Masters Thesis

Perceptions of school nurses regarding management of students with seizures

School nursing roles continue to expand in the 21st century. Children with increasingly complex health care needs are mainstreamed in general public education, requiring school nurses to be prepared and educated regarding the management of such medical needs. School nurses are faced with many obstacles related to seizure management in the school setting. School nurses need the preparation and education to safely manage school-age children with epilepsy. In order to do so, school nurses need to define their scope of practice to protect themselves as well as the children they serve. The school nurse must have a solid foundation for seizure management in children, including the assessment of seizure reoccurrence and implementing a comprehensive approach to treatment which includes antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), emergency seizure medications, and/or vagus nerve stimulators. This qualitative, phenomenological study was designed to explore school nurses’ perceptions regarding the management of students with seizures while in school. A purposive sampling method was used to invite school nurses to participate in the study. The six participants currently employed as school nurses within Kern County provide health services to ethnically and socioeconomically diverse students with seizures in grade levels kindergarten through grade twelve, which also included special education populations. Six school nurses were interviewed and similar themes in each interview emerged during data analysis. The identified themes were frustration, anxiety, fear, and adaptation. The goal of this research study was to gather helpful information that may support school nurse as they work toward providing safe and appropriate health care services to students with seizure disorders.

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