The Nurse's Page
Hi! I’m Mrs. Elisse Lama the nurse at Benway School!
I play an active role in many students' day. They come to see me for many different reasons. The most important thing I need you to do is fill out the Emergency Packet we send home every year. This will give me the necessary information to assist your child when they do come to my office. You will be able to access, download, and print the Emergency packet on this site, as well as other necessary documents. This packet is required for your child to attend school and gives emergency contacts and necessary health information we need to have in case of an emergency. The emergency packet asks many important questions about your child's health like whether or not they have asthma. If your child has asthma, allergies requiring an Epi-pen, or plans on playing sports you will find information and links later in their designated sections. Pleas make sure hat you fill the forms out completely.
As part of our nursing services plan, I do health screenings including vision, hearing, height, weight, blood pressure,( BMI) Body Mass Index, and scoliosis. I send home referrals for anyone who may need to follow up with their physician for abnormal findings.
It is Benway’s policy that if your child has symptoms of an illness that may be spread such as a fever, diarrhea or vomiting that you keep them home until they have not had any symptoms for 24 hours, without the use of medications.
We have added links about the Coronavirus (COVID-2019, Novel Coronavirus) to help spread awareness about the virus and the preventative measures that you can take to stay healthy.
Coronavirus Hotline: 1-800-222-1222
Is Your Child Too Sick To Go To School?
Early in the morning, it is often difficult to make a decision about whether your child is sick enough to stay home from school. The main reasons for keeping your child home are:
- If he/she is too sick to be comfortable at school.
- If he/she might spread a contagious illness to other children.
- The School Doctor states that you should keep your child home if there is:
- A fever of 100* and above.
- A very frequent, persistent cough.
- Persistent pain (ear, stomach, head, etc.) or irritability.
- An unidentified rash.
- Redness to the eye(s), esp. with crusting and drainage.
- A persistent sore throat, especially with a fever, stomachache, or swollen glands.
- A discharge from the nose or ear (green or yellow).
Children may return to school when:
- Fever free for 24 hours without the use of medication.
- Free of vomiting for 24 hours and be able to hold down fluids and food without medications.
- Free of diarrhea for 24 hours without medications.
- The doctor has identified the cause of the cough and treatment has been started and a note from the doctor stating such would be helpful
- Cause of pain identified and treated.
- A rash has been identified and treated needs a doctor's note stating the diagnosis and treatment. Treatment should be in progress for 24 hours before returning. If the rash is not contagious, may return immediately with a doctor's note.
- The cause of the eye problem has been identified and if needed, treatment started. If antibiotics have been prescribed, a 24-hour course of treatment must be completed before returning and a doctors note is required
- The doctor confirms the reason for the sore throat. If Strep throat has been diagnosed, a 24-hour course of antibiotics must be completed and doctors’ note upon return.
- Illnesses can be easily spread to others. Some means of transmission are direct contact, contact with contaminated objects, and airborne droplets. Keep in mind that hand washing is the single most important thing you can do, and teach your child to do, to help prevent the spread of infections. A suggestion for you: provide your child with individual hand wipes for use at lunch. Bringing a child to school with the above symptoms puts the other children and staff at risk of getting sick. Please remember that your child’s resistance to infection is lower than usual when ill. Please let the school know of any contagious illnesses, so that we may send out notices to the parents and staff.
Please contact the school nurse if you have any questions or concerns.
Yearly check up’s with your child’s doctor
I highly encourage that every student have a physical from their pediatrician every year. Summer is a great time to keep track of their health and also address any concerns or necessary paperwork for the new school year. All the forms the doctor may need to fill out are available here for download like; The Asthma Action Form and The Preparticipation Physical Assessment for athletes, which will be discussed later on this page. If your child needs medication to be given in school have their doctor fill out the medication administration forms. Your doctor can also fill out an Over-The-Counter (OTC) medication administration form giving permission for your child to receive medications like Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), Tylenol, Tums, Pepto-Bismol, or cough drops. The medication administration form and OTC form are part of the Emergency Packet. If your child has Asthma download the Asthma Action Plan and have the doctor fill it out before the next school year and send it in with an inhaler. Asthma Action Plan (In English & Spanish)-
If your child has any allergies that may be life-threatening and require the use of an epi-pen please download the form and have your doctor fill it out and send it in with an epi-pen. Anaphylaxis Emergency Action Plan: Anaphylaxis Emergency Action Plan
Seeing your doctor over the summer is also a great time to make sure all your child’s vaccinations are up to date. At age 11 or 6th grade your child must have a Tdap ( Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis Vaccine) and a Meningococcal Vaccine to prevent Meningitis. Please vaccines must be given before the school year starts! Information on Meningococcal Meningitis can be found here - Meningococcal Meningitis Fact Sheet
The doctor may also want to discuss the HPV vaccine with you. This vaccination is not required to attend school but is recommended by the CDC. Information on HPV can be found here - HPV Factsheet
Sports Physicals or Preparticipation Physical Evaluation (PPE)
The law requires that the PPE or Pre-participation Physical Evaluation be completed prior to the first official practice session of the athletic season.
