The role of school nurses in detecting bullying and helping bullied victims


 Retired school nurses to help younger colleagues

The Education, Science and Technology Ministry plans to establish a system that would see retired school nurses visit schools to aid school nurses in their duties, starting in 2008.

The plan is part of an effort to better deal with an increasing number of children seeking help at school for problems, including bullying.

The ministry will implement the measure next fiscal year to improve the level of care provided by schools.

Currently, many schools have only one school nurse, who provides both first-aid and counseling for students.

Each prefectural government will secure dozens of retired school nurses to help school nurses provide physical and mental care for students.

Every school has a nurse’s room managed by a school nurse where students can receive first-aid treatment and mental health counseling.

According to the ministry, the number of students visiting school nurse’s rooms each day has increased in recent years. Last year, the average number of daily visits per school was 41 in primary schools and 38 in middle schools.

According to a survey conducted in 2004 by the Japanese Society of School Health, students have come to school but remained in the nurse’s room all day at about 90 percent of middle schools. (1)This is partly attributed to a sharp increase in the number of students who fear being bullied.

There have been many cases of students visiting a school nurse’s room complaining of stomach pain or a headache, but later revealing that their visit had been prompted by problems with other students.

The ministry’s survey last year showed that 46.9 percent of students visiting school nurse’s rooms suffered from mental stress. The figure was much higher than 28.8 percent whose problems were physical.

In one case, a male student visited a nurse’s room saying he was injured. However, when the school nurse asked the student why the back of his jacket had been written on with chalk, he burst into tears and told her of the bullying he had been experiencing.

The ministry said school nurses had often reached the conclusion that students had been bullied after noticing changes in students’ facial expressions and physicalcondition when they visited school nurse’s rooms.

“School nurses play an important role in preventing bullying at school,” a ministry official said.

(2)The ministry’s decision to boost the capacity of school health care provision will allow them to play an even greater role in the early detection of abuse and bullying, as well as being able to better diagnose allergies and eating disorders.

The cost of reemploying retired school nurses will be shouldered by the central government.

The assistant school nurses will be dispatched to about 3,000 primary and middleschools across the nation where schools have nurses without much experience or a high rate of visits to the nurse’s room.

If necessary, the assistant school nurses will take over part of the workload of school nurses, and provide guidance and advice to their younger (3)counterparts.

There are about 35,000 school nurses employed in state-run, public and private primary and middle schools. Ninety-six percent of public primary and 95.3 percent of public middle schools have school nurses.

The ministry’s plan was prompted by a series of suicides committed last year by students who suffered from school bullying. (4)The incidents prompted the ministry to reconfirm the need to quickly detect bullying.

Though there are *clinical psychotherapists employed as school counselors who areable to treat bullied students, victims of bullying currently have to go to seek out those counselors themselves.

The ministry noted that many school nurses are capable of observing that studentsappear worried, even if those students have been silent about their concerns.

clinical psychotherapist

1. How do nurses determine that students are victims of bullying when they visit nurse’s rooms?

 (ア)By observing changes in the way the students look.

(イ)By listening to the students’ complaints.

 (ウ)By believing that the students are telling the truth.

(エ)By giving first-aid treatment to the students.

2.Who will take on the financial burden of reemploying retired school nurses?

(ア)The parents of students.

(イ)Prefectural governments.

(ウ)The central government.

(エ)Primary and middle schools.

3. What did the ministry note?

(ア)That nurses can tell victims of bullying, even if those victims do not visit school nurse’s rooms.

(イ) That nurses can tell students are anxious about something, even if those students do not share their anxieties with them.

(ウ) That victims of bullying can visit school nurse’s rooms, even if those victims are not willing to communicate with the nurses.

(エ) That victims of bullying always seek help from nurses, even if those victims are not able to voice their concerns.

(ア)The ministry’s efforts to protect students from bullying have been highly effective.

(イ)Last year, the average number of daily visits to nurse’s rooms per school was higher among primary schools than it was among middle schools.

(ウ)The majority of public primary and middle schools have assistant schoolnurses, who provide students with medical treatment.

 (エ)Currently students can go to a clinical psychotherapist to receive first-aid treatment and mental health counseling.

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