School Nurse Care Toolkit To Increase Awareness & Support to Military Children
THIS TOOLKIT IS DESIGNED TO ASSIST THE SCHOOL NURSE TO:
- Advocate within the school district for the identification at the point of registration of all military children and their parent(s) by encouraging administrators to incorporate direct questions on registration forms and emergency contact cards for every student.
- Assess the degree of distress a child and his or her caretaking parent experience because of their military family member’s deployment and re-integration.
- Give resource materials to children and parents whose stress can be best managed by psycho-education.
- Determine whether the child’s or the child’s caregiver’s distress is significant enough to warrant encouragement of parent to request consultation from the regional MCPAP child psychiatrist.
TWO EXAMPLES OF HOW TO INTEGRATE THE TOOLKIT INTO SCHOOL NURSE CARE:
A kindergarten boy has been complaining for the last week of stomachaches and asking his mother to come to school and get him. He is not sick otherwise and when at recess seems to have energy and to enjoy playing with the other children. The usual reassurance has not been enough to get him to return to the class. When called, his mother is very unhappy about having to come to school, yet is reluctant to encourage him to remain until the end of his school day. The Toolkit provides several suggestions about how to broach the question of whether a family member is currently deployed and ways to support the parent, student, and the family in their efforts to cope with the associated stress.
One of the high school guidance counselors has come to you following a conference with a high school student whose mother is deployed to Afghanistan. The student reports that he is worried about keeping his grades up because his father has needed him to babysit a younger brother and younger sister when he is at work, and the father is drinking when he is at home. The Toolkit’s brief assessments can be used to engage the parent and explore resources that could be mobilized for the father, as well as resources that could assist father and son to communicate more directly and effectively about meeting the challenges of the deployment.