Nurse Cynthia Thomas
The primary role of the school nurse is to support student learning. The nurse accomplishes this by implementing strategies that promote student and staff health and safety. The nurse takes a leadership role in serving as the coordinator of all school health programs in the following manner:
- Health Services -- serves as the coordinator of the health services program and provides nursing care
- Health Education -- provides health education to students, staff and parents
- Healthy Environment -- identifies health and safety concerns in the school environment and promotes a nurturing social environment
- Nutritional Services -- supports healthy food services programs
- Physical Education/Activity -- promotes healthy physical education, sports policies and practices
- Counseling -- provides health counseling, assesses mental health needs, provides interventions and refers students to appropriate school staff or community agencies
- Parent/Community Involvement -- promotes community involvement in assuring a healthy school, serves as school liaison to a health advisory committee.
- Staff Wellness -- provides health education and counseling, promote healthy activities and environment for school staff
As the health services expert, the school nurse serves as the health professional for the school community. Some of the services provided include: illness and injury assessments and interventions; health assessments and participation in development of Individualized Education Plan for students with special needs; pediatric nursing procedures such as gastrostomy tube feedings, tracheostomy care, and catheterization; screening for health factors impacting student learning; activities to promote health and prevent teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, tobacco, alcohol and substance use and abuse; chronic disease management and education, administering medications; crisis team participation; recommending health curricula and guidelines for school district health policies; and serving as a health care provider liaison between the school and community.