Here is a link to the Fact sheet on the PPE and its requirements. You may want to have your child’s physician complete this before the school year or before the athletic season begins as your doctor knows your child best. We also offer sports physicals by our school physician if you cannot make it to your own doctor but the first page of the PPE about your child’s health history must be completed by you prior to the school physician examining them.
Annual Athletic Preparticipation Physical Evaluation (PPE)
The new legislation requires that if a student’s PPE was completed more than 90 days prior to the first day of official practice in an athletic season that an updated health history is required, here is the link.
There are risks involved with children participating in sports, including concussions, eye injuries, and sudden cardiac death. The next section includes information and resources on these risks.
It is required by law that you read and sign the sign-off sheet of the Sudden Cardiac Death in Young Athletes pamphlet as well as the Concussion packet in order for your child to participate in sports.
The Basic Facts on Sudden Cardiac Death in Young Athletes is available with the buttons below. After reading the Sudden Cardiac Death pamphlet please sign the sign off sheet and return.
All Forms are also available here
Annual Nursing Services Plan (per NJAC 6a: 16-2.1-2.5)
District Name: Benway School receives students with special needs from 34 school districts. As of 9/10/19, School year 2021/2022 Number of Students enrolled: 70
Enrollment: Students in grades 1-12 Students in Special education:70
Contact Person : Patrick McAloon
The School Physician Dr. Robert Palacios and the school nurse at Benway School operate under the powers and limitations of their professional and nursing licenses when they function as healthcare providers in the context of an educational institution. Dr. Palacios develops and signs standing orders that delineate procedures that are allowed to be followed when school nurses provide care.
Benway School has one Certified School Nurse in the health office responsible for the health needs of 70 students and 62 staff members. The School Nurse facilitates positive student responses to normal development, promotes health and safety, intervenes with actual and potential health problems, is a community agency liaison, screens and refers students for health conditions, and provides health care education.
The school nurse collects needed data for identifying existing and potential health problems, by utilizing the nursing process of assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation. The school nurse provides services to students and staff coming into the Health Office with school and home-related injuries and illnesses. Respiratory infections, gastrointestinal disorders, skin and eye infections, cardiac problems, food allergies are just a few of the medical issues addressed by the nurse on a daily basis. They are responsible for the management of chronic illnesses, such as, but not limited to, diabetes, asthma, seizure disorder, and allergies. The school nurse maintains and updates health records, assess, and recommends the exclusion of students with communicable diseases and inadequate immunizations.
The school nurse maintains a Health Deficit List with the names of students who have medical conditions (acute and chronic). This information is shared with the appropriate faculty, in order to be aware of any medical information that may impede the student’s education. Confidentiality is maintained abiding the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA). All medications are stored and dispensed by the school nurse, with the exception of those who have self-administration orders for asthma inhalers, epinephrine auto-injectors, and insulin administration for diabetes management. The school nurse maintains current medication orders written by a physician and parental consent forms for all students who receive medication in the school setting. All students with documented medical conditions have Individualized Healthcare Plans (IHP) which are initiated, updated, and revised annually by the school nurse. Individualized Emergency Health Plans (IEHP) are in place for all students who may require emergency care due to their preexisting health condition and are reviewed and shared with appropriate staff. All students with Asthma have a current Asthma Action Plan on file as required by N.J.S.A 18 A:40-12.8.
