Background: School nurses have a vital role in helping children maintain health and upholding a healthy school environment. However, most teachers have not recognized the full scope of their role. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore teachers' perceptions of the role of school nurses.
Teachers' Perceptions of School Nurses' Roles
Ganga Mahat, Diane Gillooly, and Patricia Paradiso
Methods: Perceptions of school nurses' roles were assessed by a 16-item questionnaire, which was adapted from a study by Kirchofer and colleagues (2007). Descriptive statistics were used to analyze data. Fifty-six teachers participated in the study.
Results: The most important roles teachers perceived of school nurses were 1) provide first aid and emergency care to students, 2) communicate with parents and health care providers related to health problems, 3) provide medical treatments to students, 4) prevent and control diseases and create a positive school environment, and 5) maintain school health records.
Conclusion: School nurses have many important roles; however, few roles have been recognized as important by school teachers. Increasing teachers' awareness of the multifaceted role of school nurses is essential if teachers are to take advantage of nurses' expertise in maintaining students' health and improving academic performance.