In the state of Maryland, school nurses function as a part of the school’s multidisciplinary team to bridge the gap between health, wellness, and learning. Working with parents, school staff, and other health professionals, the school nurse provides services for students that promote optimum health for academic success. The school nurse provides the expertise to identify, assess, plan, implement, and evaluate the health needs of the school community. Program emphasis is directed toward prevention of disease and promotion of health utilizing health services, health counseling, and health education, including prevention strategies. School nurses support students with chronic illnesses to be able to attend school and reduce interruptions to their learning. They also identify and provide plans and treatments for students with special health needs, so they are able to attend school. In addition, school nurses play an integral role in assisting families to access health care for their children.
School Health Services in Frederick County Public Schools are delivered by the Frederick County Health Department, utilizing a cluster model of service delivery. School nurses are Registered Nurses (RN) who serve as the leaders of the school health team in each school. Each Registered Nurse supervises and provides health services for 2 to 3 schools. A dedicated Health Room Technician (HRT) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) is assigned to every school health room and carries out the day to day provision of health services to students. HRTs and LPNs are carry out the day to day operations of the school health room and are responsible for the following:
- Providing first aid to students in need
- Responding to medical emergencies within the school
- Administering required treatments and medications to students
- Communicating with parents as needed
- Reporting to the school nurse
Health Room Technicians (HRTs) are Certified in School Health Services as Nursing Assistants (CNA) and Medication Technicians (CMT) by the Maryland Board of Nursing. The LPN is an independently functioning nurse who is supervised by the Registered School Nurse. LPNs are assigned to some school health rooms instead of an HRT. In addition to the responsibilities above, the LPN performs nursing tasks and augments nursing services that can’t be delegated to HRTs.