As everyone is getting back into the rhythm of being back at school for a new academic year, schools nurses are busy. Each year, they must check to see what changes have taken place with state health regulations. Once they have the new information in front of them, they need to check on the records from each student to make sure that they are up to date. This means looking to see if forms have come in for physicals for specific grade levels. If the forms have not been filled out completely, they have to notify the families to get them fixed. In addition to this, they have to be sure that immunization records are up for all students.
Along with this, school nurses will also be receiving medications for students that need to be given daily and others that are for emergencies. Schedules are made to make sure that every student gets what they need when it must be given. After this, nurses begin to call students to their office for yearly checks. While this may seem like a disruption in the classroom schedule, it is very important. During this visit, the nurse will do a basic eye exam.
Since many students may not have their eyes examined outside of school, it is a great time to catch potential vision changes. What many may not realize is that when you do not see properly, it can affect your behavior. Blurred vision can cause headaches, which may make a child more upset. Young children may not be aware that the front of the classroom is blurry because that is their norm. All of this can lead to incomplete work and grades getting worse. A quick exam will let the nurse know if something may need to be checked further. Reassure children that this is a routine test so everyone will know how they are able to see items in the classroom. Let them know that it will not hurt and that it’s important to be honest if something is fuzzy and not able to be seen.
If there is a concern, school nurses will let the teachers know. This will allow them to adjust seating until it can be confirmed if a child may need glasses to help their vision. In addition to this, the nurse will call home. When talking to the parent or guardian, they will explain what happened during the eye exam. In some areas, children may be able to go to specific vision care centers where the more in depth eye exam can be performed for a small fee or even free.