School Nurse Newsletter for Parents
OUSD Credentialed School Nurses and Licensed Vocational Nurses are always working with students and staff to ensure that their health and well-being are cared for. This can and does include students with all kinds of health conditions ranging from chronic illnesses to exceptional health care needs to the occasional injury.
The following shows the kinds of responsibilities school nurses have and how they work at school sites.
For more information: contact Health Services at Healthservices@ousd.org or 510-879-2742
Field trip Guidelines
Field trips are a great opportunity to allow students to learn in a new environment and by having your field trip guidelines in place; it allows these learning and enjoyable moments to be done safely.
To ensure the safety of all students on field trips, the school nurse should be involved in the planning phase of the trip to ensure that all necessary accommodations are in place for students with medical needs. Planning for a trip is a team effort and can go smoothly as schools follow the field trip guidelines:
- Annually, parents are required to provide the school with current medication in its original container and medical orders signed by the physician and the parent
- The School Nurse will train the staff to administer the medication prior to the field trip.
The school nurse will prepare a bag with a copy of the current medication orders, the actual medication and a documentation form.
Field trips provide students with a window to the real world that they do not get in the classroom. It can be a break from the norm, but it is also important to remember to address the needs of the students with medical conditions.
In some instances (for example, if a student has diabetes), the nurse may actually need to join the class on the field trip, and that takes major organization from both a scheduling and preparation point of view as each nurse has several school sites and obligations. Ideally, at the beginning of the school year, the nurse receives the required documentation for medication administration or treatments during school hours.
Communicable disease can spread from one person to another through blood, bodily fluids, and airborne droplets or by bug and is one of the most common causes of school absenteeism.
School nurses help protect health and safety of students and staff by following the guidelines and policies as outlined by OUSD and other regulatory bodies and providing current and accurate information.
The responsibilities include communicable disease prevention, reporting, exclusions and notification. If a communicable disease is reported or suspected, a medical doctor must verify it.
Section 504 is a part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that prohibits discrimination based upon disability. Section 504 defines a person with a disability as someone who:
1) Has a physical / mental impairment that limits one or more major life activity.
2) Has a record of the impairment.
3) Has an impairment or a significant difficulty that is not temporary.
Role of the School Nurse
- Required to attend the 504 meeting for each student with a medical concern
- Write Individual Health Plans (IHPs) that include goals and accommodations
- Act as resource to teacher/staff and parent prior to, during and after assessment process
- Liaison between the student’s physician, the parent and the school
- Train, supervise, monitor and evaluate paraprofessionals in required specialized health care procedures
- Support and act as an advocate for the student
Diabetes is the third most common chronic health condition affecting children and adolescents. OUSD school nurses work with these students to ensure their healthcare needs are being met, in compliance with federal and state laws. The school nurse provides daily diabetes management, communicates with providers and trains non-medical staff to ensure health, safety and academic success in the school setting.
Students with diabetes are required to monitor blood glucose levels and take insulin injections under the supervision of the school nurse. Each student has a Diabetes Medical Management plan that is completed by their healthcare provider annually which includes medical orders to manage the student's diabetes needs during the school day and school sponsored activities. An Individualized Healthcare Plan is developed by the school nurse and outlines each student's diabetes management protocol for staff to meet all students’ health needs during school hours.
All students with diabetes in OUSD have a 504 plan. The 504 plan protects students from being discriminated against based on their disability and states they must be given equal opportunity and accommodations to participate in academic, nonacademic, and extracurricular activities according to federal law.
Did you know that students with chronic health conditions are increasing in numbers?
Some students with chronic health conditions require medical interventions while at school. According to the National Association of School Nurses (2016), school nurses deliver quality health care and nursing intervention for actual and potential health problems. School nurses serve as a case manager and play an important role in coordinating care.
School nurses reduce barriers to learning by coordinating health care between the student, family, health care provider and educators. Regularly, nurses meet with each student with a health condition and confer with parents regarding the student’s status and progress in managing his/her condition. In addition, school nurses support the direct care needs of students with medication administration, daily treatments and procedures.
Did you know that school nurses play a key role in Special Education?
School nurses provide a variety of services to students in Special Education. In support of student health, we do health assessments, vision and hearing screenings, collaborate with parents to develop individualized healthcare plans (IHP), attend IEP meetings, and implement health services. Health services for students may include daily, weekly, or monthly procedures and/or monitoring. The school nurse also provides the needed training on medical conditions and procedures for the designated personnel supporting the student with an IEP.
Did you know that school nurses provide presentations and trainings on student’s medical conditions? School nurses make presentations for school staff for students with health conditions. The school nurse also trains school staff on specialized physical health care procedures such as GT feedings and catheterizations. For student safety, school nurses conduct weekly and monthly checks to ensure that staff are correctly following procedures and medication administration protocols.
Health Assistants and 504 Technicians
Did you know that Health Assistants and 504 Technicians perform a wide range of duties in OUSD?
Although Health Assistants and 504 Technicians Aides do similar work such as assisting nurses with the state mandated vision and hearing screenings and case identification of students with health conditions, the role of the 504 Technician differs slightly as the 504 Techs perform medical procedures. Under the direct supervision of the Health Services Supervisor, 504 Technicians work with school nurses to support students with 504 plans. 504 Technicians travel to various sites as assigned to perform specialized procedures. They are trained to perform a variety of specialized health procedures, which may include, but are not limited to; catheterization, nebulizer and vest treatment for students with Cystic Fibrosis, G-tube feedings, toileting, hygiene and personal care needs.
Health Assistants and 504 Technicians communicate with school nurses, parents, teachers and administrators. This portion of the work plays a key role ensuring the health and safety of our OUSD students is managed properly.