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School Nursing

Growing up, you probably had a stomachache, splinter, or bruised knee that needed some medical attention between your classes. In most cases, you went to the school nurse who patched you back up, handed you a note, and set to back to class in time to take your English pop quiz. He or she almost always managed to fix whatever was wrong. School nurses are like the handymen of the medical community. They seem to have in-depth knowledge of every potential situation, emergency, accident, or ailment.

How is school nursing different from regular nursing?
The two jobs are quite similar, except in school nursing, you work almost exclusively with young people. Your patients will range anywhere from five years old all the way up to their late teens. In some cases, they might be too young to explain their particular ailment or injury. Thus, communication skills, diplomacy, and trust building exercises are an essential part of your job. You also have to learn how to weed out the occasional prankster who wants to receive a note that excuses him or her from an upcoming test.

Like any nursing job, you need certification
Given the range of your potential duties, it's not surprising that you need to become registered as a nurse before you can join this occupation. In fact, training is arguably more important because you're often the only person with medical expertise in the area. The closest responders might take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. Thankfully however, emergencies are few and far between. The bulk of your work will deal with bee stings, splinters, and the occasional sprain.

Publish date: February 10, 2011