Many schools have specialist nurses on site at all times ready to take care of any student who falls ill or needs medical assistance during the school day. These nurses are valuable members of our education system, providing essential care to children across the country. But they can’t do it alone. There are certain tools that every school clinic needs fully stocked in order for the nurse to do her job properly. If your school medical room is lacking any of these things, it’s time to re-stock get the nursing centre back on track.
- The right injection storage and tools.In many schools, the nurse is in charge of administering certain injections to the students. You’ll need vaccine fridges and safe storage spaces for all of the equipment required, as well as disposal bins where sharps and hazardous medical supplies can be thrown away after use.
- Tools to take vital statistics. When a student presents with health issues, taking their vital signs will usually be one of the first steps a nurse or doctor takes. This can be done easily with the right tools. Every school nursing clinic or office should have a blood pressure cuff and monitor to check for high or low blood pressure that can cause dizziness or heart problems, as well as stethoscopes to monitor the student’s heart rate.
- Weighing scales to monitor students’ weights. Given the current rate of obesity in Australia and in many countries around the world, it’s no surprise that school nurses have become important front line fighters in the battle against unhealthy weight problems. An accurate, medical grade set of scales will allow the nurse to monitor a student’s weight if they’re having difficulty keeping it at a healthy level. It will also help the nurse to spot potential eating disorders, particularly in the secondary school population, allowing early intervention to take place.
- Emergency allergy supplies to counter reactions. Allergic reactions are relatively common amongst children, so tools to combat anaphylactic shock are crucial for all schools. Nurses should carry epi-pens on them at all time to respond to emergencies around the school, and the nursing office should have a supply of adrenaline ready to be administered in case of a severe reaction.
- First aid kits for quick fixes. Most of the time, students report to the school nurse with relatively minor scrapes and sprains. These can usually be dealt with a simple first aid kit, containing gauze, plasters, sterilizing liquid, ace bandages to wrap limbs, and other simple medical supplies. This will cover the majority of the student populations’ needs throughout the year.
- Emergency diabetes supplies. If you’re dealing with primary school students as a school nurse, you will probably encounter students who have diabetes who will need assistance at some point managing their blood sugar levels successfully. It takes time for children to become accustomed to their diagnosis, and spikes and lows in blood sugar levels can be common. The office should be stocked with glucose tablets in an event of low blood sugar, as well as insulin injections to provide in an emergency. The nurse can also help the student to learn more about their diabetes, and assist in the educational process around understanding their illness.