The National Association of School Nurses Promotes the Use of Telehealth Services
July 10, 2018
Telehealth platforms can be used in a wide variety of healthcare and clinical settings, such as in schools, without replacing in-person treatment. The National Association of School Nurses (NASN) believes that “telehealth technology may be used to augment school health services” (NASN.org).
Telehealth solutions could greatly benefit a school system. Technology like HIPAA compliant videconferencing that has the ability to link a student with a distant healthcare official could greatly improve the quality of care that students receive while in school. These telehealth technologies would go beyond in-person treatment. Telehealth platforms have the ability to address the special needs of individual students, whether they are suffering from a chronic health condition or needing increased access to behavioral health services.
NASN hopes to have the capacity to assist each and every student. For example, NASN discusses the physical locations of their students. If a student lives in a rural area, he or she will have difficulty accessing a healthcare facility. A telehealth system within that student’s school could surmount this obstacle and provide the student with the care he or she needs.
Telehealth solutions also have the capacity to address more than physical health issues. If a student suffers from a chronic behavioral condition or has experienced a recent loss or trauma, telehealth platforms can target behavioral needs as well. Through connecting a student with a psychiatrist or behavioral specialist, telemental health care within a school could improve a student’s quality of life. Students could receive treatment or counseling without taking time away from school.
The health of a student, whether mental or physical, directly correlates to academic achievement. The healthier a student, the more successful he or she can be. If schools can foster healthier students, they can then also foster overall improved academic performances.
These telehealth technologies will in no way replace the care coming directly from a nurse. However, what they will do is increase positive healthcare outcomes, behaviorally or physically, for students without increasing demand on hiring more nurses or requiring students and their families to turn elsewhere for help.
If we want our students to have the best chances at success, we have to provide them with the best healthcare they can receive. Through combining in-person care from school nurses with telehealth technology, we can create an environment for happier, healthier, and more successful students.