School nurses are employed for the purpose of rendering such services as prescribed in the Pennsylvania School Code in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The certified school nurse provides nursing care to the school community in accordance with current Pennsylvania nursing standards.
Direct services include:
- Providing and documenting nursing assessment, diagnosis and treatment. Treatment is as prescribed by the school physician.
- Performing and documenting PA state-mandated screenings to include growth screenings, vision screenings and hearing screenings.
- Coordinating and documenting both private and school physical and dental examinations.
- Managing and controlling acute and chronic diseases, including monitoring of required immunizations.
- Delegating appropriately to ancillary staff the performance of care and procedures.
School health services are, in part, intended to be preventative in nature through providing individual health teaching and counseling. The duties and functions of school nurses are determined, in large part, by the health conditions of the population they serve.
The Pennsylvania School Health screening program includes the following:
- Each student is weighed and measured every year starting in kindergarten. In addition, a Body Mass Index (BMI) for age percentile is calculated on all students.
- Each student has a near and far vision test every year.
- Each student has a hearing test in kindergarten and Grades 1, 2, 3, 7 and 11. Hearing tests are done yearly on those identified as special education students. In addition, hearing tests are done yearly on those students identified as having hearing problems.
- Scoliosis screening is done in Grades 6 and 7.