SCHOOL NURSING IN THE
VAN BUREN SCHOOL DISTRICT
VBSD Health Services Supervisor:
Rhonda Brasuell, RN
The mission of the Van Buren School District Health Services is to maintain high health standards for children living within our community through services aimed at prevention and early identification of health problems and by working with students, families, educators, physicians, and other service agencies to provide quality health care and supervision for students with health impairments. We believe healthy children make better students.
The Van Buren School District Health Services believes health and learning are inextricably connected and we provide health care in accordance to that belief. That is to say, healthy children do learn better and children must be educated to assure their optimal health. Thus, our goal as school nurses is the promotion of good health and healthy choices.
Who are we?
All VBSD school nurses are professional, registered nurses (R.N.’s) licensed to practice in accordance with current Professional Standards of School Nursing Practice, as stated by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. Each Nurse serves as an advocate for children’s health and safety within the educational setting. Every school within our district has a Registered Nurse assigned to it for a minimum of 15 hours per week.
To better serve the students, your School Nurse has expertise in the following areas:
- Pediatric, public health and mental health nursing with strong health promotion, assessment, and referral skills.
- Education and health laws impacting children
- Teaching strategies for the delivery of health education to students and staff
What do we do?
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. As the health services expert, the School Nurse serves as the health professional for the school community and provides the following services:
- Illness and injury assessments, interventions and referrals
- Identification, assessment, planning, intervention and evaluation of student health concerns
- Pediatric nursing procedures
- Screening for health factors impacting student education i.e., Vision and Hearing screens, Scoliosis Screens, and BMI measurement according to state mandates
- Supervision, management and education of chronic diseases in the school setting
- Individualized Nursing Care Plans/Medical Fragilties for indicated students with disabilities and/or health conditions
- Crisis Team participation
- Coordination of state and county mandates and reporting guidelines
- Employee CPR and 1st Aid Certification/re-certification
- Medication Administration, supervision and training of paraprofessionals/
- Training and in-servicing staff about health related issues
What Services do we provide?
Including but not limited to:
Medicine Distribution is administered according to the guidelines outlined by the by the School Health Services Program of the Arkansas Department of Education and include:
- The medication must be in the original container with child’s name on the prescription.
- The Prescription cannot be altered in any way, i.e. written on.
- No medication to be given three (3) times daily or less will be administered at school. EXCEPTION: Medication used to treat ADD/ADHD
- All medication used to treat ADD/ADHD will be given during the child’s lunch break unless specifically stated differently on the prescription. The morning dose should be administered at home unless 8:00a.m. is specifically stated on the prescription.
- No over-the-counter drugs will be given at school as school personnel are not trained to determine when medications are needed and this is a form of prescribing. If it is necessary to take an over-the-counter medication at school, it must be prescribed by the student’s physician – a doctor’s note will be accepted. A parent must provide then supply the school with the prescribed Over-The-Counter medication.
- The consent form must be signed before any medication will be given at school. HANDWRITTEN NOTES OR PHONE CALLS ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE.
- Medication must be brought in by a parent. MEDICINE BROUGHT TO SCHOOL BY A STUDENT WILL BE CONFISCATED AND WILL NOT BE ADMINISTERED. TRANSPORTATION OF MEDICINES ON SCHOOL BUSES IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED.
- Medication brought to school in a container that is too large for our secure storage container may be placed into a smaller container. The original label will be removed and placed on the new container. .
- Any medication not picked up by the last day of school will be disposed of.
The VBSD has a no-nit policy when dealing with head lice.
‘Growing Up’ videos are shown to 4th grade girls and 5th grade girls and boys. These videos are shown to each sex separately and contain information on hygiene, physical development, puberty and the feelings associated with this period of their lives. Notes are sent home prior to the video to obtain parental permission.
All infectious and/or contagious diseases and illness are dealt with according to the School Health Services Program of the Arkansas Department of Education and in close conjunction with the Crawford County Health Implementation Clinic. If your child has an above normal temperature you will be notified to pick him/her up. It is at the nurse’s discretion as to when a child has an ‘above normal temperature’. Due to the increase of viral illnesses, including Seasonal Flu and H1N1 Flu, you may be asked to pick your child up from school even if the temperature is considered ‘low-grade’. Children should be symptom-free for 24 hours before returning to school in order to maintain a healthy environment for other students.
If an emergency arises and a nurse is not ‘in-house’, the secretary will notify the nurse immediately unless the parent is more readily available and can provide faster transport to an emergency medical facility. Emergency Forms are sent home at the beginning of each school year to obtain pertinent medical information, address and phone numbers. It is the responsibility of the parent to provide the school any changes in this information. See link for Emergency Form
Each child's immunization record is checked annually upon entry through the 12th grade to assure it is in keeping with the State Board of Education regulations. Periodically, statewide changes are made to the immunization requirements, which require additional immunizations. When this occurs, the VBSD nurses send out notices to inform parents. The current requirements are:
7th grade: In addition to the vaccine requirements listed above under Grades 1 - 12, Students must have 1 TDaP dose. Students must have 1 or 2 Varicella vaccine(s) (chicken pox vaccine) dose(s) depending on age of the entering 7th grader. A parent/guardian or Physician history of Disease is acceptable in lieu of receiving Varicella vaccine.
Kindergarten students: Students must have 4 DTaP vaccines and 3 Polio vaccines, one of which was received after the child's 4th birthday. 2 MMR vaccines are required. 2 Varicella vaccines are required. History of Chicken Pox disease is not acceptable for Kindergarten students. 3 Hepatitis B vaccines are required.
Grades 1-12: Students must have 3 DaTP vaccines and 3 Polio vaccines, one of which was received after the child's 4th birthday. 2 MMR vaccines are required. 3 Hepatitis B vaccines are required. 1 Varicella vaccine is required. A parent/guardian or physician history of disease is acceptable in lieu of receiving Varicella vaccine.
In conjunction with the Crawford County Health Implementation Office and according to the guideline set forth by the state, flu shot clinics are held at each school within the school district. This is on a voluntary basis and written parental permission is required to take part in the this clinic.
What difference do we make?
School nursing interventions improve student health to impact achievement and success. School nurses collaborate with administrators to promote a healthy, safe and nurturing environment. Parents are confident that their student’s health needs and injuries are appropriately handled during the school day. Teachers are freed up to devote their time to educating students because the School Nurse coordinates the health care needed by students.
It is our goal as School Nurses, to provide the services necessary to promote learning in the school setting. We strive on a daily basis to meet the needs of our students in a professional and timely manner. We believe family is an essential part of good health. Your input is welcome and valued. Please feel free to stop by the nurse’s office to ask questions, voice concerns, share your thoughts or exchange health information. Working together we can make our children the best they can be.
Parents – If you would like a copy of your child’s BMI results, please contact your child’s school nurse