School nurse jobs are typically full-time positions that require plenty of time dealing with sick students, in addition to students that are faking an illness to get out of class early. The job responsibilities vary significantly based on the school; for example, elementary school nurse jobs will be very different from college ones. Depending on the student population, school nurse job responsibilities may include checking for head lice, explaining birth control, giving children and parents counsel on various health issues, and arranging early pick-up of children that are sick or in pain. They may also administer medications, assess and treat minor wounds, and call paramedics when necessary. Generally, schools begin hiring nurses during a break in the school year, and may require one or many nurses depending on the number of students.
When dealing with young children, school nurse jobs may primarily require routine checks for head lice, giving out prescribed medication at the appropriate times, and calling the parents of sick children. A school nurse will also deal with any injuries that happen on the playground. If the child must be admitted to a hospital for a broken bone or an injury that is more than minor, a nurse will most likely tend to the child until paramedics arrive on the scene.
School nurse jobs that take place in schools enrolled with primarily preteens might involve treating injuries, discussing birth control methods or abstinence, and issuing sanitary pads to girls who forgot their own at home. Girls who begin their first menstrual period at school may be sent to the nurse to get a sanitary pad and lay down with a hot water bottle until a parent picks her up. A nurse in a school filled with preteens is also likely available to answer questions a preteen might have about their maturing bodies.
Besides the usual treatment of injuries and illnesses, school nurse jobs in buildings filled with older teenagers and adults might deal heavily with birth control methods, pregnancy tests, and sexually transmitted diseases. Some of the general duties of a school nurse, regardless of the age of the school population served, may also be able to excuse a student from class for a day or multiple days, in addition to suggesting that a teacher let a student retake a test that was completed when the student was not feeling well. He or she may also administer vaccines and confirm that students are healthy with a once-a-year checkup. Still, even though a nurse may be dealing with older students, many of the duties remain the same.