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American Academy Of Pediatrics Recommends One Full Time Nurse For Every School

First Posted: May 24, 2016 04:40 AM EDT
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The new policy statement of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) commends for a one full-time registered in each school.

Health Care reports that the statement was printed online in the issue of Pediatrics on May 23 and June 2016. The AAP before advocated ratios of school nurse to 750 healthy students and one nurse for every 225 students who need daily nursing assistance. On the other hand, these ratios do not meet the health needs of the students now, according to the policy.

Anne Sheetz, the co-author of the study said that as student health needs became more complex, the school nursing role has expanded to include additional responsibilities. Meanwhile, Dr. Breena Welch Holmes, the lead author of the policy statement and chair of the AAP Council on School Health explained that school nursing is one of the most effective ways to keep children healthy and in school to prevent chronic absenteeism.

Medscape reports that the AAP policy statement also urges for a one school physician in every district. The authors stated that the pediatricians and the school nurses are working together as a team based care. The pediatricians can involve the school nurses as key team members in the provision of care.

The nurses can foster coordination of care and relate the students and their families to the medical home. Sheetz further explained that the school nurses aid in managing chronic conditions and develop individualized health care plans for each student.

Furthermore, the student's health must be overseen. This also applies to medical conditions that need help from the school nurse such as life-threatening allergies, asthma, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, diabetes and seizures. The other duties of nurses also include emergency preparedness and health education, according to AAP.

In a previous study in 2007, only 45 percent of public schools had a full-time nurse. And 30 percent had one working part-time.

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