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Editorial |

School Nursing Beyond Medications and Procedures

Howard L. Taras, MD1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Clinical and Translational Research Institute, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego
JAMA Pediatr. 2014;168(7):604-606. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.451.
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Children spend 6 to 7 hours per day, 180 days per year in school in the United States. While education is the chief purpose, consideration for children’s health is a significant role of schools. Like math and reading, students need to be taught how to have an optimally healthy life. We want each student to return home at the end of the day at least as healthy as when he or she arrived. School-age children, especially adolescents, young students, and those developmentally immature, are more apt than are adults to share pathogens through close contact and shared body fluids. Children with special health care needs are integrated into regular school and classroom settings where medications and medical procedures are delivered. Numerous health conditions manifest first as behavioral and educational problems. Many students have suboptimal access to primary and secondary health care, making schools the first place where their underlying physical and mental illnesses become apparent.

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