School nurses identify, address, and follow up on actual or potential health issues that interfere with the students' academic success. As part of her assessment, the school nurse carries out specific health screenings.
According to the National Association of School Nurses, school nurses typically perform vision, hearing, posture, and body mass index screenings.
Some health screenings require specialized equipment, while others depend on the nurse's assessment skills. While he needs an eye chart for vision screening, he can simply observe the student's posture when screening for a curvature of the spine known as scoliosis.
A school nurse decides to conduct specific health screenings based on legal requirements, cost-effectiveness, and the resources available for community referral and follow-up.
The school nurse conducts age-appropriate health screenings. Scoliosis, a curvature of the spine, typically occurs between the ages of 10 and 16, for example, so a school nurse in an elementary or middle school may perform posture screenings to identify students with scoliosis.
Evidence-based programs such as the School Nurse Childhood Obesity Prevention Education Program address public health issues including obesity and type 2 diabetes. The school nurse shares body mass index measurements with parents and gives them information about ways to reduce obesity.
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