As summer winds down, schools and educational facilities are getting set for the start of the next school year. And to help school nurses in their mission of starting that year as prepared as possible, here’s a quick, comprehensive back-to-school checklist for school nurses from the CareerStaff experts.
> New to the school setting? Here are a few good reasons to work as a school nurse or clinician.
CareerStaff’s Back-to-School Checklist for School Nurses
Especially since Covid-19, day-to-day life for school nurses can be tough to predict. But, while many parts of the job can quickly change, the traditional goals and tasks are still in place. School nurses still have to set medication and screening schedules and secure medicines and sensitive paperwork, for instance. They still have to prepare as best they can for the health of the students under their watch.
To help nurses approach these essential tasks with the best possible mindset, then, here’s a handy back-to-school checklist to make sure that nurses are as ready as possible for that first day of school.
✔ Give yourself time to get set up
The first day or even couple of weeks of work are no time to be late. And, while you’re also under no obligation to show up too early or work more than you’re expected to, there’s still much to be said about arriving to work with plenty of time to spare.
For starters, giving yourself that extra time can do wonders for your mental wellbeing on those stressful first days of school. It can also help make sure you’ve got time to double-check everything before the school day kicks into gear, and make sure you’re as ready as possible before the kids even start arriving.
✔ Double-check state and local regulations
Since Covid-19, the vaccination requirements have shifted dramatically in some areas. Whether it’s the school district, city, county, or state, take the time to look into what the current policies are for immunizations, as well as privacy and other concerns. And then, work to make sure those policies are understood and adhered to as you plan out your strategy.
✔ Consult your co-workers
While some schools employ just a single nurse — and even some districts — other educational facilities may employ an entire team of nursing professionals, as well as therapists and other clinicians. If you’re new, find out just who you’ll be working with, and in what capacity. And if you’re returning, find out if anything has changed.
By doing so, you can work toward your own success by making sure that everyone is included when you’re setting and coordinating your strategy for the year ahead.
✔ Get acquainted with the school’s facilities and equipment
If you’re working in a new facility this school year, take the time during your first few days to get as familiar as possible with the buildings and grounds. Of course, this should begin with a full review of the medical facilities and equipment. But don’t stop there: The better acquainted you are with the entire school setting, the better prepared you’ll be for any emergencies and other challenges.
✔ Get acquainted (or re-acquainted) with students
School nurses generally start working before the new school year begins, which gives them some time to set up and prepare. And one of the most critical jobs during this phase is to get acquainted with the students under your watch.
This means, first and foremost, taking note of existing conditions, medications, allergies, special needs or any other considerations that will require your attention. And if this information isn’t already organized in a way that’s easy to find and use, it’s worth your time to make sure it is.
✔ Double-Check the list of new students
After reviewing the student list, take another look at all the new entries on the list. It’s especially important to get records on new students and their specific conditions — and then make a point to speak to them, and their parents, about any other important considerations that may not be included in those records. This should be done as early into the school year as possible.
✔ Set a proactive plan for parents
Especially for those with special needs children, parents will likely play a big role in your day-to-day life in the year ahead. As you establish an organized list of student needs, make sure to include the parents, too — and don’t forget to include their emergency contact info. And if you’re missing any information, reach out with any questions you have that may affect the student’s well being.
✔ Meet the Teaching staff
Whether or not the health of the teachers falls under the responsibility of the school nursing team, these folks are a constant presence in the workplace. Proactively connecting with members of the teaching staff gives you the chance to get another view of the conditions of students, as well as an extra set of eyes for potential issues that may arise.
✔ Keep a positive Outlook
We know that the daily life of a school nurse can be a stressful one. The educational environment itself has changed a lot in the past few decades, and tensions can be high in some facilities. So, setting a daily reminder to keep a positive outlook could be the most rewarding addition to your back-to-school checklist.
Staying positive looks a little different for everyone. It could be simply repeating to yourself that you’re doing the best possible job you can, or that you’re helping those in need. Take the time to job down whatever it is that you find most inspiring, or whatever motivates you to face the new school year with as much confidence and enthusiasm as possible. Jot it down and keep it handy before diving into the next school year.
✔ Always Have your recruiter’s number handy
If you’re working a school nurse assignment from CareerStaff, you’ll have an extra resource for getting prepared for the year ahead — access to an amazing recruitment professional whose job it is to help you succeed! Remember to reach out with any questions you have about your assignment, or if you have any confusion about salary, scheduling, or other related concern.
Take the Next Step on Your School Nursing Career Path with CareerStaff
At CareerStaff, amazing recruiters are just the beginning! We’re here to not only help you complete your back-to-school checklist, but also everything else you need to get the most from your school nursing career. If you’re not part of our nationwide network, you can submit a application here for fast access to great school nursing jobs across the United States.