..I was visited by a couple of school nurse colleagues. It was lovely to see Pauline and Tracey, who kindly brought along lunch for us all to share outside in the sunshine . Tracey is the team leader of a small team made up of school nurses, community practitioners, health visitors and nursery nurses. Pauline is a dedicated school nurse. It is a shame but school nurses are a pretty rare breed in Hertfordshire and I worry that lay people really don’t understand the valuable role of the school nurse.
To become a school nurse you first need to be a qualified nurse and then need an extra qualification in community public health.
The role of the School Health Service has changed a great deal since most of us were at school. Today we have a School Nurse led service that is taking on new roles, developing advanced skills and adapting services to better meet the needs of today’s children, young people and their families.
School Nurses work closely with other Health Professionals such as Paediatricians, Speech Therapists, District Nurses, Mental Health Workers and General Practitioners.
School Nurses are often the first point of contact for school staff and can act as the gateway to other health services if required. They often carry out initial assessments to decide which service it is best to refer on to.
School Nurses are also closely involved with Education and Social Work staff. Much of their work involves child protection, this includes visiting families to ensure the children are safe and being adequately cared for and writing reports, sometimes required by the courts.
School nurses also carry out their public health role by supporting all children and young people to attain good physical, sexual and mental health. All the school nurses I have met really enjoy carrying out health promotion in schools, but often don’t get the opportunity as their time is taken up with child protection or ensuring the Department of Health immunisation and measuring and weighing programmes are being carried out.
School nurses work with school aged children and their families but the problem does not need to be school related. The school nurse has a confidential policy and will not share information unless it has been agreed by the child or family or the school nurse feels the child may be at risk.
Every school has an allocated school nurse, to find out who your school nurse is you can ask your school or GP practice.
To find out more about school nursing in Hertfordshire visit the website below.
We are lucky enough to have two school nurses working in our Step2 early intervention mental health team and their contribution is invaluable.
Having a visit from work colleagues made me think about how much I am missing work and wondering when I will ever be well enough to go back. After my visit yesterday I felt so tired and laid down on the sofa falling asleep for over three hours, I can’t do that at work.
I seem to be able to do very little nowadays but I must accept that I am in the middle of treatment and on a lot of drugs that would make anyone sleepy, so I need to just succumb to these feelings I am afraid .
I expect much of today will be spent sleeping.
Have a good day
PH =. 6
MH = 5