The new school year is likely to bring about a “surge” in the number of appointments made with school nurses via text, the DH predicts.
In promoting the school nursing service to pupils, as well as the texting service, a number of websites have been launched to allow pupils to access information outside of the usual school hour.
A number of tips for parents and young people have also been issued by the DH on how to best use the school nursing service.
These include encouraging pupils to get to know their school nurse and where needed, arranging a introductory meeting with the school nurse through a health visitor or GP for children with complex health needs before term starts.
“Starting school is an exciting time but can also be a rather daunting prospect for parents and their child,” said Viv Bennett, Director of Nursing at the DH.
“Health visitors, GPs and school nurses work closely together to ensure that there is continued support for all pupils.
“Moving up to secondary school can also present challenges for young people and their parents, as it brings home the fact that their child is moving on to a new stage in their development that will end in adulthood.
“It is crucial that there is a good awareness of the support and advice that can be provided by the school nursing service.”
Research carried out by the DH shows young people (aged 11 – 19 years old) want their school nurse to be a “familiar face”.
The top five services that young people think all school nurses should provide include: advice on drugs, contraception, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), stopping smoking, and how to access other health services such as counselling.
Do you think teachers should do more to promote school nurses?