2014-2015Lice ProtocolProfessional Development Unit By: Molly Reasner Ashley Elementary, Nursing Services
What new strategies did I implement in my school nurse role during the course of the PDU? Over the course of the PDU, I implemented multiple strategies into my school nurse role to better understand the lice knowledge base of the teachers at my school and to work with them to create an open system based on understanding and communication. I observed that my teachers were not equipped to respond to lice, as they were wanting their students sent home and unknowingly creating a stigma against certain students. One of strategies was sending out a survey to see how the teacher’s perceive lice in the school setting and how they believe lice should be dealt with. After reviewing this data, which included that gap in knowledge, I then worked on educating the teachers so that the entire staff could be on the same page and know how to deal with lice issues in the future. This mainly involved including the school nurse for that student’s individual needs.
How did I apply the PDU strategies in my school nurse role? How did I collaborate with my team about implementing the PDU strategies? • I applied evidence based research through surveys, one on one interviewing, education on lice and a plan to implement in future years to come. • I worked with my PDU team by talking over what they thought would be most effective, issues surrounding lice in their personal experience as school nurses, and the gaps they thought we have surrounding lice in Denver Public Schools. My team agreed that a lice protocol was necessary, but going to be difficult due to how each case of lice is individual and unique to the student involved.
What three strategies did I implement from the study section of the PDU? What strategy worked best? Why? • I implemented surveys, interviewing, and education. I think the survey was the best strategy because it showed a measurable lack of lice knowledge in my school’s staff, which meant that there was room for improvement and education. Therefore this strategy led to the lice guidelines staff should be aware of and ultimately an increase in the school’s attendance.
What did I learn to do differently as a result of the PDU and strategy implementation in my school nurse role? • I learned that I need to start next year with educating teachers and staff before we are mid-year and seeing issues arise. I have learned that these issues are not always dealt with properly if the staff does not communicate with the school nurse and then the nurse has to backtrack and fix issues that could have been prevented. For example, this year I had a teacher send home a lice letter before notifying the school nurse or administration. The information included in this letter was not approved by a nurse and not evidence-based. Therefore, I had to backtrack and fix the damage that had been done. Next year I will know to educate on lice and other important health topics before the school year even begins.
Why is this PDU action research process important to my students learning and to my growth as a professional? • This PDU research process was vital to my student outcomes along with my growth as a professional because it enforced the importance of evidence based research and education to prevent medical myths and cultural barriers from impacting students negatively. Now, students should have higher attendance based on accurate education on when a student needs to be sent home and when a student can stay at school and be treated after they go home. It is important to remember that school nurse’s are advocates for their students, a resource for families, and need to ensure proper care, support, and education at their school. Collaborating with other nursing professionals make us stronger and more effective in our roles.
PDU Data AnalysisReflecting on the data you have collected, how did this experience impact instruction, progress monitoring, student performance, and your own practice? • It made me a more assertive communicator, educator, and nurse. My instruction was more direct and open. It was given to staff even when they did not come seeking assistance. • Progress monitoring was more effective because I was checking in with the teachers, my health paraprofessional and/or delegated secretary, and guardians to make sure their issues were being dealt with.
How will I apply my new learning in the future to further my practice? What are my next steps? • I will apply my new learning by beginning next year with an educational session with my teachers. This will further my practice because I will receive their feedback and prevent some issues from arising throughout the year. • Next steps include pre-planning for the 15-16 school year over the summer. I will make a concise educational tool that teachers can keep on file and reference throughout the year. • Finally, I will engage my school nursing peers with a lice protocol I have formed to guide them through lice issues in their schools.
Lice Knowledge in the School Setting This bar graph shows the answers submitted on my staff (27 respondents) survey concerning lice myths specifically. Correct answer was false for every question. This shows a lack of education on the topic.
Exit Ticket • Please write • How can we support your professional growth in future PDUs? • In future PDUs I think it may be effective to have peer review sheets to fill out throughout each article and step of the process. I voiced a lot of my opinions and answers, but didn’t have enough substantial feedback, guidance, or constructive criticism. • 2 things that you took away from the PDU this year • Communication and prevention. This PDU made me realize that I want to be more assertive and communicate openly with staff and administration instead of just when there is an issue. I also want to work to educate and prevent issues before they arise. • 1 piece of constructive criticism • I would say that in future PDUs, there should not be the “call-in” option for each meeting. We had trouble talking to them and most participants didn’t call in or left the call early. It made the teamwork collaboration piece very difficult since only two people consistently were there every week with me.
Resources • Head lice. (2009). In Patient Education Series (p. 31). Nursing2009. • Pediculosis Management in the School Setting. (n.d.). National Association of School Nurses, 1-1. • Pontius, D. (2014). Demystifying Pediculosis: School Nurses Taking the Lead. Continuing Nursing Education,40(5), 226-235. Retrieved February 1, 2015, from https://www.pediatricnursing.net/ce/2016/article4005226235.pdf