How big is the "Public Health" portion of your job?

Specialties School


Specializes in School Nursing.

We all know that the School Nurse is part clinician and part public health nurse. How large a role in your practice is the public health part? Would you like it to be bigger? Smaller? What are you doing to expand this part of your practice, if anything. I am curious because although I would like to take on more of this role in my practice, I find myself bogged down by the day-to-day clinical things. And, it is difficult when you are the only nurse in the school to take on things like starting new programs, etc. without help.

I also ask because I am still kicking the idea around of different Master's programs, and I stumbled on a MSN in Public Health Admin offerred online through U of South Alabama. :) I like the idea of doing my Master's in this area and trying to expand how much of my time I spend in this area (good luck with that, right?)

Specializes in Community & Mental Health, Sp Ed nursing.

Hi Purple:

From what I remember Public Health is about epidemiology, statistics, and communicable diseases. If that's your thing then go for it!!!! I'm suffering through a research statistics class that had a 4.5 hour mid term. The instructor took pity on us and broke the final up so we have 2, 3 hour tests. I would be happy to never see another stats class again after this.

I'm interested in more community health. I signed up to learn how to be a diabetes educator and I'm in a nurse educator MSN program.

Great question. The school nurse role doesn't always seem very clear cut. I understand wanting to do more than just day-to-day taking care of things but not having the time or resources to do that. Good luck!

Public health is a huge portion of the school nurse job: prevention of illness and injury and health promotion:

- hearing and vision screening

- BMI screening

- handwashing

- health education

- surveillance and reporting of communicable diseases

- immunization enforcement and referral

- school located vaccine clinics

- referrals for SCHIP

- disaster preparedness

- environmental concerns such as indoor air quality, green cleaning

- injury prevention

- AED and CPR

- promoting school connectedness and a safe and healthy school climate

- bullying prevention

- seatbelt and car safety

- smoking cessation

- staff health: weight loss, etc

- advocating for policies that promote health: school nutrition, physical activity, recess, safe routes to school, sun protection, etc

I would bet if you added up all of the time and effort you expend on these activities it would be well over half of your time

+ Add a Comment