Refresher courses for school nurses

The Health Authority-Abu Dhabi is providing school nurses across the emirate with a free refresher course to improve skills.

ABU DHABI // School nurses across the emirate are to be offered a free opportunity to refresh their skills.

The Health Authority-Abu Dhabi (Haad) has tailored refresher courses for nurses working in private and public schools in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western Region.

The first course is on Saturday, with 80 to 100 nurses expected. Three more courses are scheduled in the coming three months.

The courses, said officials, had been designed to be "highly interactive, evidence-based and encouraging of critical thinking".

Dr Jennifer Moore, section head of family and school health at Haad, said the course was meant to enhance the "excellent work" that nurses are currently doing in schools.

"School nurses play a very important role in supporting the well-being, academic success and lifelong achievement of students by providing health care assessment, intervention and follow-up for all children within the school setting," she said.

Liqyi Babu, a school nurse at the German International School in the capital, said the opportunity was invaluable in providing hands-on training for herself and her colleagues.

"Some of us might be fortunate enough not to have dealt with a lot of emergencies or complicated situations with our students," said Ms Babu.

"Others might have a lot of experience with diverse health situations among their students."

The refresher course will be an opportunity for nurses to talk to one another and share best practices, she said.

Rihab Hamdan, a school nurse who has 800 students under her care at Al Itihad National Private School in Khalifa City, said in the five years she had been the school's nurse, varied situations had come up that require updated training.

"We have had to deal with a pandemic such as the swine flu, and adapt in order to focus on the importance of hygiene and impart that onto students," she said.

"We have also had an increase in obese children, or children with diabetes, and this requires an updated approach to our responsibilities."

A refresher course is ideal in discussing the most common health ailments faced by students today, she said.