"A child must be healthy to learn and a child must learn to be healthy." (Massachusetts Department of Public Health)
The mission of the school nurses in the Acton Public Schools and Acton-Boxborough Regional Schools is to promote the safety and wellness of more than 5500 students and more than 800 staff during the school day in order to optimize learning. Typically, the school nurses care for an average total of 300 students and staff each school day.
- Provide nursing assessment, diagnosis, and care for students who are ill or injured, or have chronic medical conditions
- Develop individual health care plans in collaboration with students, parents/guardians, and physicians for students with asthma, diabetes, life-threatening allergies, seizures, and other chronic and acute health issues
- Collaborate with school physicians on school-wide health issues
- Conduct state-mandated annual vision, hearing, postural, and BMI screenings with communication as needed to parents/guardians
- Review physical exams and immunizations as required by state law
- Coordinate health information for students participating in athletics and band
- Communicate to the school community regarding urgent health issues and changes in state laws affecting health in the schools
- Compile data and submit reports to the district and state department of public health regarding number of student and staff visits to health offices
- Educate students individually and in the classroom on a variety of topics, including infection control, hygiene, human growth and development, normal anatomy and physiology, nutrition
- Participate in Child Study, Student Assistance Team, Special Education TEAM meetings and Section 504 meetings as needed
- Provide annual flu vaccine clinic to staff
In recent years, research has highlighted major societal, legal, and medical technological changes and their effect on the demand for school health services. These changes include: (1) increased awareness of the relationship between health and educational achievement: (2) improved medical technology; (3) increase in the number of students with special health care needs combined with an increase in condition severity in these students; (4) rapid restructuring of the health care delivery system; (5) laws requiring inclusion; (6) changes in family structure and patterns of parental employment; (7) rise in social morbidities such as substance abuse, depression, and violence among children; and (8) impact of diverse cultural and linguistic groups.