As parents, we know that children must be healthy and feel well to concentrate on learning. When we send our children off to school for the day, it is important that their health needs will be met. At Falk School, our full time school nurse is able to address the physical, mental, emotional, and social health of our children. Her ultimate goal is the support of student success in the learning process. Our school nurse, Deanna Ferchak, has specialized training – She is certified as an American Heart Association Basic Life Support CPR instructor, she also holds multiple certifications in various emergency management courses. She is a member of the National Association of School Nurses and International Nurses Association. She has over 20 years of experience as a school nurse.
In accordance with PA Department of Education protocols and schedules, school nurses conduct height, weight, blood pressure, vision, hearing, and scoliosis screening of our children, and notify parents and guardians of any abnormalities found.
In addition, the school nurses promote and maintain optimal student health by:
- Providing first aid and arranging for assessment and assistance to a child who becomes ill or injured at school or is demonstrating a significant change in behavior, whether due to a physical or social/emotional cause;
- Communicating with parents and guardians when further medical care or attention may be needed, and making referrals as appropriate;
- Supporting the health curriculum by teaching health lessons to students and/or serving as a resource to classroom teachers;
- Educating the school staff and faculty about health matters that affect students and/or staff;
- Collaborating with other school professionals, parents/guardians and the student's health care team, as needed, to foster maximal student success.
- Providing health counseling to students as needed on an ongoing basis.
The school nurse works closely with the student support team and school counselor to address a child’s social- emotional as well as physical health needs.
From our children’s point of view, the school nurse is a caring adult to whom they can go for reassurance when injured, feeling ill, or just overwhelmed at school. From the parents’ point of view, the school nurse has the important role of maintaining the safety of our children. As Deanna Ferchak explains, “Because of the uniqueness of my professional training and experiences, I am able to assess the children appropriately from an experienced medical "lens" and intervene appropriately; I understand the need to establish open communication and dialog with parents concerning their child’s health needs; or simply stated, I am a source of comfort and support for the children. I believe that school nursing is the gentle art of caring.”
- Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh's website provides information for parents, kids, and teens in an easy-to-use format. www.chp.edu
- From the American Academy of Family Physicians, this website includes information on common ailments, health tools such as BMI (body mass index) calculator and "Search by Symptom", "over-the-counter" medications, healthy living, and more. In the Parents & Kids section, special "kid-friendly" information is available. For example, information for parents on causes and treatment of vomiting includes, for kids, "What's puke?" www.familydoctor.org
- This online service has existed for 10 years and provides a wide variety of medical information, including a Children's Health section found under "Healthy Living." www.mayoclinic.com
- This is a service of the National Library of Medicine, and includes health topics, drug information, dictionaries, directories, and libraries.www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus