Vision and Hearing Screening Tests Help Schools Identify Children Who Might Need Extra Support

When your daughter started the 12 month accelerated nursing program she was not totally sure what to expect. She knew that it would be academically challenging, but after having nearly a 4.0 while completing her bachelors of arts biology degree she thought that she would be up for the rigor. She knew that the schedule would be intense, but after competing as a college athlete for the last years she thought that her time management skills were already well honed. What she did not expect, however, was the fact that she would love the community volunteer hours that she spent providing school sensory screenings support to students of all age.

Going into the program she anticipated that she would love any of the women’s health clinical opportunities, but she was surprised at how much she enjoyed the hearing and vision screening sessions at the local Catholic schools. Nursing is a wide open field with many positions being in high demand. One of the things that she has confirmed is that nursing provides a full range of opportunities. And while your daughter anticipates working on an OB/GYN floor at first, she is encouraged by the fact that many educational settings are always searching for nursing staff to help with school sensory screenings, sometimes on a full time basis. Your daughter, who is now just seven months from completing her BSN, anticipates that when she has her own children a school nursing position may be the best option.

Healthy Students Are More Ready to Learn Than Students Who Are Not

The need for health screening at school is increasingly common as more and more parents find themselves without the resources to make sure that their children are getting adequate health care. Children cannot learn if they are hungry; they cannot learn if they are tired; and they cannot learn if they are not able to see and hear like their peers. For these reasons, school sensory screenings play an important role in the student focused services that are provided in both public and private schools.

If you wear glasses and are near sighted, do you remember the first time when you were see the individual leaves on a tree? If you have hearing aids, do you remember the first time when you were able to not only hear the teacher in class, but also the other students participating in a class discussion? The information that is provided by school sensory screenings helps school nurses, parents, and educators all work to create the best educational opportunities for every learner. From the need for glasses, to the fitting of hearing aids, to the need for other kinds of accommodations, it is often important that the earliest of health screenings help match students to the resources that they need to be their best selves.

Consider some of these facts and figures about the many times when children need additional resources and services to achieve the highest educational goals:

  • Children without health insurance are three times as likely not to have eyeglasses when needed even after a vision problem has been detected.
  • 25% of children between the ages of five and 17 have a vision problem, according to the the National Commission on Vision and Health.
  • 25% of school age children suffer from vision problems that could have been treated had the child been properly screened before entering school, according to the the same National Commission on Vision and Health report.
  • Unfortunately, studies show that 79% of children have not visited an eye care provider in the past 12 months. A concern because children’s vision can actually change at a pretty alarming rate.
  • During the 2015-16 school year more than 55,906 public schools used Title I funds to provide academic support, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s most recent data on participation in the program.
  • As many as two or three out of every 1,000 children in the U.S. are born with a detectable level of hearing loss in one or both ears. If these losses are not detected as soon as possible, there can be a significant amount of speech progress that is delayed.

Few things are as important as vision and hearing in the life of a student.

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