Its main aim is to promote students’ welfare through proper health (Selekman, 2006). School health became a topic of concern first in the nineteenth century in the US (Selekman, 2006). The issue emerged because of the many children who were employed together with their parents in factories and mines (Aldinge & Whitman, 2009). The health and working conditions were extremely unhealthy for children, and many fell sick quite often. Epidemics and deaths became frequent in healthcare concerns were out of reach for many. Diseases like tuberculosis spread remarkably fast especially in public schools where children would go after working (Selekman, 2006). Therefore, when a child fell ill, he or she was told to go home with a note, which the immigrant parents could not understand, and in case the parents understood the notes, health care was far out of reach for many. This accelerated spread of diseases like tuberculosis (Selekman, 2006). Suggestions for a look into school health were put forward, and a trial program started. After a month, tremendous improvements were noted in students’ performance and health. The first ever board of health was established (Selekman, 2006). School health programs have expanded to cater for the increasing needs in schools such as early teenage pregnancies, drug addiction and spread of sexually transmitted diseases among other issues (Selekman, 2006). Roles of nurses and other health assistants have since been redefined as responsibilities have increased. A school
nurse has a number of primary duties (Aldinge & Whitman, 2009). For instance, a nurse is responsible for providing healthcare to the staff and students. He or she is supposed to administer health care procedures (Selekman, 2006). The nurse is responsible for screening and referring varying health conditions to the right specialists (Selekman, 2006). The nurse must be able to analyze the school environment in terms of resource and be able to respond well to emergencies and needy situation. This entails proper delegation of care given the laws of a country. The nurse is responsible for maintaining a strong school atmosphere. This entails catering for the physical and emotional safety. This is done by ensuring immunizations are administered on time. In addition, the school nurse is also responsible for ensuring students and staffs are informed on health issues (Selekman, 2006). Another important task of the school nurse is serving as a liaison between the school fraternity, the society and health care providers (Aldinge & Whitman, 2009). School nursing remains a profession rich in nursing knowledge and skills and roles will continually evolve to suit changing needs (Selekman, 2006). Cultural issues Provision of health is affected by a variety of factors. One of the main determinants of healthcare is culture. Effects brought about by culture could be positive or negative. The health attendant must strive to understand patients’ history to be able to render effective health care (Aldinge & Whitman, 2009). Culture affects communication, service delivery in terms of medication as well as family support. Culture could also be viewed in terms of the school program, demographics and social interactions among other issues (Selekman, 2006). Characteristic of culture is formed by teacher-student relationship. School violence is the other challenge facing school health provision.