Nursing is a career in the health industry that requires rules and regulations to govern its practice. Nurses are required to apply moral ethics when they handle patients. They should have the ability to differentiate between good and bad practice. Despite the rules and regulations put in place, a few nurses commit serious infringement of the law. Programs are put in place in order minimize risks and to ensure that patients are safe. The rules and regulations laid out also offer serious consequences for any nurse that breaks the law. Currently, a nurse’s job has grown to cater for the increasing needs of patients; however, under staffing, prevents them from working efficiently.
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Diabetes is a never-ending state that causes the body to be unable to utilize the energy from food properly. The pancreas is not able to control the levels of sugar. Diabetes exists in two types: where the body is unable to make insulin, or it makes very little, and when the body can make insulin but cannot use it. A diabetic student may require insulin or glucagon depending on how severe the condition is. The state of Nevada’s nursing board allows unlicensed personnel to administer these injections; however, they should receive training. However, this poses a great danger to the students if the unlicensed personnel receive insufficient training. It is the duty of the school nurse to identify and supervise the person receiving training, but this becomes difficult in the absence of a licensed nurse. Another issue is, after receiving training sometimes these persons end up taking the responsibility of a nurse. This poses a great risk to the diabetic students. This chronic condition requires regular attention; for example, measuring sugar levels and the dosage to give a patient should be done regularly. This can be very difficult if the person in charge is not licensed.
Nursing in schools offers a good of example of institutions that offer inefficient nursing practices. This has resulted to unlicensed personnel working as nurses in schools. Unlicensed nurses take up the role of licensed ones due to the growing number of student patients in schools. These patients, especially those with diabetes require regular attention and many schools lack licensed nurses. Licensed nurses are few in schools due to lack of funds, having different priorities and refusal to appreciate functions of a nurse. There are several factors that contribute to this problem, which include insufficient laws to govern nursing in schools and the use of teachers to act as school nurses. This can put many students at risk and all schools should try to avoid the use of unlicensed personnel.
The lacking of school nurses has a major impact in the society. It is a fact that students are not receiving sufficient health care in the hands of these unlicensed nurses. It is also clear that many parents opt to keep their kids at home rather than take them to school if the schools do not have a nurse. As a result, the sick student misses important lessons at school. Another problem that the lack of an unlicensed nurse brings is the interruption of the parents while working. When a parent takes a child to school, he or she expects that everything will be taken care of including health matters. Without a licensed nurse in school, this cannot be the case. This is because when a complicated health matter arises, and the school cannot handle it, parents leave their work to attend to their children. Diabetes is one health issue that can sometimes get very complicated and requires professional attention. If the school does not have a licensed nurse, the health of diabetic students is at great risk.
There is an increasing number of patients; thus, licensed nurses reuire the help of assistants who are unlicensed. Nurses should ensure that their assistants work under very close supervision. This includes allocating them those duties that are not complicated. Currently the number of assistant personnel in the health sector is on the rise. This offers a major threat since nurses are unable to supervise all the assistants carefully. Assistants have taken up healthcare duties that are too complicated for them to handle effectively. As a result, the nursing practice standards are lowering at an alarming rate. The law controls how the nurses practice; on the other hand, nurses define assistant duties. This poses a huge barrier as far as accountability is concerned. Often nurses are the ones who face the consequences of an assistant’s mistakes. When schools use assistants to cater for their health services, they are exposing their students to unauthorized health practitioners. This poses a great danger to the students.
Majority of schools especially public ones are usually underfunded. This poses difficulty for school administrations to make financial decisions that will cater for all students efficiently. Majority of the administrations work hard to ensure that all funds are budgeted well. In the process, some departments receive inefficient funds. The schools try to reduce the cost of labor by using assistant personnel instead of licensed nurses. This is because licensed nurses require higher salaries as compared to unlicensed persons. Although this may seem to be a good idea, the health of the students is at risk.
