Ongoing promotion of the use of the Vermont Asthma Action Plan is part of Vermont’s Health Department School Liaison’s work. The School Liaisons provide guidance and assist school nurses with improving communications with local provider offices. They link school personnel with the latest Health Department resources. These efforts and more contribute to improved asthma action plan rates at the school setting.
Additionally, the State School Nurse Consultant (SSNC) reminds school nurses three times years to use and promote Vermont’s AAP via the weekly SN Bulletin that goes to every School Nurse. School Liaisons and the SSNC provide opportunities as the local level to enhance provider, school, and family or care giver communication around the use of the AAP.
Vermont’s Standards of Practice: School Health Services Manual is the standard of care for all students, and those with chronic health conditions. The Manual, maintained by the State School Nurse Consultant’s (SSNC) and the School Nurse Advisory Committee, identifies the school nurse as care coordinator for students with chronic health conditions. Care coordination includes using school health records (including electronic health records) to help students manage their health needs, ensure they have obtained or created a current student individualized health care plans and/or emergency care plans, teach students about self-management, and to ensure that relevant staff have had appropriate training needed to assist in the student’s care. Students with chronic health conditions such asthma are more ready for learning when they can receive the care and support, they need every day, all day
The Division of Maternal and Child Health (MCH) continues to coordinate with the Asthma Program in the Division of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HPDP) on several asthma-related efforts. School nurses must use a standardized set of questions on the school’s annual student emergency or health update form. School Liaisons and SSNC continue to identify schools that need help implementing the standardized asthma questions. The following questions reflect validated questions provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which align with questions used for the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.
The questions are:
- Has a doctor, nurse or other health professional EVER said that your child has asthma?
- If yes, does your child STILL have asthma?
Response Categories: “yes”, “no”, “don’t know/not sure”, and did not answer the question
Response Categories: “yes”, “no”, “don’t know/not sure” and did not answer the question
Additionally, the MCH and HPDP with the Asthma program to promote the Envision Program and Asthma-Friendly Schools Award. The Envision Program and SSNC partnered with the Vermont State School Nurses Association in the Fall of 2018 to present on Indoor Air Quality and to promote the Envision Walk Through School [Self] Assessment process for identification and mitigation of asthma triggers. The SSNC continues to promote the Asthma Program’s Asthma-Friendly Schools Award which includes acknowledging local education agencies for high rates of Asthma Action Plan compliance. Increasing the use of AAPs is just one more way to help students with asthma be available and ready for learning, every day, all day.