“Efficiency is doing the thing right. Effectiveness is doing the right thing.” — Peter F. Drucker
There are few groups as adept at “doing the right thing” as School Nurses! We efficiently conquer copious medication orders, review and document Health Certificates and meticulously conduct sports certification according to state guidelines. We initiate vison and hearing screening for all new registrants while planning to accomplish mandated grade level screenings. Staff is educated concerning the health and safety needs of our students. This and much more has been efficiently tackled by School Nurses throughout New York State within the very first month of school!
Yet, how effective are we? The American Academy of Pediatrics asserts in its Policy Statement, Role of the School Nurse in Providing School Health Services, published in May 2016,
“…Direct health services provided by a school nurse are linked to positive academic achievement. With a nurse in the school, other school staff, including teachers, divert less time from their primary job responsibilities to deal with student health issues.
- Baisch MJ, Lundeen SP, Murphy MK. Evidence-based research on the value of school nurses in an urban school system. J Sch Health. 2011;81(2):74–80
Population Health focuses on effectiveness. We, in New York, have some unique opportunities available to contribute to the metrics that will highlight our effectiveness.
Step Up and Be Counted NYS is a particularly valuable tool. This initiative is a concrete example of how we can advocate for ourselves by contributing to the collection of data related to our practice. Gail Wold, Health Services Resource Specialist for the New York State Center for School Health has stated, “The goal is to collect data at the local district level to provide a picture of how school nurses positively impact student attendance, safety, and health- thereby supporting academic achievement.”
Please be part of this data collection as we strive to determine best practices for our students and simultaneously advocate for ourselves. The process is simple but the results will be extensive and powerful! Click here for more information.
Finally, please join us at our Annual Fall Conference on the evening of November 4th and Saturday, November 5th. You will learn much about how the use of metrics can enhance your practice from a successful business leader as well as gain current knowledge about allergy and anaphylaxis. Expertise on protecting your licensure and practice will be provided by our keynote speaker. Strategies on the development of personal and professional resilience will be presented and plans for safe and comfortable student return to school following mental health absences will be explored. Strategies to implement enduring change will complete our program. You can access the brochure here.
Carol Bumbolow MS, BA, RN