School Health vs. Community Health

  1. Hello,


    I'm a new grad/community health nurse working in a remote community and I deliver educational lessons on sex-ed, hand hygiene..etc. in the local school. I'm also starting the immunization program with the students as well.


    1. Is a school nurse also considered a community health nurse? What is the difference?
    2. What kind of initiatives have you started in your school ?
    3. What kind of medical cases do you primarily encounter at school?
    4. Any tips on engaging with the students on health talks / starting an adolescent girls group?


    Thanks for your valuable comments!
  2. Visit Parrhesia profile page

    About Parrhesia, BSN, RN

    Joined: Jan '18; Posts: 33; Likes: 12

    6 Comments

  3. by   MHDNURSE
    1. I know in my state (MA) in order to get licensed as a school nurse they want at least three years in either community health, school health or pediatric health, so yes, I do think it is community health since schools are part of the greater community.

    2. I have started "everything" because I was hired when the school opened so I have been doing all of the health related stuff. I host a "health and wellness night" every year for the school as one of my initiatives. I also quickly got them to get rid of chocolate milk at lunch, as examples.

    3. I am in an urban setting, with mostly low SES families. My main health issues center around poorly controlled asthma and obesity/poor diet and nutrition.

    4. For the girl's group I would focus on hygiene, making smart choices about nutrition, and self-esteem and friendship/peer relations.
  4. by   GdBSN
    I view community health as an umbrella, and school health/nursing falls under that umbrella.
  5. by   RobotechTD
    In Montgomery County, MD the school nurses are called school community health nurses. They put SCHN next to their name.
  6. by   ruby_jane
    1. Depends on your state. But I like the umbrella answer. In this county public health nursing is completely separated from school nursing.

    2. With 2400 and more next year I am barely doing all the things I need to do BUT I have asked our STUCO and NHS for help in researching topics for the health board outside my office. Current topics: concussion, suicide, consent.

    3. Mostly chronic conditions (Asthma, diabetes, sickle cell, anaphylactic allergies). Occasional catheterization. Sometimes "that needs to be assessed for mechanical closure"/aka stitches, which I don't do. Infectious disease (mostly influenza). Occasionally something really scary (pneumothorax, drug overdose, premature labor, teachers with known heart conditions in profound tachycardia).

    4. Best of luck!
  7. by   iggywench
    In my area, we are considered community health nurses, because we are the liaison between the school and community, and we also assist our families in finding local resources for things like eyeglasses, dental, and medical care. Our district has a great relationship with the local community health clinic, and they provide vaccine resources, as well as come to different events that the schools host, and provide literature to our families.

    Since I am in a high school, our students have a health class that they take, so I don't do any kind of teaching. I have a bulletin board in the cafeteria where I provide health education, and I work with our counselors and Communities in Schools representative to ensure that students have what they need.

    I am in a low SES suburban area, and primarily encounter headaches and stomachaches, but do have students with serious conditions, like asthma, severe allergies, seizures, and diabetes.

    I think the students appreciate when you talk to them like they are real people, and listen to their concerns. Ask them what questions they have, and make them feel comfortable coming to you.
  8. by   WineRN
    1. I also look at community nursing as an umbrella that school nurses function under. Just like those nurses who work in the county health department, local community clinics, etc are all community nurses because they link the population they serve with the resources they need.

    2. I'm still a newbie stretching my wings but I have made a relationship with a local dental group to help our students who have that need twice a year, I handle all immunizations education and resources, I have a student leadership group that's focused on health and emergency preparedness, I am in charge of all staff training for emergency preparedness and CPR/First aid. My community is from a mid-high socioeconomic background so I have information on how to link them to state health care services, but most don't need it.

    3. Sometimes it feels like everything. I have over 50 asthmatics at varying levels of control, 15 severe food allergies, a handful of cardiac conditions and students who are immunosurpressed, a good number of seizure disorders and now down to 1 TD1 (one is moving on to middle school and one left the district). And then all the assessments related to injuries (concussion protocols, is this a fracture, does this need stitiches, etc) and sudden illness (noro and influenza outbreaks). My good days I see about 30 kids, my busy days I can see closer to 90.


    4. What kind of group are you thinking? We have a few schools who started chapters of "girls on the run" which went over really well. Our counselors do small groups with our 4th and 5th grade girls to discuss "changes" they feel.

    Good luck!

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