School nurses utilize each student contact as an opportunity for health education. Students are encouraged to develop responsibility for the personal health. Nurses also serve as resource persons to classroom teachers in conducting health education sessions. We must remember that we cannot separate health from the ability to learn. The two must go together.
The complex process of promoting health and wellness for students, faculty, and staff is a challenge to school nurses and other school health care providers. Children often come to school with a variety of health needs, problems, and conditions, and students may require first aid or attention to minor health problems during the school day.
A successful school health program focuses on school and community needs and attempts to fill those needs as much as possible. Frequently performed activities include first aid; managing the illnesses of students and school staff; controlling communicable disease; assisting in crisis and high-risk situations such as child abuse, suicide threat, or attempts, and substance abuse; evaluating severe trauma and medical emergencies; administering medications during the school hours; and providing nursing procedures and necessary care for students with special health needs.