School Health Services are established at the school site to promote the health of students through disease prevention, early case finding, referral for intervention and remediation of specific health problems. The school health services are vitally necessary in order to provide direct services for students with special needs, and to provide health counseling and education for students, staff and parents.
To this end a professionally prepared School Nurse plans, implements, and evaluates the school's Health Services Program based on the health and educational needs of the students and the school community.
Purpose of the School Health Services Program
The primary purpose of the School Health Services Program is to promote the physical and emotional health of students and staff thereby maximizing the educational process. School Health Services are intended to play an integral part in support of the health care provided by parents and health instruction provided by teachers; indeed, the School Nurse often serves as the student's vital link to medical and other community resources.
The Goals of the School Health Services Program are to:
- Facilitate students' access to a regular source of primary health care
- Provide a system for expert handling of emergency medical situations
- Provide mandated health screening programs and monitor or improve immunization status
- Assist in the identification and resolution of students' health and educational problems
- Ensure comprehensive and appropriate health education is provided
- Promote a healthful and safe environment, which facilitates learning
- Provide a system for evaluation of the effectiveness of the school health program.
These goals form a framework for the development of specific program activities. A school needs--an assessment and inventory of existing and potential community resources--will identify priorities most crucial to each unique school district. The outcomes of an effective School Health Services Program should have measurable impact on students, staff, and community.