Some children may never know their school nurse – they won’t have one.

Do you remember who your school nurse was?

I don’t.

There was a room that not a lot of people went into. I didn’t know what it was really – and it seems that all to commonly the people in those rooms are school nurses and they are hidden.

You don’t know they are there until you really need them.

I’d of loved to know the name of my school nurse. When would they be there to talk to? What were they there for?

It would have made a big difference.

But unfortunately this problem could get worse. Some children may never know their school nurse – because they won’t have one.

There’s a lot of cuts at the moment within health and social care and it is hitting school nurses.

Your local council can now commission such services as health visitors and school nurses.

They must commission these vital services.

But why?

Here’s a few reasons from my own experience.

  1. Sometimes you don’t want to go to a teacher or your peers. You may have a specific issue. A nurse may be able to help with it. If there isn’t one there then the problem could get worse. A nurse can be seen as a trusted individual. It’s another person to talk to. I’d have liked to know my school nurse.
  2. School nurses work across education and health. They essentially provide the important link between school, home and the community. They have a “bridging role.”  If that link was broken then transition may not be so easy for children and young people. If there’s a health issue then this can be passed on to a school nurse from home and vice-versa. It’s an important role and takes weight off other professionals who work in education, in my opinion.
  3. School nurses work with families. Family working is so important especially during childhood – and in adolescence too of course! Joint-up working with families and their children helps to foster support and guidance at home.
  4. They also have a public health role. They can educate. They can raise awareness of a wide variety of issues that affect students. But it’s not all about prevention, it’s also about intervention through promotion of healthy living, including safe-sex education. We need that.

There are so many more reasons – but you may be thinking why do you care?

Well in my role as a public speaker I come across many different types of nurses – I always come across school nurses and have made some great professional friends from that. I’ve also met people who work within Government services to help school nurses.

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© Sophie Dishman.

That’s me and Wendy Nicholson. Wendy supports school nurses and is a real advocate for the issues affecting them. But the issues that affect school nurses – like cuts, will come down to affect children and young people.

Thousands of children benefit from school nurses – from those that have physical health problems such as asthma or disabilities to those that have extra caring responsibilities at home. I did when I was at school but I couldn’t talk to anyone about it.

We need to keep school nurses. Not cut them.

YPE

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