties School


Hello, I will be graduating from my community college this month with a degree in business management and a certification as an advance CNA/PCT (level 2). Other than clinicals (nursing home first semester, hospital second) I don't have any work experience as a CNA. However one of my clinical instructors day job was as a school nurse and told me about how in our school district they hire CNAs as health aide for the elementary schools (with a nurse who looks over multiple schools). She had mentioned that she thinks it would be a good fit for me, but I never had much of a chance to talk to her more about it. I looked up the job description/application online but it wasn't very descriptive (it did say that no experience is needed, but I still feel like it would be a bit of a long shot for me, but I am interested in applying). My CNA schooling focused more on geriatric care, so I don't know much about what health conditions and care kids need (but I really want to learn). I was wondering if any of you have some insight/advice as to what duties an aide might have? And what type of stuff (like diseases and care actions) I should be familiar with (I would like to look them up before going to any sort of interview). I'm sorry if what I'm writting sounds like yet another annoying generic "tell me what you do" post (which it is lol), but I really like hearing any new feedback that may not be in the comments of some of the older post I have already read. :)

Specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing.


You're asking a general question, but the answer might be specific.

Here in the NTX (where school nursing is considered an extension of the home environment), my well-trained clinic aide can take a general set of vitals with an automated BP cuff and a pulse oximiter (she probably could palpate a radial pulse if needed); I have trained her to provide medication in pill and liquid form because our policy says we can; she has been trained in use of a glucagon and an EpiPen (state law and policy permit this). She does the initial vision screening (policy and state law).

She cannot assess. She does a lot of the charting of the band aids and the sanitary pads.

I have a kid with rectally administered diastat and there's no way in hades I think that's delegable (even though my boss makes me train her every year). Ditto the straight cath we had last year - not delegable but she helped a lot in positioning and changing the diaper. I have no kids with trachs, but the district nurse believes that trach changes and suctioning can be delegated as well...

SO - it depends on the district, the policy, and maybe even the nurse. One of the other school nurses apparently doesn't let her aide chart anything. I was all...really??? You might review the laws for your state about hearing/vision/scoliosis screenings and see how often those happen. Look at your department of health for communicable diseases and whether they are excludable conditions. Look at your state's immunization program to see what shots are needed by what grades.

If the nurse is comfortable delegating medication management to you, you can prepare for some skills check offs.

Good luck.

Specializes in kids.

ruby_jane I would further add delegation is also what is allowed by a specific states nurse practice act.

Specializes in School health, pediatrics.

Check your state's delegation regulations. Also, the job duties vary widely between states and districts. In some schools you may be alone in the building and answer to a district RN, or as Nutmegge stated you may work closely with a licensed nurse in the building. That difference alone will impact the duties required. I think common non-licensed duties include passing routine meds, assisting with paperwork (so much), and taking vitals/complaints. I would recommend familiarizing yourself also with your state's vaccine requirements for school. This is a big part of the clerical side of school health.

Thank you so much for your responses so far everyone! they are really helpful. From what I understand, I believe I would be the only person on site most of the time, with an RN floating between schools. I would get additional training that allows me to handle medications (I don't know what other training I would get, or what they expect me to already know, as part of my PCT I can do skills like insert catheters and IVs, though I know I won't be expected to do that here). I am in Maryland if it makes any difference. It seems like this position has a lot of administrative work, which is actually something I like (I first went to school for business). I assume this is more of a stationary job, with most work done in the health office, versus a nursing home or hospital where you are mostly running between rooms and hallways. I find I work much better when I have a "central zone" like that. For those of you who have aides, did they come in with experience or was it mostly on the job training?

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