People can't tell from the gratitude and attention nurses get from most parents and policy-makers but they are very important. For many kids, especially those that come from poor families, school nurses are the only healthcare professionals they ever get to see. In addition to treating playground wounds, school nurses also deal with far more serious medical problems that kids bring to school.
Ideally, good school nurses should keep parents informed and have all the necessary experience and hours, degrees, and state licenses. Essentially, a certified school nurse should hold a college degree in nursing or any other health-related discipline and have more than one thousand hours of verifiable work experience.
Therefore, parents should watch out for certain signs if they suspect that their kid’s school nurse is not up to par.
20 They Might Appear Unmoved About An Unwell Child
Due to their heavy responsibility and workload, some school nurses end up being irritable, especially to parents who ignore their advice or those who do not understand the constraints of their job. However, a competent school nurse should be able to tell if a child is feeling unwell and according to NASN, take immediate action. They will not let sick kids hurt.
19 Some Nurses Only Have The Minimum Requirement
The minimum requirement for anyone hoping to be a nurse is to attain a bachelor’s degree in nursing, counseling, biochemistry, nutrition, social work, chemistry, or health education, according to Allnursingschools.com. Therefore, a school nurse who did not major in any of these fields before obtaining their bachelor’s degree may not be as competent as they should be.
18 They Do Not Know Much About Health Insurance
Some school nurses do not tell parents that they are not reliable when it comes to helping them navigate health insurance, according to the Washington Post. A great school nurse should be able to guide parents through everything they need to know about insurance. It is embarrassing when a parent seeks insurance advice from the school nurse during the open enrollment period and they know nothing.
17 Most Don't Have Continuing Education Credits
School nurses should pursue continuing education credits every few years just to show how serious they are. According to NBCSN, CE credits are important because the healthcare profession is always transforming and progressing, which means that school nurses need to keep up with the latest medical practices and information just like other healthcare professionals.
16 Some Forget To Send Medical Forms To Parents
Due to a heavy workload, forgetfulness, and, sometimes, lethargy, some school and daycare nurses do not send medical forms for parents to fill out. To make the matter worse, they hide this shortcoming from parents. A knowledgeable and experienced school nurse is strict when it comes to sending out emergency contact information and medical forms for parents to fill out and return, according to hflcsd.com.
15 Some Schools Hire Nurses With Minimum Work Experience
Nursing students, who want to qualify to take the exam offered by the National Board of Certifications for School Nurses, need to have a minimum of at least 1,000 hours of relevant work experience, according to nursepractitionerschools.com. This requirement is necessary and makes perfect sense given the fact that they will work around kids, which means that they need to be ready for any kind of health problem or scenario.
14 Nurses Tell Students, But Forget To Educate Staff About Hygiene And Common Illnesses
When it comes to the protection of children’s health, education about hygiene and common childhood illnesses is critical. According to the National Association of School Nurses, competent school nurses need not only be able to handle minor playground wounds like a scraped knee but should also educate school staff about common illnesses in kids.
13 Some Forget To Do Annual Visual And Audio Screenings
Yearly screenings are important because they help catch a wide range of health problems early enough for successful treatment to commence. According to kidshealth.com, a yearly visual and audio screening can help discover hearing loss in a child, which will prompt the nurse to urge the child’s parent to have him evaluated by an audiologist.
12 Many Of Them Lack A National Certificate
It is a very bad look if a school nurse has not yet sat for the NBCSN’s National Certified School Nurse exam. Some schools are not so strict when it comes to interviewing and hiring school nurses; however, a dedicated school nurse will take the NCSN exam as soon as possible, according to moms.com.
11 Many Don't Follow Proper Infection Control Protocols
Any experienced and qualified school nurse knows how rapidly germs and bacteria can spread in a confined area such as a classroom, better than everyone else in the school. They should do everything possible to come up with adequate disinfection practices so that students that come in for treatment do not wind up catching an infection from others who came in before them.
10 They Forget To Tell Parents To Get The Flu Vaccine
When the flu season officially begins, school kids and their families need to get the flu vaccine as soon as possible, according to the CDC and it is the nurse’s duty to remind them. A qualified and caring school nurse would not want kids to spend days curled up in bed feeling unwell while they could be in school learning, or, even worse, spread the flu to other kids.
9 They Often Promote Outdated Treatment For Lice
Unfortunately, a few school nurses promote outdated lice treatments knowing fully well that they are unnecessary and inadequate. This includes forcing kids to stay at home until they are free of the irritating pests that decided to make a home in their hair. Nurses should let parents know that they can easily deal with lice by, according to Healthline, applying a special shampoo, washing, and combing their kids’ hair with a fine-toothed comb.
8 They Forget To Give The Yearly Scoliosis Screenings
Some school nurses do not educate parents about the importance of yearly scoliosis screenings for their kids. These screenings may be annoying to kids who have to stand in line for what, to them, feels like forever as they head to the nurse’s office; however, they are very important when it comes to a child’s health.
7 Some Are Late Sending Vaccine Records
It is important for school nurses to submit all the necessary vaccination records to the state on time, according to healthit.com. However, some nurses forget to send the little ones’ records by the required deadline, thereby inconveniencing both the parents and the school. It is not a good sign when the school nurse slacks off on this important duty.
6 Depending On The Nurse, They May Understand Little About Common Childhood Diseases
It is not good if a little one’s school nurse understands little more than the bare minimum about the common childhood diseases that may spread around schools like wildfire. Ideally, school nurses should possess extensive knowledge about illnesses such as sinus infections, the flu, common colds, and other common diseases, according to nursingoutlook.com.
5 The Administration Of Meds Is Often Too Late
Some school kids have to take meds daily or after a certain period for one reason or another. Such kids often need the help of their school nurse with administering the meds. Therefore, the school nurse must always arrive on time to offer help. Additionally, experienced and professional school nurses must know which kids need meds, which ones they need, and the appropriate time for taking them.
4 Some May Forget To Disinfect The Office
Like most other people, school nurses may forget to disinfect their working space properly. However, forgetting to do so is inexcusable, especially when one considers how fast germs and infection can spread from one child to another. Ideally, school nurses should use disinfectant wipes and something like Lysol to ensure that school kids do not spread germs in their office.
3 They Often Run Out Of Sanitary Pads And Other Products For Teen Girls
Excellent school nurses always ensure their offices have an adequate stock of all feminine products for teenage girls, just in case the monthly visitor made an unexpected call. Forgetful nurses are setting themselves up for a bad situation since there is nothing more embarrassing and annoying to everyone involved when a teen girl is in need and there's nothing the nurse can do.
2 Some Nurses Forget To Inform Parents When There Was A Bout Of A Contagious Illness
This is a rare occurrence, but, sometimes, some school nurses may forget to give parents a heads-up when a contagious illness starts to spread amongst students, which according to benwayschool.com, should not happen. Parents have a right to freak out if their little one ends up sick because of some infectious bug that is infecting kids in school and they did not get a warning about the problem from the school nurse.
1 They Recommend Only One Specialist
A school nurse is not a pediatrician, according to pediatrics.aappublications. However, they should be able to offer parents a list of three or four pediatricians or specialists. If a student does not pass a hearing test after the annual screening, for example, the school nurse should provide their parents with a list of ear, throat, and nose specialists for them to make an appointment with.
Sources: nasn.org, nbcsn.org, allnursingschools.com, nursepractitionerschools.com, nasn.com, kidshealth.com, moms.com, hflcsd.org, cdc.gov, healthline.com, healthit.gov, benwayschool.org, pediatrics.aappublications.org, washingtonpost.com