A Day in the Life of a School Health Nurse
Pauline Newman is a senior school health nurse. She works as part of the East and Central Bristol Team. There are 15 nurses looking after children in 35 schools in this area alone!
My role as a school health nurse is really wide ranging. I promote the health and wellbeing of children and young people - for example through vaccinations and confidential drop-in clinics for young people in secondary school. It's my job to ensure they are protected from harm. I work with parents too - offering support on caring for their child. I also manage three nurses.
Starting the day
I usually arrive for work at about 7.30am to beat the Bristol traffic. I put the kettle on, check my emails, answer phone messages, and get ready for the day ahead.
Once a week I hold a clinic during which I have two or three hour-long appointmets with families. These children and young people have been referred by their GP, other health professionals or their school. Families can also refer themeselves. We see a range of physical and emotional issues during these appointments, from bed wetting to anxiety.
Once the clinic is over, I head back to the office and check my emails again. I'm responsible for one secondary school and five primary schools, so this afteroon I'm running a drop-in clinic for young peple at the secondary school. The session is available during lunchtime and is confidential. I see children and young people who need help with a range of issues from bullying to contraception advice and support.
I spend the rest of the day writing up any referrals from the morning clinic; we work closely with other healthcare professionals and specialist services like child and adolescent mental health (CAMHS). It's up to us to ensure the voice of the child is heard.
I love my job, but I couldn't do it all without the team - they are all really lovely.
Contacting your School Nurse
If you're a parent, you can contact the school health nurse for any health-related problems - ask your school for contact details. You could also discuss your concerns with your child's school who can, with your permission, refer to the school health nursing service.
Page last updated Tuesday 14 November 2017