The Ohio State Board of Education is about to repeal the five of eight standard. That means that schools in Ohio will no longer be required, by law, to have one school nurse for every 1,000 students. Schools may, or may not, choose to have school nurses to attend to the student body’s needs.
This likely means that many school nurses around the state will be fired, or their positions will not be filled when the current nurse leaves. As school districts struggle over budget deficits and the needs to spend money in other areas such as technology, they can now decide to release their nurses and use their pay elsewhere.
This is alarming to many. Some of the duties that a school nurse performs includes:
- Treating injured children- If a student has a cut, scrape or broken bone, the first line of treatment rests with the nurse.
- Passing out medications- By law, every student’s prescribed medication must be securely stored, by state law. It is the school nurse who is assigned the role of storing those meds, and making sure that the kids take them. As roughly 15% of students are on some type of prescribed medicine, this is a very important job.
- Immunizations- One role of the school nurse is to make sure that the kids keep up with their required immunizations. They check their records to make sure that they are current, and work with the parents when they see that immunizations are needed.
- Support- School nurses not only provide physical aide where it is needed, they also provide a level of emotional support. When a child is having problems, and emotionally unstable, it is the school nurse that they often turn to for assistance.
Of course this appeal of the current laws does not mean that they will all be fired, but each school and school district will now have the ability to release them as they see fit. Hopefully, most (if not all) of the schools realize the important role that the nurses play in their students’ lives.
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