Health Department

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our administration office at 10777 Main Street in Fairfax is open during regular business hours 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday. Clinic services are not offered at this location.
703-246-2411 TTY 711
10777 Main Street
Fairfax, VA 22030
Gloria Addo-Ayensu, M.D., M.P.H.
Director of Health

School Health Team Visits the Public Health Youth Ambassadors

Submitted by jwile1 on Thu, 05/25/2023 - 9:36 am

A fitting feature for National Nurse Month, Public Health Nurses from the Fairfax County Health Department School Health Team recently visited the Public Health Youth Ambassadors at Mount Vernon High School to talk about public health nursing and the school health program.

School Health Assistant Division Director, Kimberly Smith presents to the Public Health Youth Ambassadors
School Health Assistant Division Director, Kimberly Smith presents to the Public Health Youth Ambassadors

The discussion opened with a brief history and general information about public health nursing – including an introduction to notable figures in nursing from Florence Nightingale and Lillian Wald to more current examples like Congresswoman Cori Bush.

Fairfax County Health Department partners with Fairfax County Public Schools and Falls Church City Public Schools to provide school health services. In Fairfax County that means supporting 198 schools and more than 180,000 students.

The Youth Ambassadors learned that the health services that public health nurses and school health aids provide in our community go well beyond responding to the needs of a student who may be sick or injured. In fact, one nurse shared the details of a typical day, including how she manages care plans and communicates with families, audits medications being administered in the school health room, shares important health information with school community – and much more.

The Youth Ambassadors also had an opportunity to share their knowledge about health equity during a discussion about how public health nurses incorporate knowledge about the social determinants of health (nonmedical factors that influence health outcomes) into how they care for students and their families. For example, nurses routinely provide connections to care and coordinate with family assistance workers and other county programs to ensure each student and family had the resources they need.

And finally, in alignment with the program curriculum, the school health team spent some time talking about the different pathways to becoming a nurse and the many disciplines that nurses work in. They shared their own experiences working in a variety of positions — from labor and delivery to critical care to flight nursing — and how their journeys led them to school health.

Public Health Youth Ambassadors and School Health Public Health Nurses pose for a photo.


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