With whom should Ms. Valens collaborate?
Page 4: Collaborates with Families, School Personnel, and Community Professionals
Because greater numbers of students with increasingly complex medical conditions are participating in general education, healthcare providers must work closely with educators to ensure that such students are able to receive an education in the least-restrictive environment.
The school nurse often has knowledge of both the health and education fields, and so he or she acts as a case manager for students. The school nurse helps to communicate a child’s unique health needs to the student, the family, education systems, and healthcare providers, and also facilitates the collaborative process among the individuals or groups. As a case manager, the school nurse might have responsibilities that involve taking on the role of:
- Community liaison
- Health and illness interpreter to school personnel
- Direct and indirect care provider
- Student advocate
- Educator for students, families, and school personnel
Back to the Challenge: Dylan in Detail
Follow-up: Ms. Valens should follow up after Dylan’s seizure to prevent future occurrences. First, Ms. Valens should set up a meeting with Mrs. Sanger, Dylan, Ms. Worley, and Mrs. Carpenter, the UAP. When she meets with them, she will need to do three things:
- Identify the problem
- Why wasn’t the ECP followed when Dylan had his seizure? Answer: Ms. Worley panicked and could not remember what was on the ECP.
- Identify a solution
- Ms. Worley should keep a copy of the ECP in an easily accessible file.
- The first thing Ms. Worley should do if faced with another health emergency is refer to the ECP.
- Ms. Valens should review all points of the ECP to make sure Ms. Worley understands what should take place.
- Summarize the meeting
To carry out his or her responsibilities as case manager, the school nurse coordinates with families, school personnel, and community professionals about students’ health issues so that students are able to focus on their educations. The diagram below illustrates this relationship.
This graphic shows a school nurse at the center of a green circle and illustrates the way in which he or she connects to school personnel, families, and the community in order to support and help students through their health issues. The graphics representing school personnel, families, and community are all linked to the school nurse with double-headed purple arrows to further emphasize the reciprocal nature of these relationships.
Collaboration with Families
The school nurse works to maintain open lines of communication between the families of students with special health needs and the school through telephone calls, written communication, and face-to-face visits. It is the nurse’s responsibility to:
- Gather data from family members regarding the student’s health issues
- Develop a plan to communicate new medical information between home and school
- Include family members in all major decisions regarding the care the child receives at school
Below is an example of a communication log, which is a great way for the family to keep in touch with the school nurse and the teacher. This could be part of the notebook that goes back and forth between home and school.
Child’s Name: Josh Nash
Josh ate a good breakfast __ Yes __ No
Josh had a good sleep last night __ Yes __ No
Josh took his medications this morning __ Yes __ No
Josh had a regular bowel movement this week __ Yes __ No
Josh appears to be feeling well __ Yes __ No
Other information I would like you to know:
Collaboration with School Personnel
School nurses who work with school personnel in regard to students with disabilities must:
- Communicate regularly with the principal and school personnel who work with the student.
- Educate school personnel about issues related to the student’s health issues.
- Educate school staff on health issues and procedures that may impact the student’s behavior when there is a change of routine.
In addition to providing services for students with disabilities who have special healthcare needs, the school nurse—as a health expert within the school environment—works with school personnel to develop health policies and programs, to promote a healthy school environment, and to carry out health education for the students and staff.
Collaboration with Community Professionals
For Your Information
Confidentiality is crucial. A student’s personal information should be shared only with individuals involved in meeting his or her educational and healthcare needs.