Health Services

Charlotte County Public Schools employs four registered nurses. Our primary role as School Nurses is to support student learning. We accomplish this by implementing strategies that promote student and staff health and safety. Our school nurses serve as a liaison between education and health care; providing a link between the school, home, and community.

School

The school nurse:

• assesses the health needs of students and staff and provides appropriate and timely referrals.

• provides assessments for scoliosis, vision, hearing, dental, blood pressure, growth and development, health problems, and behaviors.

• is involved in communicable disease control through the implementation of immunization laws and screenings.

• provides emergency first aid and works with the school community to identify safety hazards and recommends prevention programs.

• is a resource for health related issues and health education; counseling for chronic illness, nutrition, disease prevention and healthy lifestyles.

• is a provider of school health services including clinic management and case management.

 

Home

• Home visits are made when necessary, taking health histories scheduling and patient-nurse conferences; help maintain consistent health awareness between school and family.

 

Community

• The school nurse collaborates with appropriate caregivers and local, state, and national social service professionals to provide a seamless system of health care services.

What services does the School Nurse provide?

• Illness and injury assessments and interventions


• Identification, assessment, planning, intervention and evaluation of student health concerns

• Health assessments/participation in Individualized Education Plan development

• Pediatric nursing procedures for students with ventilators, gastrostomy feedings, tracheotomy care, catheterization etc.

• Screening for health factors impacting student education

• Activities and education to promote health and prevent teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, tobacco use, and alcohol and substance abuse

• Chronic disease management and education

• Individualized Nursing Care Plans and services for students with disabilities and/or health conditions that interfere with learning

• Medication administration

• Assessment and interventions for students with mental health needs

• Crisis team participation

• School/community/health care provider liaison

 

Too sick for school?

A few simple questions can help clarify whether your child would do better at home or school. Kids get sick. It’s a simple and unavoidable reality. But it isn’t always simple to decide whether a given illness is a good reason to keep kids home from school. When you’re not sure if your child should go to school, consider these guidelines.

Could your child spread illness to others?

Chickenpox and live head lice are prime examples of reasons to keep your child at home.

Your child is also not likely to spread a cold. Most kids are infectious a day or two before they get their cold. Keeping kids at home after symptoms show won’t do much to prevent the virus from spreading. To minimize the spread of illness, do not send your child to school if they have:

• Diarrhea

• Vomiting

• Uncontrolled coughing

• Trouble breathing

• Fever

 

Does your child need special care?

• If the normal school environment can’t accommodate your child’s needs, he or she should stay home. Examples include an injury, such as a broken bone that hasn’t stabilized yet or an illness that requires special medical attention.

• Fevers also belong in this category. If your child’s temperature is over 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit, your child needs to be monitored at home.

• The only exception to this rule is chronic illness. If your child has regular, severe asthma, chronic headaches, or any other long-term illness that keeps him home regularly, talk to the school nurse about a plan for his/her care.

Will your child gain anything from going to school?

If your child is too sick to participate in class, staying home is best. This doesn’t mean he or she has to be a 100 percent, but your child should stand to gain something from going.

 

Other Factors

Some kids, like adults, simply aren’t morning people. This can affect how they feel both physically and emotionally. If your child asks to stay home more than once because of a minor complaint, such as a slight headache or stomachache, insist that he or she go to school anyway.

If your child stays home, but feels alert and healthy within a couple of hours, don’t give up on the whole day. Even if they’ve already missed the first three hours, take them to school.

 

Activity Restrictions at School

Physical activity is a regular part of our school curriculum. If a child has an injury or illness that requires that they be excused from activity in physical education, a physician’s order/note should be sent to the nurse and P.E. teacher. We need to be certain that any student who is recovering from an injury or illness is safe at school.

According to school guidelines, any child well enough to attend school should be well enough to participate in physical education. Fresh air and activity are important to learning. Time outside helps clear the mind and encourages further learning. Occasionally a parent will request that a student remain inside because of a “cold” or “ear infection”. Studies show that it is helpful to be outside for short periods during the time an upper respiratory infection is present. The increased humidity outdoors often helps clear congestion. As long as a child is dressed appropriately for the weather, it is not detrimental to their health to go outside for physical education. All students should bring hats and mittens to wear if the weather is cool. If physical education accommodations are needed, please consult with your physician and meet with our staff to develop an appropriate plan.

 

Guidelines for Administration of Medication in School

Charlotte County Public School personnel may give nonprescription medication to students only with the written permission of the parent or guardian each time it is necessary. Such permission shall include the name of the medication, the required dosage of the medication, and the time the medicine is to be given. Such medicine must be provided by the parent/guardian, it must be in the original container and delivered to the principal, school nurse, or school division designee by the parent/guardian of the student (High school students may bring the medication to school as long as the guidelines below are followed).

Self-administration of any medication is prohibited for students in grades kindergarten through fifth grade. In the middle school, self–administration of any medication is also prohibited, with the exception of asthma inhalers. At the high school level, self administration of any prescription medication is prohibited, again with the exception of the inhalers. Inhalers may be self-administered only with parent and physician approval. See your school nurse for the necessary documentation if your child needs to carry an inhaler at school.

Sharing, borrowing, distributing, manufacturing, or selling any medication is prohibited. Permission to self-administer non-prescription medication may be revoked if the student violates this policy and the student may be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the Standards of Student Conduct.


The policy for prescription medications and the self-administration of medications remains unchanged. It is as follows:

Charlotte County Public School personnel may give prescription medication to students only with a physician’s written order and written permission from the student’s parent or guardian. Such medicine must be in the original container and delivered to the principal, school nurse, or school division designee by the parent/guardian of the student through grade 8. High school students may deliver to school designee. For your convenience, when picking up a prescription, we suggest that you have the pharmacist label 2 bottles or containers, one for home and one for school.

 

Administration of Antibiotics at School

It is common for antibiotics to be prescribed for children during the school year. Many times they are to be given three times a day. If this is the case, we request that you keep the antibiotic at home. It can be given first thing in the morning, as soon as the child comes home from school, and again at bedtime. If your child is older and must stay after school for activities, it is fine to send the antibiotic to school. If you send medication to school, please be sure that it is always accompanied by a note stating that you give the school permission to administer it and at what time the next dose is due.

 

Health Screenings

It is our goal, as school nurses, to assist our students in maintaining good health so that they will achieve in school. We do health screenings on all students in grades kindergarten through tenth at the start of each school year. If we find any irregularities, we will contact you by letter and/or call you. Please feel free to contact your child’s nurse if you have any questions at any time.

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