Children's National Medical Center

2012 Community Benefit Report

Children's School Services

Remember when a trip to the school nurse involved a bandage, a thermometer, or a call home for pick-up? Today, persistent disparities in access to healthcare and troubling trends in some areas of child and adolescent health mean that building an effective school health program requires far more than a Band-Aid and antiseptic. In fact, school health programs now play a pivotal role in helping families manage the overall well-being of their children. Children's School Services Nurse Case Management Program uses this holistic approach by treating the child, family, school, and medical care as a unit, committed to meeting the child's immediate and long-term health needs.

Serving 161 schools and nearly 64,000 students across the city, Children's nurse case managers and school nurses use a team-management approach in caring for each child. On some days this may mean making sure that individual health plans for chronic conditions like asthma or diabetes are up-to-date and on file, and at other times it entails coordinating a tube feeding so that it does not disrupt classroom time. With the help of the hospital's sophisticated database, physician, emergency room, and hospital visits are cross-referenced with the child's school information. This coordination alerts nurse case managers and school nurses to be prepared to make the appropriate follow-up with the family, should a child receive care anywhere within the Children's system. Ultimately, parents can be assured that their child's health is in good hands at school.