Why Every District Needs School Nursing Services

Written by Terri Brinston
July 13, 2023
Why every district needs school nursing services

As a young girl, I remember suffering from terrible anxiety. Back then I did not know what I was struggling with. I just knew it was scary. This overwhelming feeling would come over me. It would start gradually as my heart would start pounding in my chest. My heartbeat was so aggressive that I could hear it in my ears. It was so loud that I would look around to see if anyone else could hear it. My palms would start sweating and I felt this tightnesss in my throat, making it difficult for me to breathe. As I sat in my seat trying not to attract any attention to myself, I could feel a buildup of panic overtaking me. I remember taking my hand and covering my mouth to prevent myself from screaming in agony. It was horrible. Finally, my teacher would notice what must have been a terrifying demeanor and instructed me to go see the School Nurse.

There was something about our school nurse that instantly calmed me. Ma
ybe it was her gentle spirit or the way she knew what to do. I could always count on her being available when I needed her. She was like a mom away from home. She didn’t judge me or make me feel as if I wasn’t normal. She was someone who understood what I was going through without me having to explain.

Unfortunately, like me, many children and adolescents suffer from chronic health conditions today. They spend
 many hours in school and depend on trained school staff and a healthy school environment to help them manage their conditions. Based on a report produced by the CDC, about 25% of children in the United States aged 2 to 8 years have chronic health conditions such as asthma, obesity, other physical conditions, and behavior/learning problems. The healthcare needs of children with chronic illness can be complex and continuous and include both daily management and addressing potential emergencies. A school nurse is the only school faculty that is focused 100% of the time on the health and wellbeing of the students and staff. They not only make sure that the school complies with state and federal requirements, 
but
they also exceed the minimum expectations and promote best practices.

D
ata collected by the Michigan School Nurses Association (MASN) through a school superintendent survey in 2011 indicates that approximately only 27% of Michigan school districts have a school nurse available to students at
least part of the time. Although there is no statutory requirement for Michigan schools to employ a nurse
, Federal law requires schools to provide related nursing services by guaranteeing access to education and related services to assist children with disabilities who benefit from special education per 34 CFR Part 300 Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1997 (IDEA). Additionally, Section 504 of, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protects the rights of children with special healthcare needs (CSHCN) by providing related services, including health services, to those not eligible for special education.

When a School Nurse is not available to provide health services to students, this respons
ibility is legally assigned by the school principal to other staff, usually office staff or other paraprofessionals. Some districts include health services delivery as a responsibility of teachers and/or secretaries. Although this responsibility can be delegated to school staff, proper training is required by a registered nurse. If a student requires a healthrelated service because, of an eligible health concern, the school should investigate the need for an Individualized Education Plan or a 504 Accommodation Plan and seek proper training for their staff.

A fulltime nurse would be the best choice for a school system, but with tight budgets, it can be a challenge. Many schools are turning to an outsourced qualified nursing service to provide them with:

● Health education, health resources, and wellness programs
State and federal compliance support

● Case management, health, and mental health services

● Consulting for health concerns
A link between healthcare providers, families, staff, and community agencies

Let MSN be your medical support provider

Understanding the MHSAA Requirements: A Coach’s Responsibility

All varsity, junior varsity, and 9th-grade head coaches are mandated to maintain a valid CPR certification, a requirement tracked by the school athletic director. This certification is on par with meeting risk management course requirements for assistant and sub-varsity coaches. The Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) requires athletic directors to confirm these certifications each season through MHSAA.com.

Failure to meet these requirements before the specified deadlines can have significant consequences. Coaches who fall short risk being prohibited from coaching in that season’s MHSAA tournament for their respective sports. Furthermore, they won’t be allowed to be present at the facility where the tournament involving their sports team is held.

Comprehensive Solutions for CPR Certification with My School Nurse

Navigating these requirements can be a daunting task for athletic directors and coaching staff. Enter My School Nurse, a pioneering solution dedicated to making CPR certification seamless and convenient for high school coaches.

Convenient Training

My School Nurse understands the demanding schedules of coaches. Our CPR training programs are tailored to your team’s availability, ensuring minimal disruption to your coaching staff’s busy calendar. We bring the expertise directly to your location, making the certification process convenient and efficient. We also provide blended learning options. An approach that combines online with physical place-based classroom methods. This reduces training scheduling time.

National Outreach

While we specialize in meeting the specific requirements set by MHSAA, we encourage athletic directors in other states to review their individual state requirements. My School Nurse extends its comprehensive on-site and blended learning CPR training services nationwide, ensuring that coaches across the country can benefit from our expertise

Conclusion: Prioritize Safety with My School Nurse

In the fast-paced world of high school sports, ensuring the safety of both athletes and coaches is non-negotiable. My School Nurse not only facilitates compliance with MHSAA regulations but also extends its commitment to safety and well-being to coaches nationwide. Schedule your on-site CPR training with My School Nurse today and prioritize safety on and off the field.

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