School nurses know how important it is to keep an accurate health file on each student. Health information that is easily available, up to date and accurate can be lifesaving. Whether your school maintains electronic medical records or paper files, it’s essential to make sure your student files are organized. In addition, keeping your school nurse’s office organized is critical to being able to access information and supplies promptly when they are needed most.
Whether you are reorganizing your entire nurse office or health center, or simply updating your student health records, these school nurse organization ideas can help!
School Nurse Electronic Health Records Organization Tips
As with all health records, maintaining confidentiality is also critical. Be sure that you are following school policies and federal laws when sharing any medical information. There may be instances where you need to share pertinent health information with other staff, but that does not mean a staff member, such as a teacher, should have access to the student’s entire health record.
When putting together a student’s health record, the information needs to be accurate and objective to allow the school to meet the health requirements of the child. A health record should include the following:
Information regarding the student’s health history should be included in the health record. The information should be completed by parents or guardians. The health history should also include any health records from other schools the child attended.
Most schools have policies regarding immunizations required for students to attend school. You also need to keep any immunization waivers that are signed by parents refusing vaccines.
If a student is required to have a physical on file to play sports, make sure you include it in the health record. Some schools require a new physical signed at the start of each school year to play sports. Make sure you check your school policies, so health records are current.
Consent to treat
At the start of the school year, be sure each student has a consent to treat form signed by their parent or legal guardian on file.
Laws vary by state on whether school nurses can administer medication that a student has a doctor’s prescription to take. Some states allow schools to set their own policies. Other states allow school nurses to administer medication only if the child cannot self-administer. Check with your district to determine your school’s policy. If a child has prescription medication, make sure information on the drug, dosage, and frequency is in the child’s record.
Medical referrals and recommendations
Document information on any medical referrals or recommendations you have made for a student. Also, follow your school’s policy for charting any medical incidents or treatment a child receives while at school.
Action plan (optional)
An action plan is the information which is needed to treat a student for a condition they have. The plan helps teachers, staff, and school nurses be prepared to deal with a student’s complex health needs. An action plan is usually only needed if a student has a chronic medical condition, such as diabetes, asthma, or epilepsy. The plan provides treatment guidelines, which helps everyone involved have a better understanding of what to do if the need for treatment arises. For example, if a student has asthma, an action plan may include which inhaled medications to administer if the child has a severe asthma attack.
School Nurse Office Ideas
When it comes to being organized as a school nurse, organizing your files is a huge component of creating a compliant and functional space. However, your school’s nurse’s office or health center should also be organized to make things more manageable and functional for you and others in your office.
Here are a few school nurse office organization ideas that can help you make the most of your space and your time!
Keep Items Grouped By Needs
When setting up your supplies, group items by potential needs, like diabetes supplies or first aid supplies. If you have a specific basket, shelf, or drawer that are designated spaces where you store the items for your specific needs, you can locate the one you need and have everything in one place from the start. This is also helpful if your students need to have access to their own supplies or if you have multiple nurses in the same space.
Emergency Supplies Within Reach:
Keep your emergency supplies close by and within reach for your and for anyone else that may need quick access. For example, you will want to keep a supply of epinephrine autoinjectors close by in the event of an emergency allergic reaction. Also, it is important to have medical kits placed in appropriate locations for emergency preparedness.
Create a Self-Care Station for Your Students
Creating a “self-care” station for your students is a great way to encourage self-care and also to allow your students to help themselves to things they may need for minor ailments. For example, you can create a station that has things like lip balm, band-aids, lotion, and tissues and details on when and how to use them!
Have Resources Available for Students and Families
Creating a space in your office where you have pamphlet and resources available for your students, families and staff can help streamline getting these resources to the people who need them. In this space you can have different resources about mental health support, diabetes, childhood weight management, allergic reactions, and more.
Ensure You Have a Locked Cabinet For Records
Be sure that you have a safe and complaint cabinet for all your student health records and that you and all staff know what documents should be held here.