The school nurse schedules and coordinates the athletic sports physicals in conjunction with the school physician, Dr. Palacios. The school nurse maintains an ongoing list of those students who are medically cleared to participate in a sport, and refers those not cleared to a medical specialist for further evaluation and advice.
Students who do not have health insurance coverage are referred to NJ Family Care. Parents are encouraged to have their children receive a physical examination at the recommended intervals.
Health education is provided within the classroom, nurse’s office, and by the distribution of health materials to students, parents, and staff. In addition, outside speakers are organized to provide additional health presentations. Educational information is provided for communicable diseases and drug counseling for age-appropriate students.
The School Nurse is responsible for evaluating, screening, and referring students who are under suspicion of substance abuse. In the case of suspected substance abuse, the sending district's policy is enforced.
Students who present with suicidal and/or severe depression are referred to the appropriate personnel. Parents are notified and a medical/psychiatric evaluation and clearance are required to return to school.
Pregnant teens are provided assistance and guidance by the school nurse, with referrals made to their local Women’s clinic or OB/GYN and Planned Parenthood counseling services.
The school nurse consults with the Wayne Health Department, keeping abreast of communicable diseases on the rise, and ensuring that students meet the mandatory state-required immunizations for school.
State reports are completed in a timely manner and submitted to designated agencies.
School nurses share their knowledge gained at workshops/conferences with colleagues during professional development workshops.
Volunteer delegates are trained for the administration of Epipen and Glucagon, should the nurse not be available.
Nursing Services During Emergency Situations
An emergency protocol has been developed for staff to follow in compliance with Janet’s Law. The school nurse works closely with the Wayne Police Department, Wayne Emergency Squad, Paramedics, and Fire Department should emergencies/crises take place. Nurses participate in fire drills, lockdown situations, shelter-in-place, and evacuation drills. In the event of an emergency and/or disaster situation, the school nurse will assist in the triage and first aid of injured and other health-related activities, as needed. Nurses have organized specific cases, carrying medication for students with special health issues that can be transported should a crisis arise. The school nurse will also assist with the evacuation of injured and disabled students, faculty, and visitors until outside medical assistance arrives.
Student Health Care Needs
Benway School is a Therapeutic School for students with special needs that are both medical and psycho-social therefore many of our students are considered medically complex.
The health care conditions reported most frequently at the school are; asthmatic episodes, hand, arm, and face injuries, upper respiratory infections, gastrointestinal complaints, headaches, diabetes, medication side effects, mental health crises. All the students in this school have cognitive, mobility, behavioral, and/or mental health diagnoses, some of which are congenital.
Level I: Nursing Dependent: 0
Nursing dependent students require 24 hours/day, frequent one-to-one skilled nursing care.
Level II: Medically Fragile- 21
Medically fragile students have complicated health needs and face each day with the possibility of a life-threatening emergency requiring the skill and judgment of a professional nurse.
Seizure disorder: 1
Diabetes Type I: 0
Anaphylactic allergies: 4
Cerebral Palsy- or any other chronic illnesses in your community: 0
Traumatic Brain Injury: 0
Level III: Medically Complex: 42
A student with medically complex concerns requires daily treatments or close monitoring by a nurse for example children who take medications daily.
Medications at home: 38
Daily medications are given in school: 3
PRN Medications in school: 1
Emotional Needs - follow up with nurse: 6
Auto-immune disease: 0
Lactation Provisions - N.J.S.A 26:4C-7
Anyone returning to work or school following a pregnancy who choose to continue providing their milk for their infants shall receive the accommodations required by law that support their choice to breast feed. The principal or designee shall notify pregnant and breastfeeding employee /students about the lactation support policies and procedures. The principal or designee shall be responsible for negotiating policies and practices that will help facilitate an employees and/or student infant feeding goals. It is expected that all employees will assist in providing a positive atmosphere of support for breastfeeding students.
Any employee/student shall be allowed to breastfeed or express milk during work hours using their
normal breaks and meal times. For time that may be needed beyond the usual break times,
employees may use personal leave or may make up the time as negotiated with their supervisors.
A private room (not a toilet stall or restroom) shall be made available for the employee(s)/student to breastfeed or express milk. The room will be private and sanitary with an electrical outlet.
If employees prefer, they may also breastfeed or express milk in their own private offices if available, or in other comfortable locations agreed upon in consultation with the principal or designee.