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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