Tuesday, June 21, 2022

School Nurse Office Visits

 Student Office Visits to the Nurse's Office

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Hopefully Helpful School Nurse Tip: If you know me, you know I'll say I don't like a lot of change. However, if you work with me then you know I'm always changing things! Don't be afraid of change; be willing to try new things- something might work better!

I don't like change yet I'm always changing.

How Do Students Visit The Nurse's Office

The majority of a school nurse's day will revolve around taking care of the health needs of students. How will those students arrive at your office for their office visit?  Over the years my office has implemented a variety of "ways" students are allowed to visit.  These include:
  1. Arrive with a pass from the teacher (sample passes here)
  2. Walk in 
  3. Teacher phones or emails and asks if there is time and space for the student to come down
  4. Student makes an appointment
Yes, most recently we've asked that students make an appointment.  Many schools use a program/app called CALENDLY. My office started uses this program during the 2021-2022 school year. We chose this program because the school counselor's offices were already using it and so our students/staff were familiar with it. 

Here are a few key Calendly points (IMO):
  • FREE option provides us enough flexibility 
  • User friendly
  • Links to a Google calendar
  • The nurse can adjust appointment times (we allow 5 minute), how much time between appointment, and how far in advance an appointment can be made (we allow 5 days)
  • Students tell us why they need the appointment so we can prepare ahead of time- there are two questions with drop down answers and one short answer questions for students to answer
  • We've been able to take care of some needs via email which keeps the student in class & avoids exposure to germs in our office
  • We still allow walk-in appointments- and we still get a lot of walk-ins, but we try to see those who made an appointment first 
  • The nurse can block out appointment times for lunch break and meetings or days off etc.
  • You can create reports (if students make an appointment) which is great for end of the year reporting
  • There are probably many more uses that we're not aware of too!
In addition to Calendly and paper charting! We also use Skyward to chart medication visits and beginning in the 2022 - 2023 we will begin charting Office Visits in Skyward and ditch our Google form (another change!) but we are excited to have more accurate numbers for our end of the year report!

When Do Students Need To Visit The Nurse's Office

Communicate with your staff member the different levels of care your office provides, give examples and let them know what is needed for a student within each category to be sent to your office (teacher pass, escort, emergency button, phone call, email, appointment, etc.).  

The blurry picture below is an example of a one page PDF I send out to my staff at the beginning of each year or as needed. You can see I list the different levels of care (you can't see my descriptions of each level). I also include a link for students to make an appointment. Create something for your staff to refer to throughout the school year. Change it as needed to meet the needs of your office, your students, and your staff members.

School Nurse Suggestions by School Nurses for School Nurses


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