Interdisciplinary Communication in the School and Community
In my opinion, the school nurse is most closely related in her work to educators who teach natural sciences, and those who work in the areas connected with human health. Teachers of biology, chemistry and other related subjects can offer excellent opportunities for interdisciplinary connections. The nurse can offer insight in the practical experience related to her professional work, and help educators in finding vivid examples from students’ everyday reality they can use in the classroom to bring the matter of the textbooks closer to students.
In the area that intersects with mental health or the impact of medical phenomena on social life, the school nurse can relate to pedagogues working with humanitarian subjects. Thus, the discussion of the effect of global epidemics such as AIDS, on the welfare of humanity as a whole and the precautions youth needs to take to protect themselves against this danger will involve both health and social issues. Also, the effects of mental disorders on human life are also likely to be connected in the classroom to the issues that have a direct bearing on the daily work of the school nurse.
I believe the interdisciplinary communication in the school is an indispensable condition for creating a comprehensive system of knowledge about the world in students’ minds. Many students shun classroom tuition as they feel it separates them from the real-world events offering pedagogical simulations instead. That is where they could get support for their classroom experience in interaction with professionals engaged in practical work.
Interdisciplinary cooperation is also of great importance in the community where joint efforts of the professionals who have expertise in different areas can have an effect magnified several times compared to individual efforts. Thus, in promoting healthy habits among young people, school nurses can join hands with educators, municipal employees and social workers for a better solution of the problem.
In my personal experience I interact most with our school mental health social worker. We have a good working relationship and meet twice a week to bring each other up-to-date on the progress either of us has seen in the problems our high school students have. I think I will not exaggerate if I describe her as my right arm in the secondary school arena. Teenagers usually have a very emotional reaction to problems, and we try to help them to take a realistic view of the situation.
The most recent experience that she and I worked on together was the case of a teen mother of a two year old daughter. The teenage mother who had been living with the family of the boyfriend who was the father of her first child just discovered she was pregnant again from the same father as the first. The girl was shattered by grief when she learned that her boyfriend was going to leave her and the baby for another girl. She had nowhere to go as her mother was in jail, and she could not stay with her boyfriend’s family.
Together with Monica, our mental health worker, we were able to find the place for the girl to live until she turns 18. She will stay at her Aunt’s place, and in the meantime we will try to find apartments for the girl and her two babies.
In this way we have tried to solve many problems. Monica would often refer a student to me, and I handle the matter if it is health-related. I would send her the ones who in my opinion are seriously affected emotionally. Working hand in hand on a daily basis, we were able to help many students who would not otherwise have found a place where they could get assistance and consolation. I believe in doing things together for the benefit of those we care for.