"You cannot educate a child who is not healthy, and you cannot keep a child healthy who is not educated." This statement by the former US Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders, MD, clearly illustrates the very essence of the school nurse's mission. Wellness does not just matter - it is critical. It is critical not just for the student, but for teachers and staff as well. The school health program emphasizes the interaction of health and wellness with education and learning. Our goal is to enable academic, social, physical, and emotional success by stressing prevention of disease and promotion of health and safety through individual counseling, education, and service.
Objectives of a Coordinated School Health Program:
• Health Services – Serves as the coordinator of the health services program, provides nursing care, and advocates for health rights.
• Health Education – Provides appropriate health information that promotes informed health care decisions, promotes health, prevents disease, and enhances school performance.
• Environment – Identifies health and safety concerns in the school community and promotes a safe and nurturing school environment.
• Nutrition - Supports school food service programs and promotes the benefits of healthy eating patterns.
• Physical Education/Activity – Promotes healthy activities, physical education, and sports policies/practices that promote safety and good sportsmanship.
• Counseling/Mental Health – Provides health counseling, assesses mental health needs, provides interventions, refers students to appropriate school staff or community agencies, and provides follow-up once treatment is prescribed.
• Parent/Community Involvement – Promotes community participation in assuring a healthy school and serves as a school liaison to a health advisory committee.
• Staff Wellness – Provides health education and counseling, promotes healthy activities and environment for school staff.