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School nurses create and maintain healthy learning environments, promote wellness within their school community and advocate for their student population. The role of a school nurse is ever-evolving to meet the needs of the students, educators and society, which creates several advantages and disadvantages to the profession.
One advantage is that a school nurse has essentially the same schedule as a teacher, with trainings and meetings being the exception. He has summers and all school breaks off, ends the day when the students go home and starts it when the kids get to school. This works well for school nurses who are parents, or plan to be. It also grants the freedom to pursue other interests, continued education and part-time work in the summer.
Wide Range of Responsibility
School nurses often work alone or with a very small support staff. Many schools within a district share a nurse, so he may have to travel between schools depending on the day or situation. He not only provides services to ill or injured students, he must also understand and treat numerous allergies and other uncommon health concerns. He’s often responsible for educating parents on communicable diseases, healthy lifestyles, lice and emotional well-being. Managing such a range of roles may be difficult and frustrating for some.
A school nurse has to follow all the national and state nursing regulations required by all nurses. He also has to adhere to the school district’s policies and procedures. Instead of interacting with medical personnel and hospital executives, he has school administrators directing and questioning his practices. A school nurse generally has a lot of paperwork to fill out, forms parents and students must sign and fliers to hand out describing treatments, health concerns and wellness issues connected to the school.
Positive Personal Interactions
A school nurse has multiple opportunities throughout each day to have positive personal interactions. He works closely with the students who have daily medical needs, such as kids with juvenile diabetes or severe disabilities. The school nurse has the opportunity to make a difference in many childrens' lives and can impact families, entire student populations and school personnel.
Jennifer Erchul has been a freelance writer since 2002. Writing primarily about family and travel, her work has appeared in the "Idaho State Journal," "Portnuef Valley Parents Magazine" and "Western Flyfisher." She writes for numerous websites and is a published author. Erchul studied English and psychology at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn.