Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Student Health Requirements

School Health Requirements

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Helpful School Nurse Tips: Did you know that school nurses are responsible for making sure their students have met the compliance for the health requirements required by their state?  Read on for some hopefully helpful tips...

What health forms are required for school?

So you landed your dream job as a school nurse; now what? Well, one of the first “things” to do will be gathering and reviewing all of your students state required health forms. These forms are typically a physical exam, dental exam, and even an eye exam. The specific requirements are determined by individual states- check with you state department of health. Most of the required health forms are completed outside of school with a doctor licensed to practice medicine and then turned into the school nurse; but why?

History of School Health Forms

Well, since the late 1800s school nurses have been promoting health among students, their families, staff members, and their communities. Requesting, gathering, tracking student health records is one way school nurses help ensure students are healthy and ready to learn. Although this may seem like a daunting task; it is a task worth spending time on- after you know which students have ongoing health conditions and which ones take daily and/or as needed medications. 

Why are health forms required for school?

Many school nurses, students, and parents have wondered and even asked WHY?  Why are these forms required?  Why do we need to turn them in to the school?  Why do you keep calling me about this?   Those are all great questions and the easy, short answer is because having student health requirements met not only protects each individual student, they also offer  protection to the entire student population.  

Since most children attend school, it makes sense that the schools (especially the school nurse) help the states track the compliance of these school health requirements.  Since I’ve only worked in Illinois as a school nurse, my specific examples will be based around Illinois. I know each state varies slightly with the requirements, but many are the same; you’ll have to search out specifics for your state.

Staying Organized with Required School Health Forms

Now what?  You need to find out what the state health requirements are for students enrolled at your school/s and come up with a plan to track compliance. For me, that means using a Google sheet that I’ve created in addition to running Skyward reports. I also keep my non-compliant health charts in a plastic banker’s box in my office so I have easy access. What does this mean for you? How will you keep track of all of your students?  Try something and if it works, great!  If it doesn’t work, then try something else, but keep trying until you find a system that works for you and your students. Pre-COVID I strived for 100% compliance every school year and made it!  Not the case this school year, but I am still trying to collect needed forms and will keep trying too :)

Using Google Email Templates has been a HUGE time saver! Do you use them?

Also, think about how you will store individual student records? I use a hybrid combination of digital (Skyward) but mostly paper copies kept in manila folders. Each student has their own folder complete with a label which has last name, first name DOB and school ID #. I file the most current physical and immunizations in the front and all other forms behind. Check out this DOASN blog post on organizing school health charts HERE.

Hopefully this was a brief and easy to understand explanation.


Feel free to email me specific questions that I can try to answer in a future post: theschoolnurse@diaryofaschoolnurse.com


Illinois General Assembly (Full Article)


Illinois General Assembly Codes (Child Health Examination Code, 77 Ill. Adm. Code 665)  https://www.ilga.gov/commission/jcar/admincode/077/07700665sections.html

Illinois State Board of Education: Health Requirements


Each state has rules listing the minimum health requirements students must meet in order to attend school. Try searching your state + school health requirements to locate your specific state school health requirements.


2015 DOASN Lillian Wald Blog Post: http://diaryofaschoolnurse.blogspot.com/search?q=lillian+wald

Complete List of Department of State Health Websites: https://www.cdc.gov/publichealthgateway/healthdirectories/healthdepartments.html

Lillian Wald - Henry Street Settlement https://www.henrystreet.org/about/our-history/lillian-wald/

NASN School Health Documentation https://www.nasn.org/nasn/nasn-resources/professional-topics/school-health-documentation

NCSL State Vaccination Policies: Requirements and Exemptions for Entering School https://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-vaccination-policies-requirements-and-exemptions-for-entering-school.aspx

Schools & Health: Our Nation's Investment https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK232693/

State School Nurse Associations



Friday, March 5, 2021

Health Information - Digital Teacher Tips Cards

 Teachers Pay Teachers for The School Nurse

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Hopefully Helpful School Nurse Tip: As a school nurse knowing how to communicate with teachers is just as important as knowing what to communicate with them. Use these digital teacher tips to keep school staff informed on a variety of health needs in the school setting. Get organized today, you'll thank yourself tomorrow!

Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT) is one of the most popular online marketplaces with educational resources for teachers and other school staff. 

What is Teachers Pay Teachers?

TpT is an online store created for teachers, but it’s actually a great online resource for all those working inside of a school (IMO). There are thousands of affordable, thoughtful, and useful resources available literally with the click of a few buttons. Most are available for less than a cup of your favorite coffee. Learn more about the Teachers Pay Teachers marketplace HERE.

The School Nurse has many free items posted HERE.

Products created and used by an actual school nurse!

The School Nurse joined this educational resource marketplace in May of 2014. The goal was to share digital products with other school nurses. Products that would hopefully make their day-to-day routines a little easier and more consistent from student to student.  In the beginning, the majority of The School Nurse’s items were PDF but now the majority of my products are available with instant Google drive- because that is what I use 99.9% of the time since my school is a Google school.  

The products listed for sale in The School Nurse TpT store  are products that I actually use in my school nurse practice.  Of course, I’ve edited out the specific school and/or student details, but the concept transfers between schools and usually states.  Worried, these products won’t work for you?  It is OK- the  buyer has the ability to edit and add information to make the product specific to their school and/or student needs.  What works for me, might just be a jumping point for you and just what you needed to get going or finish the next thing on your to-do list!

Overview of Teacher Tips Digital Health Information Cards

Digital health information cards were one of the very first products created and posted for sale within The School Nurse TpT Store! Today there are many updated versions of the originals AND many now have editable portions too!

Why Use Teacher Tips Digital Health Information Cards

As nurses, we often take our knowledge for granted and might even assume that others we work with understand or have a similar knowledge base regarding certain health conditions.

However, as school nurses, we are often viewed as the medical expert within the school setting. One of the roles of a school nurse is to educate others we work with so they understand what they need to know about certain medical conditions. Does that make sense?

Teacher Tips cards provide an opportunity to educate others within the school on a specific health condition. These teacher tips give broad information on a health condition and invite school staff to ask you for specific details as needed. 

How To Use Teacher Tips Digital Health Information Cards

Way back when, I used to print information sheets and hand deliver them to teachers or put them inside their teacher mailbox; I’m dating myself, right?!  Now, I include these digital Teacher Tips Health Information Cards within the body of an email message to teachers and/or add them as an IHP attachment in Skyward for a specific student.

EMAIL:  Since the Teacher Tips cards offer broad information, I have the option of including more student specific details within the body of the email; information staff would need to know. I can also include a copy of the 504 Plan or ask teachers to reference the 504 Plan for even more specific information. 

SKYWARD: Use Skyward to your advantage! If you have access to the Skyward Health module then consider uploading the teacher tips cards within the Health tab of Skyward Student Management.  Once you have your student screen open select IHP, then “Add File”, enter a form description and then Choose the Teacher Tips file you want to attach ( download as a PDF from Google prior to attaching in Skyward) don’t stop there- Use the Comment box to add student specific information or more detailed information you want to the teacher to be aware of. This is an excellent communication tool and resource between you and the teachers.  Especially at the 6-8 or 9-12 grade levels when student schedules change mid year or without notice. Make sure you utilize the Health Condition tab in Skyward too (great information for another blog post!)


In closing, the items I create and post are in my Teachers Pay Teachers storefront are actual items I uses- or very close variations of those items! These items are created and designed to offer consistency when working with multiple students and sometimes at multiple schools. Please comment if there is a specific health concern or school nursing task that you want to see digital items created for!

Click the pic to check out my entire storefront!

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