As you send your children off to school, there will be times when medical attention may be required. Each year, millions of students require medical attention while at school and often utilize the services of the school nurse. For children with special needs, the school nurse will become a vital part of your child’s academic success.
As the parent of a child with a disability, it is important to include the school nurse in your team of professionals who will guide your child through the educational process. Becoming familiar with your child’s unique health needs, the school nurse can offer support services that will allow your child to continue engaging in academic activities while obtaining the healthcare needed when away from home.
Before the school year, contact the school and arrange for a personal meeting with the school nurse. Because a child with special needs often requires an IEP program to establish educational success and boundaries while at school, you can expect that your meeting with the school officials will include those who will be involved in the educational process. As part of this IEP meeting, you will want to be sure the school nurse is also included and, in some cases, your child’s pediatrician may also need to be present depending on the degree of medical services your child may require.
When managing disabled children in the school setting, there are some items you can provide to the school nurse to make her role more efficient. Begin by providing a list of all medications your child takes and what dosing levels are recommended. In many cases, the school will provide a standard form for completion by your child’s pediatrician.
In addition to medications, you will also want to be certain there is sufficient information provided with regard to emergency contact information. While you may be inclined to provide only that which is request on the standard enrollment forms, the school nurse will require a list of all physicians and specialists involved in your child’s care. Ask the school nurse about this specialized form.
Parenting a child with special needs can be challenging. With preparation and organization, the parenting process can become far more efficient. When considering the steps involved to enroll your child into the educational setting, consider the school nurse as a key point of contact to manage your child’s healthcare needs while on campus. In doing so, you can encourage academic success with few unnecessary medical interruptions.