Posted on: 7 December 2021
Since an early age, School Health Technician Cindy Milford, has always been dedicated to helping children in schools.
“I was born deaf and had profound hearing loss as a child. When I was young I received a cochlear implant and this gave me the most hearing I’ve ever had. This created a desire to give back to the NHS for giving me a new lease of life, and gave me the passion to work with children in schools.”
School Nurse, Helen Gunderson, undertook a placement with a school nursing team during her final year of training and decided to apply for a role immediately.
“I just really loved school nursing and my love for it has just continued to grow since then,” she says. “You get to meet so many different people from so many different backgrounds, no day is the same, you don’t know what is going to turn up at your door. I think that is part of why it is so good.”
Cindy and Helen work within our Inner London School Nurse Service, a specialist team who provide advice and support to school-aged children, their families and school staff. School nurses are crucial in making sure every child has the best start in life, helping to identify health and wellbeing needs early, using targeted intervention to prevent issues from escalating and empowering young people to make positive health choices.
Most School Nurses cover several schools, and they support children with a wide range of physical and mental health issues such as bullying, bereavement, eating disorders, anxiety, sexual health, depression or self-harm. They also screen children for hearing problems and weight, and in some areas, they carry out immunisations.
“It’s a job role where you can provide a lot of health promotion, which prevents children’s health from deteriorating. It’s a very positive, preventative role that can make such an enormous difference to a child,” explains Service Manager for Camden, Sally Lydamore.
School Nurses are qualified registered nurses who have completed additional qualifications in community public health. They take over from health visiting services when children start school and are there to support them up until they leave at 18.
In a short video, we asked team members from our school nursing service what they love about their role, and why it’s so fulfilling to support children through their healthcare journey. Hear from the team below.
“If you love working with children then it is a great job to be in,” says School Nurse Faris Badani. Faris did his nursing training in France and moved to England recently when he joined the school nursing team.
Helen continues: “I would say to someone who is considering being a school nurse, to come and give this a try. There is such a wide range of things we can do to help people in the community.”
We have school nursing services in several boroughs. See the Community Services page to find one local to you.
Become part of our team! Search our current vacancies here. Vacancies can be added at any time so keep an eye on this page for the latest updates.
Photo shows: Donna Campbell, Support Worker with CNWL's Camden School Nursing Service, and her daughter Damiona.