Q. What is the difference between a Health Assistant and School Nurse?

    A. A Health Assistant is trained in clerical duties and CPR/First Aid. This is the person in the health office who provides first aid care, assists students with medications, and maintains students’ school records. A health assistant is not required to have any formal medical background, but receives training from school nurses in common childhood health issues such as emergency care for children with asthma, diabetes, and life-threatening allergic reactions.

    A School Nurse is a registered nurse, with a baccalaureate or master’s degree and a California School Health Services credential from the commission on teacher credentialing. The role of the credentialed school nurse is to strengthen and facilitate the educational process by improving and protecting the health status of children and by identification and assistance in the removal or modification of health-related barriers to learning in individual children. A school nurse conducts and interprets health and developmental assessments, designs and implements health maintenance plans to meet the individual health needs of the students, conducts health-related in-service training and education, and oversees health office functions.