There is a lack of adequate funds to employ licensed nurses; therefore, the few hired nurses have to deal with the increasing number of students needing health care. Nurses increasing duties eventually overcome them. This makes the administration look for other avenues of filling the gap, and one way is the employment of unlicensed nurses. Increasing numbers of students with chronic disease like diabetes causes the nurses to delegate duties of administering medication to teachers. This is risky since the teachers may forget the time for medication or administer the wrong amount of dosage.
Society does not fully comprehend the important duties of a licensed school nurse. Therefore, seriousness is lacking in the provision of school health care services. Parents are not fully aware of the importance of a licensed nurse. There is a general assumption that parents already offer proper health care for their children at home. Thus, the school society ignores the fact that unlicensed persons are unable to handle complicated emergencies. In many schools, the administration is not aware of the academic impact accounted to health services due to lack of health records. Ignorance of the parents and the administration has led to the provision of insufficient health care.
The services of a school nurse end at the administration of drugs and the diagnosis of students. States like Nevada, Montana, Vermont, Alaska, Michigan, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Idaho offer a good example of this trend. The schools do not include the nurses in the management and planning levels. The school nurses can contribute greatly when included. They can assist by soliciting funds to cater for the health services and resources of the schools. Once they are included in the management level, they comfortably formulate efficient students’ health records. These health records are vital especially when government requires them to offer funds. With the absence of a licensed nurse, the schools may miss vital funds that could cater for students’ health services.
It is very important to note that licensed nurses are very vital in any learning institution. Parents and legislators should receive adequate information about the importance of licensed nurses in schools. With this information, legislators will agree to formulate important bills that support this new policy. It is important to be in collaboration with legislators who are in charge of passing bills. These bills will ensure that government provides adequate funds to cater for health care service. This funding should be enough to hire at least one licensed nurse in every school. The provision of funds to school offers efficient health care. Government should also ensure that they offer attractive pay packages to licensed nurses in order to motivate them. Parents should be involved in the contribution of funds in order to assist in school health care. This move will lower the risks involved when a school depends on unlicensed personnel.
The government should put strategic plans in place to improve the understaffed health sector. The government should hire more licensed nurses in order to reduce their workload, especially, in schools. This will also reduce the number of unlicensed personnel who expose the students to risks in schools. In addition, the ratio of licensed nurses to students will improve hence improving health care services. In situations where licensed nurses require assistant personnel, the assistants should receive adequate training. In addition, the licensed nurses should ensure that they delegate simple health practices to their assistants. They should also maintain close supervision while the assistants are working. Assistant personnel should also be reliable for any mistakes that they may do while on the job. This encourages seriousness and accountability since there are consequences for their actions. Again, it helps to reduce the workload of the licensed nurse due to reduced liabilities.
Schools should also ensure that they involve licensed nurses in the management and planning of matters concerning health care. This is important because nurses are in a better position to make health-related decisions. The involvement of licensed nurses in management is an added advantage to the school. This is because they can assist to solicit funds even from nongovernmental organizations. These funds are important for the smooth running of health care programs in schools. A school’s main agenda is to offer education; however, there should be an emphasis to ensure a safe environment for the students. Thus, schools should agree to revise their priorities for excellent results. The school nurses can also assist the school management in collecting useful data to establish proper students’ health records. These records are important in highlighting the fact that good health results to better academic performance. In addition, the government needs these records in order to provide adequate health care fund.
In conclusion, the health care sector in schools is a very sensitive area, which requires a significant amount of attention to maintain high standards. There should be formulation of new policies to govern health care practices in schools. Although change is forthcoming, it is very slow; thus, stakeholder groups need to tackle the existing problems promptly. The board that regulates licensing and nursing practice should always be alert; this would enable them to identify inefficient nurses. They should also be strict while enforcing the laws governing the nursing practice. This is essential in maintaining high standards in the health care field. It is also important because nurses are in charge of the health of a patient and the training of the assistant personnel. All stakeholder groups such as the government, parents and teachers, should ensure that the health of the students comes first.
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