The primary purpose of the school nurse is to help well children to remain at school and to identify those children who are sick and need to be at home to recover. We support children with chronic health problems by administering the medications and treatments they need to maintain each day while learning. Of course, there are those bumps and scrapes that happen throughout the day that must be attended to as well. Nurses teach in the classrooms on health-related topics as time allows. This is all with the goal of working together with parents and teachers to promote the best health of our students which in turn, promotes their best learning.
Medication administration is an important component of the school nurses' responsibility and must be done in accordance with state law under our licensure. For safety, medications should not be sent to school on the bus with the student; medication should always be delivered to school by the parent. The Medication Authorization Form must be completed, signed by the doctor and parent, and submitted along with the medication for the school nurse to be authorized to administer during school hours. This is true for over-the-counter medications as well as prescriptions. Medications must be in a properly labeled bottle. All students with severe food allergies that require epinephrine must have a Food Allergy Emergency Action Plan completed and submitted to the nurse as well. Both forms are available on the New Lenox School District website.
Should my child stay home? Remember the 24 hour rule. After a fever of 100 degrees or above, after vomiting or diarrhea, after starting an antibiotic for a contagious illness, and for general recovery and rest, students should stay home for 24 hours. This not only allows time for recuperation, it reduces the chances of illness continuing to spread at school or provides time for an antibiotic to begin to work. We all must work together to keep our student population well.
Your school nurse is available any time for questions or concerns. Please call my office at 815-462-7812 any time from 8:45 AM - 4:00 PM. Please leave a message on voicemail if you do not reach me and I will return your call as soon as possible.