In this post, we'll look at some of the most useful technologies available today that help school nurses be more productive at work and home and deliver the best care to students.
January 21, 2022
Tools for the Modern School Nurse
It's no secret that school nurses have a lot on their plate.
As someone on the front lines of student health, school nurses are responsible for making sure students are healthy and safe, overseeing their well-being in a way that supports the educational process. More kids than ever before are being diagnosed with chronic and behavioral health needs requiring medical care at school for things like type 1 diabetes, epilepsy, asthma, ADHD and mental health needs.
And when it comes down to it: you need the right tools.
In this post, we'll look at some of the most useful technologies available today so you can be more productive at work and home - plus get some tips on how best to use them!
Electronic Health Records
Electronic health records (EHRs) are one of the most important tools in a school nurse's arsenal. These digital databases allow you to track and document student health information, including immunizations, chronic conditions, medications and allergies. When used correctly, EHRs can help prevent students from falling through the cracks when it comes to their health care.
Over the last few years, a number of software tools have popped up specifically to help school nurses record care at school. Here are a few:
Magnus Health (https://magnushealth.com/) is an online platform that helps school nurses keep track of student health records and communicate with other medical professionals. The system allows you to store all relevant data in one place and easily share it with medical staff.
August Schools (https://www.augustschools.com/) is like a digital notebook for school nurses. It allows you to store all of your student health information in one place and easily share it with medical staff.
SchoolDoc (https://www.schooldoc.com/) is a web-based platform that helps school nurses manage immunizations, medications and student health records.
Communication is an essential tool for the modern school nurse. It helps you to be both proactive and reactive to your students’ needs, as well as their parents’.
Most schools are still communicating with text, phone calls, and emails to keep parents informed of their children’s wellbeing, but there are modern tools popping up to make this more purpose-fit and easier to manage. The use of technology can help make communication more efficient, thus freeing up more time for activities that will benefit your students, making it easier to keep tabs on what each individual needs, and responding quickly during emergencies!
Invincible App (invincibleapp.com/schools) is helping schools keep track of their students’ health and wellbeing. It is a free app available on both Android and iOS devices. You can use the app to send messages to the student's entire care team, including school health staff, teachers, and parents.
ClassDojo (classdojo.com) is targeted toward teachers to to stay in contact with each other, though some schools are using it to also communicate student health. It allows you to communicate with parents about their child’s behavior, as well as any concerns that arise during the school day.
BlueLoop Diabetes (https://blueloop.mycareconnect.com/) a diabetes management app that allows you to track your glucose levels and insulin doses in the palm of your hand. The app only supports type 1 diabetes but is a nice way to stay "in the loop" together.
The team is the most critical aspect of a school's health and safety. A strong, trained, and cohesive staff can make the difference between an average day and a very bad one. When you're staffing a school with multiple classrooms, it's important to have enough staff that they all share responsibilities so no one person is doing everything. It's also important to remember that during peak times such as lunch, recess and after-school activities there will be a higher number of students in your care. If you don't have enough people on hand to cover this increased need then it could be detrimental to their health or safety if there isn't someone available when needed most!
Services and tools are available to schools to help increase staff capacity, both in-person (think: agencies) and virtual (think: telemedicine). Here are a few of our faves:
Maxim Healthcare Agency (maximstaffing.com) is one of the leading home health agencies in the country and has a long history of providing excellent care to seniors with special needs.
Hazel Health (https://www.hazel.co/) is a leading provider of home health care, hospice and medical staffing services. They are committed to providing the highest quality of care to each patient and their families.
Brightline Health and other care providers helping staff schools are popping up as a modern solution to staffing needs at schools. Behavioral and mental health is a growing need for schools and these solutions are helping to fill in care gaps.
Care Logging and Tracking
Keeping a record of the care you provide is an important part of your job. You can use this log to document the services you've provided and keep track of student health history. Many schools are keeping track of health information with pen and paper, though increasingly schools are moving toward digital solutions to make tracking easier and data export easier.
Here are some examples:
EHR Systems (see 1st section) allow nurses to log their work in a digital format. You can usually find these programs at your school or district’s website.
Invincible App (invincibleapp.com/schools) provides a medical records software that allows you to keep track of student health. You can use this software to create, store and access medical records for patients in the classroom. This is ideal for school nurses who need a way to easily document their work.
Dexcom Follow (https://www.dexcom.com/en-us/dexcom-follow) and other Medical Device software allows you to easily log your work with students that use a medical device. In addition, it can help you keep track of student health records and make sure that they are always up-to-date. Dexcom is only one example of many medical device software programs that are available for nurses.
Now that you’ve learned about some of the tools that can help your school nurse practice, it’s time to start implementing them. It may seem overwhelming at first, but if you take it one step at a time, you’ll be able to get started in no time!