Integrating role of the school nurse
One of the main assumptions of the new regulations is to define the coordinating role of the school nurse. The act assigns nurses and school hygienists a very responsible role – it is the preventive care of students, but also the integration of all activities undertaken for the health of children. It is about good cooperation of all people and institutions involved in taking care of the student – doctors, parents, teachers, educators, school headmistress, local authorities. The cooperation is to serve the health of children, health promotion and health education. It is worth emphasizing that the nurse cooperates with the headmaster and school staff, but is not an employee of the school.
Cooperation with parents
An important element of the activities of the school nurse or hygienist is cooperation with parents and adult students. It will consist of, among others on providing information about the health and psychophysical development of the student, dates and scope of providing services, possibilities and manner of contact in matters related to medical care.
The nurse or hygienist is to support parents or adult students in organizing the use of preventive medical examinations, screening tests, dental check-ups or preventive vaccinations. The tasks of the nurse and hygienist also include ensuring the implementation of the recommendations of the primary care physician and dentist.
The act also provides that in emergency health situations, when transporting a student by ambulance, a nurse or a hygienist may accompany the child to and in the hospital until the parents arrive. The decision about the presence of a nurse or hygienist during transport will be made by the head of the emergency medical team, after obtaining the consent of the school headmaster.
Schools without barriers
The Act provides adequate school care for disabled and chronically ill students. It will be performed by a nurse (or hygienist) in cooperation with the doctor, parents, as well as the headmaster and other school staff. Administering medications or performing other activities during the student’s stay at school by school employees may only take place with their written consent and with the consent of the parents.
School principals were obliged to conduct trainings on providing support to students with disabilities or chronically ill. The aim is to provide these children with a safe and secure stay at school.
An important issue is the guarantee of the student’s rights as a patient. The Act gives students the right to consent to the provision of health services and the right to keep secret information about the state of health. School nurses and hygienists are to provide information on students’ health in a manner that ensures confidentiality.
The Act stipulates that preventive health services will be provided to the student, unless he (or his parents – in the case of underage students) object, while dental treatment requires the written consent of the parent or adult student.