The National Conference of State Legislators report estimated that telehealth users would increase from 250,000 in 2013 to 3.2 million in 2018—but no one could have expected the surge that erupted out of the COVID-19 pandemic, a public health fiasco that rapidly shut the door on in-school learning for K-12 students.
Teachers and students aren’t the only ones adopting new classroom procedures. Telehealth platforms have also enabled nursing departments to reach students who are isolated, undergoing COVID-19 quarantine, or who cannot physically meet in-person for an appointment with the school nurse. As CNBC’s Bertha Coombs emphasized, telehealth interactions—including those with children, families, and adults—neared 1 billion visits toward the end of 2020. Both the National Association of Student Nurses (NASN) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) have endorsed a holistic, whole-student model that could include a telehealth option.
School nurses are relying heavily on telehealth platforms for health assessments, educational discussions, and remote treatment—as distance-based care has become the new norm for school districts. School-based telemedicine offers creative tools for distributing health information, such as disease prevention tips and nutritional coaching, to students of all ages. Nurses are now getting a glimpse into their student’s home lives which profoundly improves their ability to identify at-home factors of illness or disease.
Initiatives to eliminate social, economic, and regional barriers, while helping vulnerable student groups access equal care, are popping up in school districts across the country. At the Telehealth Certification Institute, our School-Based Telehealth Certificate Program uses a team-based, culturally sensitive approach to telehealth instruction. The SBTC certificate hits key telehealth teaching milestones, empowering you to create, launch, or finetune your school’s telemedicine nursing program.
Highlights of our SBTC program—
- Telehealth Strategy teaches you where to begin. This course module builds the base of your telehealth program.
- Program Creation defines the components and scope for your telehealth vision.
- Metric Analysis explains the metrics to empirically evaluate performance.
- Regulatory Criteria is an educational module about the ethical considerations to start and maintain a school telehealth program.
- Technology Selection walks you through your options for conducting meetings with students.
- Marketing Methods is a masterclass on how to promote a remote program.
- The Consult Demo caps off our course through a telehealth demonstration led by Loren Nix, the first school nurse in the state of Georgia to use telehealth for K-12 nursing.
Our certification enrollment is open now, and we would love to have you in our next cohort.
Center for Disease Control: Division of Adolescent and School Health. The Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Model. (Description: a best practice approach to K-12 student healthcare.
Coombs, B. Telehealth visits are booming as doctors and patients embrace distancing amid the coronavirus crisis. (Description: news reportage highlighting growth in telehealth services).
National Association of School Nurses. The role of school nursing in telehealth. (Description: a mission statement and rationale from the NASN).
National Conference of State Legislators. Telehealth policy trends and considerations. (Description: state legislator and private industry representatives discuss telehealth barriers in this 2014 conference report).