- 22 October 2021
- 10 min read
What Inspired Me To Be A School Nurse?Subscribe To Advice
School Nurse, Angie, talks all things School Nursing explaining what inspired her, how to gain experience, the SCPHN course and why she still loves being a School Nurse.
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Hi everybody, so my name is Angie.
I'm the nurse behind nurse Angie Jay.
So today on behalf of nurses.co.uk, I'm gonna be talking to you about various things actually, talking to you about my role as a School Nurse.
We're gonna be discussing things from personal statement tips, interview tips, everything.
So yeah, hopefully you enjoy and find it useful.
First of all, let's start with why I became a School Nurse.
Why I Became A School Nurse
I became a School Nurse because I'm paediatric trained, I'm ped trained, and for me, I've always known that my passion has been with working with children and young people.
And what I really like about School Nursing is that not only are we a service for early intervention, looking at just physical health, we are also a point of call in regards to emotional and mental health wellbeing for children and young people.
We work in sexual health.
We also touch on safeguarding children and young people.
So yeah, for me, that's why I also became a School Nurse.
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School Nursing Allows For A Better Work/Life Balance
Another reason why I became a School Nurse is the hours as well, you know, as a parent, I think it's really important to be able to not only just work, but also spend time with your children, your child or family.
You know, I'm always talking about work-life balance and it's so important.
And I feel with School Nursing, having experienced working in an acute setting where I was doing, you know, 12 hour shifts, night shifts, day shifts, you know, for me, it wasn't conducive for my lifestyle.
Another reason why I came to School Nursing is also the hours.
You know, it's Monday to Friday, it's nine to five.
And you know, I've been fortunate that I also work term time only.
So I get the school holidays off, you know, to spend with my child.
That's another reason why I went into School Nursing.
Gaining Experience In School Nursing
You can come from any branch of nursing, whether your work in paediatrics, whether you work in adult nursing, mental health, it doesn't really matter because the main thing is about transferable skills.
And if you've got skills that you can transfer, you know, we all have communication skills.
We communicate with families, we communicate with patients, we communicate with children.
You know, we work in a multidisciplinary team and that's working alongside all sorts of other professionals.
You know, doctors, nurses, police we have to contact sometimes, social care, teachers, education staff, prisons.
If we work in a multidisciplinary team, these are all transferable skills that you can also bring to School Nursing.
If you have experience working with children and families, whether like an au pair, a babysitter, if you work with vulnerable families, probation, it doesn't really matter.
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The SCPHN Course
To be a School Nurse, you do have to do the SCPHN course, which is a specialist community, public health nursing course, which I've just completed myself.
In order to be a School Nurse, to be called a School Nurse, you do have to complete that, just a year course, but there are opportunities to be a school staff nurse, and that's for people who haven't trained and done a SCPHN within School Nursing, and you can still work as a school staff nurse, usually band fives.
That's an opportunity as well.
What I will say is that I've noticed more and more, that if you do want to progress in School Nursing or within a community, you will have to do a SCPHN.
So if you want to progress to a band six, a band seven, some sort of leadership management role, you will find that people are asking, have you done a SCPHN specialist, community, public health nurse course.
So yeah, those options for you if you want to go into School Nursing, you can work as a School Nurse or a School Staff Nurse.
Doesn't really matter to be honest.
Getting experience also, if you want to shadow, try asking if you can shadow a School Nursing team, just for a day or even part of the day, just to see what it is that we actually do.
Because I think a lot of people have this perception that School Nursing is boring.
School Nursing is for like the older people who are of almost retirement age, because it's easy.
It's not easy and I'm definitely not of retirement age.
What To Include On Your Personal Statement
A personal statement is basically a way for you to showcase yourself.
You're selling yourself to recruiters, why they should basically pick you and from a recruitment view, where I've been fortunate to be part of before.
I can tell you that a personal statement is what it is that we're gonna be reading to see that if you're suitable for the team, if you're suitable for the job, if you're suitable for the service.
Preparing For A School Nurse Interview
Prepping for an interview, for me, how I prep for interview is I always read the job spec and person spec.
And I always think of scenarios that they may ask and write down possible answers in preparation, I have a list of common interview questions that I will always ask in terms of example, tell me your understanding about the role of the School Nurse
Or you can insert whatever job title it is that you're going for, or I another common one, is tell me how you deal with conflict within the team, or tell me how you would escalate a safeguarding concern, or if you saw somebody not working towards practice standards, what would you do?
Those kinds of questions always tend to come up.
So I always write down a list of common questions that come up and then always prep the answers beforehand.
There are also some really good YouTube videos out there.
So depending on what sort of banding interview you're going for, if it's band five, band six, band seven, there's really good YouTube interview videos out there.
They're really good.
Lessons From My Children’s Nursing Placements
So my first placement, gosh, we're going back a long way here in terms of my first placement, that would have been about 13, 14 years ago.
My first placement was at Great Ormond Street.
So I trained at Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital.
And it was actually on Ladybird ward, it was called Ladybird ward back then, it's probably changed its name now.
And that was a cardiology ward. And that was so fascinating.
I learnt so much in regards to the heart, all the heart illnesses and diseases and deformities that you come across.
And because it's so specialised, not things that you would normally see in like a general hospital.
So for that, I'm really grateful.
That was my first placement at Great Ormond Street Ladybird ward, which is heart cardiology.
My third year placement was NICU.
And I think at that point, I really wanted to be a Neonatal Nurse.
My last placement was in NICU and SCBU however, as you can see, I'm not a neonatal or SCBU nurse now.
I just found after that placement, it wasn't for me, I don't think.
Way too emotional seeing these little babies in incubators and tiny being born at like, you know, 30 weeks, 28 weeks.
I just found it so emotional.
So yeah, that placement didn't transpire to my career today, but that's okay.
That's okay, that's the whole point of being a Student Nurse.
You're getting to know what areas of nursing that you like, what you don't like, what you enjoy, what you're not quite sure about, that's the whole point.
And it doesn't matter if your last placement is not the placement, it's not the job that you took once you qualified and got your pin, that doesn't matter.
My First Experience Of School Nursing
My first experience of School Nursing was probably about eight years ago and I really, really enjoyed it.
I've really enjoyed the health promotion side of things.
So going into schools, both secondary and primary, we'll do lots of things like assemblies.
We'll do classes on all various topics, from healthy eating, puberty, dental hygiene, oral hygiene, we'd also for the older kids do things like sexual health and contraception.
I love all that sort of stuff, getting in front of a class of people and just, you know, taking all the questions during the presentations.
I really enjoyed that side of it.
So that's my first experience of School Nursing.
So yeah, I hope you enjoyed that video and found some useful things from there and I will see you next time, bye.