Role of the School Nurse
The nurse administers first aid to the sick and injured and promotes an optimum level of wellness for all students and staff. This may include managing life threatening allergies and asthma as well as cancer, diabetes, mental/emotional disorders and other chronic health conditions.
- conducts health screenings
- administers medications
- lessens the number of students sent home needlessly
- identifies health-related barriers to learning
- initiates referrals to physicians for evaluation
- provides health education
- surveillance of communicable disease
The school nurse confirms that the administration of the medication is absolutely necessary during school hours. Medications will be administered if the following guidelines are observed:
- Students are responsible for coming to the health office for regularly prescribed medications. Parents will be informed when students miss more than two consecutive doses of a medication.
- Prescription medications are administered by the nurse on a daily or as needed basis. State law requires a signed physician's Medication Order form and parent/guardian signature in order to dispense prescription medication. Forms are obtained from the nurse or the website or physicians may use their own forms. All medication orders must be renewed at the beginning of each school year or when there is a change in dosage.
- Medications must be in a labeled pharmacy container and delivered to the nurse by an adult. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is available with parental permission documented on the Tylenol Permission Form. Other over-the-counter medications in the original container may be supplied by the parent/guardian for the student's use at school as needed. Written permission from the parent/guardian is required as well as a signed physician's Medication Order form.
NO STUDENT SHOULD CARRY MEDICATIONS OF ANY TYPE ON THEIR PERSON IN SCHOOL OR ON THE BUS. Students may carry medications such as inhalers and Epi-Pens for self-administration at school once prior approval has been received from the physician, parent/guardian and the nurse. A student who carries an Epi-Pen on their person must still supply the nurse with an additional pen. Students who carry an inhaler at school must still have a written order from the doctor and written parental permission. A back-up inhaler should be kept in the nurse's office. Students who do not have an EpiPen stored at the health office with a physician's medication order on file may not participate in any activity outside of the building including field trips during the school day. Students must also carry their inhaler and/or EpiPen while participating in after school sports.
School absences or dismissals for a medical appointment are excused with documentation from a doctor upon return to school. Dismissals recommended by the nurse due to injury or illness are excused. Students are excused from participation in physical education class if a physician's note is obtained. Students excused from physical education report to class as scheduled. If the physician writes a note for no gym "until further notice", a second physician's note must be received when the student is allowed to return to gym.
If your child has had a serious illness or has had an injury at home, please notify the nurse. This is especially important in the case of a head injury or concussion as decisions may have to be made about participation in gym and/or recess.
Immunizations must be updated according to Massachusetts state law. Students who are non-compliant will be excluded from school until documentation of the requested information is obtained.
Students must have a current physical on file with the nurse at least every four years. New students must have a physical examination within one year prior to entrance to school or within 30 days after school entry. All students participating in sports must have a physical examination within the last 13 months before practice begins each season. The school physician conducts sports physical without charge 3 times a year at the beginning of each season. Appointments are scheduled through the nurse.
Health screenings including vision, hearing, growth development and body mass index (BMI) will be done for students based on M.G.L. Chapter 71, Section 57 and 105 CMR 200.00. Hearing, vision, height, weight and BMI measurements are conducted annually by the nurse for 7th grade students. BMI results are mailed to parents/guardians. If you wish that your child not be weighed and measured, a request must be made in writing at the beginning of the school year. Postural screening is conducted annually in grade 6, 7 and 8 unless a current physical (one done with in the past 12 months) is one file with the nurse.. Parents/guardians are requested to schedule an appointment with the student's doctor if any screening abnormalities are detected. If you have a question about your 6th or 8th grade child's vision or hearing, please contact the nurse and request that testing be done.
Emergency forms and medication forms for both parent and physician can be found on this website.
Students are advised to stay home from school if they have any of the following symptoms:
- fever over 100
- rash of unknown cause. Must obtain doctor's note before returning to school.
- conjunctivitis (pink eye) - May return to school 24 hours after treatment begun.
- lice/nits must be treated at home and cleared by nurse before returning to school
- strep throat – May return to school 24 hours after treatment begun and temperature is under 100.
- uncontrollable cough
- vomiting/diarrhea - May return the day after the last episode