Three hundred school nurses will take care of all Valencian schools

The more than 2,200 public and subsidized educational centers in the Community will have a dedicated school nurse who will be in charge of both care work and the programming of prevention campaigns and the promotion of good health habits. They will cover all stages (Infant, Primary, Secondary and Baccalaureate) while the Special Education centers will continue to operate with the professionals assigned to their staff.

To provide this service, the Ministry of Health will hire 300 additional professionals who will begin working from the next academic year, as announced by the Ministers of Health and Education, Marciano Gómez and José Antonio Rovira, after holding a coordination meeting to outline measure.

The assistance will not be individualized (one health care center per center), since each one will be assigned the schools included in its basic health zone, which corresponds to the corresponding Primary Care Center (280 throughout the Community). They will be the reference person for the management team, with whom they will have fluid and direct contact to coordinate the corresponding needs and will be at your disposal for any action that has to be scheduled.

Their functions will include care, which includes care for unexpected situations that do not require the presence of a doctor, the treatment of students with chronic diseases, for example the administration of insulin to diabetic students, or the provision of prescribed medication. for other cases as long as this has been formally established (by medical prescription).

They will also be in charge of coordinating all programs related to health promotion (oral, addiction prevention or nutrition, to give some examples), and their dedication will be exclusive to the school environment, with a work day that will have an important itinerant component, traveling to the different assigned centers.

In statements to the media, Gómez explained that the budget forecast to launch the service is 15 million euros. And regarding the ratios of centers per professional, he added that the organization of the service must be finalized, although he has indicated that a basic health area in a large municipality like Valencia is not the same as another located in the rural area. Another pending issue is knowing whether coverage will also be provided to private centers, which are the majority in the first cycle of Infants.

Currently, the figure of school nursing does not exist except in private or subsidized centers that hire it through their own resources. In the public ones, excluding some specific municipalities that provide this figure, especially for awareness campaigns, it is the reference health center that is in charge of the care work of the students, although there is no specific personnel for these tasks.

Although nurses may also intervene in problems related to the mental health of students, both Gómez and Rovira have specified that it would be done under the guidelines of the coordinators of these programs. In this sense, the intention of Health is to present before the end of the year the announced shock plan, which among other measures foresees the incorporation of more specialized resources in schools, where the figure of the counselor already exists.

Both departments are also working on a pilot plan to measure the impact that moving vaccination campaigns to educational centers would have, an experience that has already been tested during the administration of the pediatric dose against Covid-19. Gómez has pointed out that although it is a measure that is on the table, it is still in a very incipient phase, so for now the vaccines scheduled in the official calendar will continue to be administered in the reference centers.

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