Thursday, July 1, 2021

Student Health History Form

 Digital Student Health History Form

                                                         + this post contains affiliate links +

Helpful School Nurse Tip: Collecting yearly student health history updates is a great way to gather up-to-date health information from parents. You can use the data to calculate how many students have chronic and acute illnesses and you'll know which students need Individualized Healthcare Plans and other health related Action Plans.

I recently asked the above question to other school nurses on my Instagram stories & an astounding 85% thought they might be interested! So, I went ahead and created a simple Google health history collection form- check it out :)

What is included in a health history?


You might be wondering why a school nurse would need to spend time reviewing and renewing student health histories.  If you consider all of the students your potential "patients" then you know the value of having an up-to-date health history. Health histories provide a subjective (sometimes objective) way to get an overview of your student's health status. They provide you with answers and may lead to more questions to basic health questions any school nurse might have. Questions like:
  1. Does this student have any recent or past medical diagnoses that might impact their education or time at school?
  2. Does this student have any health diagnoses that require health accommodations during the school day?
  3. Does this student take any medications- at home or at school?
  4. Does this student require an emergency action plan?
A current health history can be a casual way to collect answers to the above questions and more too! The process can begin by asking parents for subjective information about their student's health status.  You can then follow up with the student's physician for more specific, objective information.

Student Health Services


There are several ways a school nurse can gather health history on their current students.

Previous School Health Records

A great place to start is by reviewing previous school health records. Although updated forms aren't required every school year, by reviewing these forms you'll get an snapshot of any previous health conditions. You might also be able to determine if the condition is an acute or chronic condition and if you need to spend more time gathering an update from the parents and physician.

In Person or Phone Call with Parent and/or Student

How many times has a parent called or a student stopped in your office to let you know of a new diagnosis? Or they casually mention an ongoing health condition that is causing them discomfort?
How any times during one of those drop in notifications have you been right in the middle of something else and not been able to give 100% of your attention to the conversation?  Most school nurses would say this happens often. 

students- If you find yourself in a situation with the student providing you a verbal health history then take good notes! Help the student at the  moment and return them to class if possible.  Then follow up with a parent phone call.

parents- If the parent calls and stops by to fill you in a previous, recurrent, or current health condition then take good notes. If they have doctor verification with them ask if you can make a copy for your records. Ask how this health condition might impact their child's school day and what health related accommodations they think their child might need to be successful. Try to end the conversation with the parent knowing that you will follow up with an email later in the day to review key points of your conversation. 

Emailing Parent and/or Student

Even after a phone call or in person conversation with a parent (or student depending on your school setting etc.); s ending a follow up email can be a great idea. This email provides you a chance to recap information from the conversation, review discussed accommodations, ask permission to share information with staff on a need to know basis, and ask any questions that you might have thought of since the conversation. In this email you can also provide a link to this Google form (or one you create). An email and/or Google form responses provide a paper trail for you for future (just in case).

Student Health Portals


Collecting health history information varies from school to school and from district to district.  Some suggestions include:
  1. School Registration Day/s
  2. New Student Registration
  3. Ongoing via School Website
  4. As needed via Email 


Having an accurate student health history is great- knowing what to do with that information is even better! Use this new knowledge to update other areas of your school nursing duties.

Digital Health Records-  Many schools use some sort of digital school management software; such as Skyward, SASI, PowerSchool etc. What program does your school us? If there is a way to incorporate health history information into your school management software system then I would recommend doing so. It might seems time consuming at the moment, but you will save time in the long run. 

Health Conditions Lists- Many moons ago, I used to create digital Health Concern lists- this was my only option. I would create a columned filled Excel spreadsheet and sort and organize as needed! Thankfully now, I can use my school's school management software to organize this same information! My experience is with the management system- Skyward. Skyward allows the ability to add  health concern information as a "Health Condition". Then, "Health Condition" reports can be created by grade level, graduation year, teacher, etc. These reports also provide an overall school summary including the number of students with each health condition. This information is very valuable for your end of the year (EOY) report for your school administration, school board, and/or supervisor.

Healthcare Plans- Use the gathered health history information to create healthcare plans. There are many FREE and paid examples of healthcare plans all over the Internet- just Google what you are looking for. Maybe you don't think you have enough time to create a healthcare plan for every student who might need one- that is OKAY! You can always create a generic plan to put in place for specific health conditions- asthma, seizures, food allergies etc. Then, you can decide which students need their own specific emergency action plans from their private physicians and use your time to encourage parents to provide those completed emergency plans to you.

Emergency Action Plans- Emergency Action Plans (EAP) are needed for students with known acute or chronic health conditions which have the potential to turn into a medical emergency while attending school or a school sponsored even and/or the health condition has the potential to negatively impact the student's learning process.  There are many free and paid examples available online- again, just search what you are looking for many examples should appear.

Medication Forms- Knowing what medications a student is prescribed is nice to know. This knowledge can help you see the "bigger" picture. Many times students only take medication at home, but sometimes at school too. If medication is needed during school hours, then most districts require a physician's order and sometimes even have a specific form that needs to be completed. You can view medication form examples HERE. If a specific medication is included on an EAP then a separate medication form is typically not required.

Procedure Forms- As you filter through your student health history forms, you might find that a student requires a nursing procedure completed during school hours. These procedures might consist of: dressing change, g-tube feed, suctioning, catheterization, etc. Just like a doctor's order is required to administer medications in the school setting, a doctor's order should be on file in order for the nurse to complete any sort of nursing procedure in the school setting. Years ago in Illinois there was a "yellow manual" full of nursing procedures that may need to be completed in the school setting. I don't remember who published the manual and I don't have it available at the moment, but I will update this blog post if I find it! In the meantime complete an Internet search and I'm certain many examples will be available.


If you're still reading this blog post- THANK YOU!  
Feel free to comment any questions, examples, situations 
that you think might help another school nurse or send me an email


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