Evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions and provide feedback is also vital in developing and maintaining a strong program
RESPOND TO THIS DISCUSSION POST BY CYNTHIA: In order to develop a plan of action to help the elementary school improve the health of its students I, as the school nurse, would need to further assess the “why” and any trends behind the list of problems of inactivity, obesity and lack of knowledge of healthy food choices. Therefore, a brief survey could be sent out to all students and their families. The survey could include questions with quantitative and qualitative data such as height and weight of the child, dietary preferences, level of activity, how often their child gets a check-up, etc. The promotion of health in the school age child is an interdisciplinary effort. Getting key stakeholders to participate such as teachers, the principals/school administrators, therapists, physical education teachers and guidance counselors are paramount. They also may be able to provide on average the amount of physical activity/ dietary choices currently available during school hours. After collecting data from the survey results and stakeholders, the nurse would develop some potential interventions. Poor diet and lack of physical activity are risk factors and big contributors to obesity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “US students receive less than 8 hours of required nutrition education each school year, far below the 40 to 50 hours that are needed to affect behavior change” (CDC, 2019). To help the lack of knowledge related to healthy food choices, education can be given to students and handouts can be sent home with the student. The school nurse can also work with key stakeholders to incorporate growing a vegetable garden that the children can help with. To improve problems of inactivity, the school nurse could set up a morning stretch/ light exercises with the morning announcements/news. The nurse can also encourage teachers to continue to give several short “brain breaks” for the children throughout the day where physical exercise or dance is encouraged through programs like “Go Noodle.” Both of my children’s schools do this during the school day and the kids love it. The nurse should evaluate which intervention is most appropriate and set attainable goals. For example, if the average student received 30 minutes of physical activity during the day, a goal could be for physical activity of 60 minutes during the school day within 3 months. Touching base with the team/stakeholders to evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions and provide feedback is also vital in developing and maintaining a strong program. Resources Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). Nutrition education in US schools. Retrieved on March 17th, 2020 from https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/nutrition/school_nutrition_
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