Bureaucracy Leaves School Kids Behind – Nurses Can’t

by SKHC Editor on December 26, 2006

Has anyone ever asked you to describe a “typical” day in the drama that is school nursing?  Did you find it extremely difficult?  I find it impossible!  We all know there is no “typical” day.  For those of us who are “newbies”, every chance encounter can be a challenge.  For those of us who are veterans, the challenge comes when we are lulled into complacency and suddenly find ourselves in the middle of a situation that we have never before encountered – which happens more often than any of us care to admit.  We need to be advocates for our nursing specialty and in so doing, we become advocates for the health care of children.  Each of us has different strengths and competencies to offer when we arrive at school nursing’s door, but all of us are about kids.  We know that a child has to be healthy to be educated and educated to be healthy, but do we spread that message beyond the doors of the health room, or do we rest on our laurels, expecting others to see the need?  Certainly, it is admirable to advocate for children by modeling a competent set of skills and a caring demeanor, but it isn’t enough!Please share with me and your school nursing colleagues your thoughts and ideas on the specific things you have accomplished in an advocacy role.  We can all use some fresh ideas and a different perspective, from time to time.

Remember…the re-authorization of the legislation that brought us “No Child Left Behind” is coming in 2007.  School nurses need to double their advocacy efforts by making their presence known and by speaking out with one, resounding voice!

Contact your state school nurses organization or the National Association of School Nurses www.nasn.org to find out what you can do to bring the health care of children to the top of our country’s priority list and then we will leave no child behind.

Twyla Lato, RN, BSN, NCSN is a School District Nurse for a suburban community in southeast Wisconsin, and a past president of the Wisconsin Association of School Nurses. 

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