Joliet Public Schools District 86 maintains a staff of nurses who work to serve the health needs of children, their parents and the school. The school nurse meets these needs through careful health evaluation and assessment, public awareness functions, and program development.
For the child, the school nurse assesses and evaluates the child’s health and development status. Health needs are identified, priorities established and a nursing action plan developed. If medication or treatment is necessary at school, the nurse follows through regarding action and side effects of prescribed medication and treatment to see that the child’s health needs are being met. The school nurse also develops programs to teach healthy students how they may maintain and improve their health.
Parents can look to the nursing staff for counseling on the special health needs of their child and on normal growth and development patterns. Often the school nurse must interpret the results of medical findings and also offer assistance in developing a plan of action. This may involve motivating parents to seek out appropriate resources concerning their child’s health or distributing and discussing current health education materials with the parents.
Besides interpreting and maintaining current health records, the nursing staff aids the school in a number of capacities. They serve as a resource person for health and safety curriculum and make medical referrals and provides follow up on all referrals. The school nurse may also conduct health and developmental histories as part of the evaluation or reevaluation process to determine special education eligibility.