With a decent sized community of individuals on campus, there will naturally be a plethora of common health concerns which will come to fruition during school. As the health aide you will be challenged and tasked to properly approach these health concerns, notify the proper individuals and attend to each concern to the best of your ability.
Some of the common health concerns on campus are lice, puberty, pregnancy, cold/ flu, concussions, chronic illness, mental illness, minor injuries, anorexia/ bulimia, effects of drugs and alcohol, and immunizations. At some point in the year you will be challenged and have to take these health concerns face on. Many of these health concerns are uncomfortable to talk about and require tact , research and knowledge, and effective communication in order to properly engage with a student or an adult regarding these concerns. It is always best to approach these issues with knowledge prior to speaking about them. It is in the health aides best interest to take time to research about each topic and to be comfortable enough to speak about them. Internet research, books, speaking with someone who is a specialist of one of the topics, speaking with someone who may be afflicted with one of the issues or dealing with it as a second party are all beneficial in helping you to better be a point of contact for a student or parent on campus. Parents will commonly call upon you for advice or what they make consider a professional opinion. It is best prior to answering to have background knowledge.
Further, learn from the experience and the conversation with the parent and take this knowledge with you to aid you with any future similar situations. Your constant communication with a student’s parents and your relationship with a student will grant you insight that will aid you in better helping a student who may be suffering with a similar situation in the future. If the issue is something such as a possible lice breakout, a newsletter should be sent out advising faculty and staff advising them of the situation. Further, the newsletter should be sent to parents informing them so that they may check their child for possible lice.
- Some helpful hints to speak upon lice (copy of a newsletter to send out)
When speaking about eating disorders speak from a place of concern. Speak with no judgment and in a supportive, caring manner. Avoid words that allude to the student’s body image or appearance, don’t say, “you look better,” rather state, “how are you feeling?” The student is most likely on a regimented schedule with the school counselor and may be coming to you for a low brief moment in their health. Some common symptoms that a student may come into your office and display may be fatigue, headache, or shortness of breath. Allow the student to rest, however do not state that they should eat or that they are feeling this way because they aren’t eating. They know that is why they are feeling this way, they just need your office as a place to regroup and get back to class.
Some helpful links when talking about eating disorders
- Some helpful links when speaking upon immunization
- Some helpful links when speaking upon concussions
- Some helpful links when speaking upon drug and alcohol abuse in the school
- Some helpful links when speaking upon mental health in teenagers