Sunday, September 24, 2023

Relaxation Room for Students with Anxiety

How The School Nurse Used DonorsChoose to Fund a Relaxation Room for Students; especially those with anxiety.

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Hopefully Helpful School Nurse Tip: Anxiety is a mental health issue that affects many people, including teenagers. Actually, anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders among teenagers.  Approximately 1 in 3 teenagers experiences some form of anxiety during their teenage years. Read on to see how I used a DonorsChoose project to create a Relaxation Room for my students who experience anxiety during the school day.

Inspired by my school’s Sensory Room, I created a Relaxation Room! This room was FULLY FUNDED by my 10th DonorsChoose project & is available to all students at my school 😊  Get all the details & watch the video below ⬇️ 

The Relaxation Room Project 
As school nurses, you've probably experienced a student complaining of anxiety. The symptoms can vary, but many include physical symptoms such as: headaches, stomach aches and muscle tension. Some students may cry, feel short of breath and feel nervous. In addition, some students may complain of excessive worrying, feeling restless, having trouble sleeping, feeling irritable, and having difficulty concentrating. 

My options used to be limited if the student denied school counseling services yet still wanted to try and stay at school.  Not anymore thanks to a fully funded DonorsChoose project!  Now, my students have another option- ten minutes (phone free) in the new Relaxation Room. 

Even though this room is small (maybe 8 feet x 8 feet) & it also has a sink, a door to a water closet (toilet only), and several vintage filing cabinets, it is the perfect size for this project. 

The relaxation room is complete with a reclining massage chair, side table with built in outlets, a galaxy light projector, and a calming 4 foot tall, fake fish tank! The first day of use this room made a positive impact! See how DonorsChoose helped me turn an old cot room from drab to fab!  

Can School Nurses Create DonorsChoose Projects?

DonorsChoose is available to most public school staff; check with your school district for their particular guidelines. Then you can read all about the projects I've completed HERE & start your very own project HERE!

The three main reasons I love using DonorsChoose are: 

  1. DonorsChoose is very user friendly! They provide you with step-by-step directions. 
  2. DonorsChoose collects all donated money. They purchase the items you've selected.
  3. DonorsChoose has the items shipped directly to your public school!

To date, I've received over $4,600 in funding to purchase items for my school nurse office & you can too! I advertise my projects on my personal Facebook page and ask friends and families to share with others. I have received donations from friends, families, businesses, and even strangers who are looking to support public schools!

start your very own project HERE

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Saturday, August 26, 2023

Meet The School Nurse

Templates For A Meet The School Nurse Letter

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Hopefully Helpful School Nurse Tip: Many school nurse enjoy creating "Meet the School Nurse" letters for the beginning of the year. Guess what?  I'm not one of them, but I wrote this blog post for those of you who are :)

Why create a Meet The School Nurse Letter

There are quite a few reasons that creating a Meet The School Nurse letter is an excellent idea. I just don't do it because I use this instead!

However, many school nurses prefer a simplified one page meet the school nurse letter and hear are a few excellent reasons why!

  1. First, an "about me" welcome to school letter can help establish a positive relationship between the school nurse and the students and their families. By sharing some personal information, such as hobbies, interests, and background, you can create a more approachable and friendly persona, which can help put students and families at ease. 

  2. Second, this type of letter can help communicate the school nurse's nursing background and student health goals for the school year. This is a great time to outline some of the key objectives of the nurse's office, office expectation, medication guidelines, and can help students and families understand what the school health requirements are, what can be expected during  a nurse office visit, and when / how to expect to receive future communication from you.

  3. Finally, an "about me" letter can help build a sense of community. By sharing some information, the school nurse can encourage students and families to share their health concern & questions, which can help foster a sense of belonging and connection.

Are you interested in a Meet The School Nurse letter?

If you're creative and have some free time then you can create your own templates. If you're trying to save time or lost all your creativity because you're to focused on collecting school physicals (!) then I've listed some editable options for you below!

Meet The School Nurse Templates on Etsy


Meet The School Nurse Templates by me on TPT 


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Sunday, August 13, 2023

Individualized Healthcare Plans and The School Nurse

A brief overview of IHPs & School Nurses

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Hopefully Helpful School Nurse Tip: Are you interested in learning more about IHPs; what they are, how to write them, and how to save time writing them?  If so, then this DOASN blog post is for you- keep reading...

IHP Overview

Real quick, the terms "health care" and "healthcare" are often used interchangeably, but there is a subtle difference in meaning between the two terms. The word phrase "health care" typically refers to the process of supplying medical services to treat illness or injury; whereas "healthcareis a broader term that includes not only medical care, but also the promotion of general health and well-being through preventative measures. It makes sense then that school nurses are responsible for developing Individualized Healthcare Plans (IHP) for many of their students.  

So, Individualized Healthcare Plans in the school setting not only discuss medical care, but also interventions to promote the overall health of a specific student. Based on the nursing process and initiated by a school nurse, IHPs are written by a school nurse for nursing staff. The information included in the IHP is used to create other school health related plans that may be needed for health, safety, and academic success for the specific student.

IHPs must included information that is compliant with the state nurse practice act and standards of school nursing for the state specific in which it is written. According to the National Association of School Nurses, an IHP:
"It is the position of the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) that the registered professional school nurse (hereinafter referred to as school nurse) initiates and develops an Individualized Healthcare Plan (IHP) for students whose healthcare needs require more complex school nursing services.  An IHP is a plan of care written by the registered nurse for students with or at risk for physical or mental health needs (ANA & NASN, 2017).  It is the responsibility of the school nurse to annually evaluate the IHP, as well as to update the plan if deemed appropriate, to reflect changes in the student’s healthcare needs and address nursing interventions and/or student healthcare outcomes." NASN, 2023 IHP Position Statement

IHP Templates

Use IHP templates to help yourself save some much needed time! Speaking of time- one of my goals is to create general IHPs for common health conditions school nurses need to write IHPs for; however, I just haven't found the time yet.

I do have an editable Google IHP template that you might find helpful. It is 100% editable and contains all of the recommended IHP components. You can purchase your own copy for $5 here


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