Insights: the Magnus Health Blog

Making the first impression [Employee Spotlight]

Posted by Carrie Chandler on Sep 11, 2014 10:28:51 AM

Emily-Williams-new-landing-pageIn a world of 140-character Tweets, automated phone calls, and scripted conversations, it's sometimes hard to stumble upon genuine interactions. You wonder if you're talking to a person or a machine, and if you're actually being heard. That's why it's a relief to meet people like Emily Williams, a Magnus Health Account Executive.

Emily gets what it means to be human - to hold two-way conversations, to laugh, and to be a little quirky. As one of the first people you may ever talk to at Magnus, she'll make sure your first impression of us is, well... human. And if you haven't had the pleasure of meeting her yet, read on and say hello.

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Topics: Employee Spotlights

Back to school [Guest Post]

Posted by Kathryn Sloop on Sep 10, 2014 9:02:00 AM

So many behavioral things happen in our country that signal the start of the school year - commercials, news stories, advertisements. Perhaps your school starts at a different time or even continues year round. Still your life is somewhat impacted by the event we call “back to school”. For school staff, including school nurses, this is both a new beginning and a series of stress-filled, very long, work days. I now know that tasks required of the general population of public school nurses differ significantly from those of private school nurses. Thanks to my attendance at the Magnus Academy this summer, I met dozens of you, willing to share your stories with me. Thank you. I look forward to learning more from you about the unique issues you face in private schools and the creative solutions you’ve accomplished. welcome_back_to_school

A few years into my practice as a school nurse, I asked a seasoned school nurse what I was doing wrong in September. She listened carefully and grinned wider, the longer I talked. “I just can’t seem to get organized,” I’d said, “and every day I feel as if I’ve taken ten steps backward instead of three forward. How can I make September go more smoothly for myself, my students and the staff?” I implored.

When she replied, it was with kindness and care in her voice. “September will never go well. You must start each day fresh, confident in your ability to prioritize, to organize and to move ahead. Make a plan and then deviate from it whenever you really need to. Reschedule what issues can wait. Never turn away a frightened child or a frantic parent. Never minimize a staff members concerns. Always remember your purpose, your value and your importance. Before you know it, the snow will fall and you’ll realize everything that needed to be done, was accomplished. And next fall it will start all over.”

From my own experiences, I’ve put together a small arsenal of strategies that helped me through September. I hope you can take some of these tips and they help you as you head back to school.

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Topics: School Nurses, Guest Posts

Treatment notes and online student medical records

Posted by Kathryn Sloop on Sep 5, 2014 10:19:47 AM

Charts. Notes. Treatments. Screenings. Logs. Reports. Visits. Whatever you call them (I prefer treatment notes) the documentation you make on student visits and treatment is important. Check that, very important.Chart

Every time a student is treated at the health center, a record needs to be in place, not only for the sake of protecting the health care provider, and the school, but more importantly so that the student has a complete health history. With a full student health history, providers can look at the total picture of health, observe trends, accurately note when something occurred, when a shot was given, or simply note that the student is a frequent flier to the health center.

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Topics: Liability & Risk Management, SMR

A note from the CEO: Identifying students with health needs

Posted by Chas Scarantino on Sep 4, 2014 9:33:00 AM

The ratio goal for school nurses to students is 1 to 750. In Wake County, we are well short of that with a current ratio of 1 nurse for every 2,400 kids. These nurses are tasked with the significant responsibility of identifying and developing care plans for every student with an identified issue within the first 30 days of school. In that same 30 days, faculty and staff must be trained as well. These tasks consume the first month of the year. The remainder of the year is spent managing these students, constantly evaluating their plans, and identifying new students. Oh, and did I mention these nurses make house calls too?

Over the next three years, the Wake County Human Services Board of Commissioners has committed to employ 40 new nurses at Wake County Schools. These new nurses, along with the current staff, will be deployed across Wake County with a focus on the schools with the highest need (identified health issues). This is called an acuity model, and it is a great start, but there is a problem.

