Now trending upwards: School Nurse blogs

trending upwardsLearn one.  Do one.  Teach one.  That model doesn’t only apply to catheterization and venipuncture skills – it now applies to technology and digital communication.

School nurses are sharing their skills and teaching other school nurses to explore the digital communication toolbox. That is the model of #TANTTT (Teach a Nurse to Tweet Tuesday).  That is the model of the NASN Twitter Mentors at #NASN2014 and #NASN2015.  That is the model of School Nurse Blogs like

Regina Wysocki  

Abby Pelletier      

Brenna Quinn      

me, Jessica Porter

Beth Mattey         

Michelle Sobande

Do you know the line in CPR when we point to the bystander and say, “You – call 911 and bring me the AED”?  Well, I’m pointing at you – Have you thought of blogging as a tool to share your school nurse story?  I would like nothing more that to add your name to this list of school nurse bloggers, of 21st century nurses.

Can we talk about #culturalhealth?

My office is located on the sixth grade hall in a busy Middle School so in many ways I’m literally stuck in the sixth grade.  That’s not always a bad thing because sixth grade is a year full of exploration and learning.

When I sat down to explore why School Nurses need to start conversations about cultural competency, I reverted to one of our strategies on the sixth grade hall – the writing prompt.  Here is a sample of some writing prompts I see on the sixth grade hallway.  “You wake up and reach for your phone.  It’s not there because you just woke up in Rome, circa 100 C.E.  What will the rest of your day be like?”  Or how about, “Anacondas should be allowed to populate the Everglades if they can survive there.  Respond for or against and your scientific rationale.”

photo (11)The writing prompt I came up with to guide my personal assignment took me into some unexplored territory but not nearly as hair raising as Imperial Rome without a cell phone or wading through anaconda infested waters.  I searched for the terms cultural competency, health disparities, and health literacy on Twitter, on facebook, on Tumblr, and on Pinterest.  I found that many professionals are asking what does it take to be a culturally competent nurse or doctor or teacher.  Professionals are asking where they can find training resources to help them work towards cultural competency.

Parents and students too are posting about cultural sensitivity and disparities.  Over and over again parents and professionals are saying we have to find a way to start the vital conversations about disparities, about cultural sensitivity.

Professional conversations, modeling,  and sharing – that is the Nursing way of learning.  We invite you to start those conversations in your schools and with your school nurse colleagues.  The NASN2014 Cultural Competency work group and the NASN2014 Twitter Mentors will host a Twitter chat on the topic of Cultural Competency January 6 at 6 pm EST.  We hope you will take part in the conversation.

Why School Nurses need to learn to use our outside voices.

recessAs a School Nurse, I love hearing a teacher say to her class as they reach the playground, “Okay class – it’s okay to use your outside voices now.”  I’m afraid that we School Nurses are still waiting for someone to give us that permission.

Why are nurses in general (and School Nurses in particular) so reluctant to take their professional message to Social Media?  Are we so afraid that we are going to impulsively blurt out HIPAA protected client information?  Are we worried that there might be a prohibition against professional use of Social Media buried on page 132 of the Human Resources Employee Handbook?

It’s part of who we are as nurses to be cautious about client confidentiality and policies and procedures but over and over again School Nurses are confronted by the reality that, if we do not tell our story, someone else will tell the story and cast us as a minor character in the narrative.  School Administrators will write our story for us.  State level agencies will write our story for us.

I want School Nurses to be the ones who tell the story of what School Nursing is and what School Nursing can do.  To do that we have to learn to blog.  We have to learn to tweet.  We have to learn to use our outside voices again.