What additional information would be important for Mr. Logan to know as a school nurse?
Page 5: Advocacy
Advocacy should be a natural part of a school nurse’s daily routine. School nurses play an important role in advocating for students within the school environment. In addition, school nurses need to promote their own visibility within the school community in order to be accessible to others who might have questions regarding students’ needs.
Advocating for Students
Advocating for students involves two main activities. School nurses should educate others about different healthcare needs that students may have. School nurses should also promote students’ ability to access the school curriculum to the greatest extent possible. The table below gives illustrative examples of these activities.
|Educating Others||Mr. Logan knows that Megan’s blood-glucose levels can affect her learning. For instance, low blood glucose may impair her ability to focus or concentrate. If these circumstances arise for Megan, Mr. Logan can define medical terms related to type 1 diabetes for school staff and can talk about how her disability might impact Megan’s learning in the classroom.|
|Promoting Access||In some instances, Mr. Logan may take on an activist role for his students. For example, at Carrington Middle School, one teacher insists that Megan take her mid-morning snack at the end of class so as not to disturb the class. This teacher has attended a training regarding the importance of scheduled snacks for Megan, so the teacher knows that Megan needs scheduled snacks. However, for one reason or another, this teacher is not responding adequately to Megan’s needs. At this point, Mr. Logan’s role is to ensure that Megan receives her snack at the appropriate time.|
In addition to advocating for students, school nurses must make conscientious efforts to promote themselves to others—such as school board members, teachers, staff, and parents or guardians. This gives school nurses a chance to educate others about their roles as well as about the different services they can provide. Following are some ways that Mr. Logan could promote his visibility within the school:
- Conduct a short presentation for faculty and staff.
- Attend school functions.
- Provide health-related informational sessions for the school community.
Here are some ideas about what you, as the school nurse, can do to promote visibility:
- Let staff know your availability to provide training on different types of disabilities.
- Write a weekly column for the school newspaper that addresses health-related topics.
- Create a school or community bulletin board that visually represents your role and responsibilities and that describes your versatility and availability.
- Create a school or community Web page that defines your role and makes users aware of your scope of practice and available services.