Published Aug 30, 2003
are you aware that school nurses are not mandated in the state of new york? as a parent, how would you feel knowing that your child's school did not have a full time rn?
The schools here don't have full-time nurses. To be honest, I don't know if they have nurses at all anymore. I know they did have them spread really thin--like a half day per school per week. And our schools are huge--~800 in elementary, 1300 in middle, 2000 in high. They do have parent volunteers to work in the office to do things like tend scrapes and such.
I live in a rural community, but it has grown by an enormous percentage in the last few years. The strategy they have in place in our area is more like "cluster nursing". One school nurse who is located primarily at the high school. Then, each Middle school and elementary school has a med tech or health aide (# is based on the student body acuity and number of students). The RN supervises these health aides and makes regular trips to the schools and is able to get to the schools within 10 minutes if something arises that the aide cannot handle and that does not require a call to 911. I feel confident, having reviewed the training received by the aides in my childrens' schools, but admittedly, not all parents would or could take the time to do such research. There really is no easy answer. Pay higher taxes, lobby your local, state and federal govenments for more funding? Really, no easy answers. Cath
A research study I have always wanted to do is to stand outside a Supermarket in a community and ask people if they have kids in the schools, what school, and if their school has a school nurse? Then I'd like to go back and find out IF that school does indeed have a school nurse, or an unlicensed person manning the health office. I think most parents assume their schools have nurses, because theirs did when they grew up.
In Minnesota, a law was passed that makes it illegal to answer the phone "School Nurse" or "School Nurse's Office" if the person is not a nurse. A non licensed person cannot represent themselves as a nurse.
Thanks Martha, for your response. I agree, I think that parents just assume that a nurse is present at their child's school. Sadly, I think that is changing. To me its scarey!! Many of my students have very complicated medical needs and I can not imagine a secretary or teacher taking care of them. Martha Louise
I am pretty sure I know what the parent's expectations are regarding schools having RNs in them. And I think Martha is on the money......most parents assume there is one. We can worry about student safety, gang violence, and health education, but who is a key player in these activities? The imaginary school nurse.....
In California there is no standard regarding Nurse /pupil ratio. I've just recently finished my community health nursing class and found that it just depends on the school district with some districts using an liscensed nurse in every school (could be an LVN or RN). My childs district has just three district nurses and over ten schools and growing. A health aid is at each school sometimes only partime. the schools totally rely on 911 for emergencies. Pretty scary if your child hada life threatening allergy, diabetes or asthma. I'm fortunate my child is healthy. In the nieghboring school district each RN covers three schools equaling 4000 students per nurse. I agree, most parents have no idea just how vulnerable there children could be.
At my son's school they do have an RN, but I don't know if she is full time. I know they have an RN because she introduced herself to me at round-up. She told me about herself and she had a badge that had her name with RN at the end of it.
How do they get around the "diagnosing" part of it? I think there is too much leeway around the interpretation of the law. Very sad.
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