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Topics: Community

3 steps to getting student health forms in on time

Posted by Carrie Chandler on Aug 28, 2014 9:23:00 AM

It's the beginning of a fresh new school year. Parents are rushing to the store to pick up backpacks and washable markers, while students are texting their friends to find out if they're in the same World History class. The last thing on anyone's mind is making sure all of their student health forms are filled out and submitted to the school.

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Topics: Liability & Risk Management, Compliance, School Nurses

Communicating to parents why you require student health information

Posted by Kathryn Sloop on Aug 19, 2014 9:17:00 AM

You have to communicate with parents. You know it. They know it. It's not always fun, but it is necessary. You communicate with them about everything, and you do it throughout the year, so it's easy to see how some things can fall through the cracks or simply be ignored by parents.

But, health information cannot be ignored. You have to have the information on the student to properly and completely fulfill your duties as caregiver of the student while they are at school. And that's exactly what we encourage you to tell parents. megaphone

We've found that when school administration and health services explain not just what they're requiring, but why they're requiring it, the collection and enforcement headaches are alleviated. During the school year, students spend a significant portion of each day in the care of school staff. That time increases dramatically when you factor in sports. And with boarding schools, the school is the primary caregiver all the time.

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Topics: Liability & Risk Management, Emergencies, Compliance

5 things we all learned at Magnus Academy

Posted by Carrie Chandler on Aug 13, 2014 9:27:00 AM

smaller_for_blogMagnus Academy 2014 will live in history books as the event that started it all. For the very first time, we hosted two and half thrilling days of training for Magnus customers, with a splash (or two, or three) of fun. We laughed, we cheered, we learned, and most importantly, we connected. And, for anyone who wasn't able to attend our first Magnus Academy, don't worry. This is your chance to see what all of the fuss was about.

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Topics: SMR, School Nurses, Recap

Top 10 tech tips for school nurses using Magnus SMR

Posted by Kathryn Sloop on Aug 6, 2014 9:32:00 AM

Have some tech questions and want a quick, concise answer? We thought so. That's why we put together these 10 tech tips to address the most frequent questions we receive from Magnus clients. The beauty is, they benefit the non-Magnus user as well. In fact, my gut tells me that after putting the tips into practice, everyone will be giving them a thumbs up.


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Topics: Technology, School Nurses

Zero tolerance is your friend

Posted by Kathryn Sloop on Jul 30, 2014 8:46:00 AM

What comes to mind when you hear "zero tolerance"? Drugs? Weapons? Dress code? I'd like to suggest that zero tolerance has a rightful place in health form compliance as well.

The beauty of zero tolerance, as it relates to compliance, is that it's entirely enforceable, and deals more with enforcing action by the parents before the start of school, than student behavior on a daily basis during the school year. In essence, a zero tolerance health form compliance policy mandates that all required health information be submitted prior to the start of school, and in the event that anything is missing, the student is denied entry to school, athletics, or any school-related trip. 

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Topics: Liability & Risk Management, Compliance

How to prepare students for an emergency or natural disaster

Posted by Kathryn Sloop on Jul 24, 2014 8:56:00 AM

emergency_checklist_croppedIn the past we've written blogs and research papers about the many things schools must consider when it comes to preparing for an emergency or natural disaster. One stone left unturned (at least in great detail) is the necessity to continually prepare students for what they need to know and do in an emergency. This goes beyond crouching under desks or calmly filing out of a building. Students, particularly young ones, can benefit from understanding why they're expected to behave in a certain way, instead of just blindly following an adult's lead. I'm not suggesting providing them with gorey, unnecessary details, but some education on the subject can be helpful to everyone involved. So, without further ado, I present to you several resources you can use to prepare students for an emergency or natural disaster.

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Topics: Emergencies

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