Contributor: Pilar Puig Plana, University Care Network, Althaia Manresa Foundation
On International Youth Day, 12 August 2021, we celebrate the work of nurses to improve the health of children and help them learn how they can prevent the spread of COVID-19. Nurses are the first point of contact for many people, including children and school nurses play a key role on health education and promotion.
When schools opened up in Spain the autumn of 2020, many feared a spread of COVID-19. To prepare for this opening, a set of actions was put in place to make educational centres safe and free of COVID-19 throughout the 2020-2021 academic year.
At the beginning of the school year, in September, the School Nurse at the Sant Andreu de Manresa Primary Care Center, in Manresa, Spain, took on the responsibility of implementing the School COVID Reference at three Early Childhood and Primary Education schools with similar sociodemographic characteristics.
The School Nurse reinforced the information on protective measures against coronavirus to teachers, students and families to help avoid contagion at school. In addition, direct training was also carried out from September to December 2020 for all 88 primary school students at the Muntanya de Drac school via a workshop entitled, “Prevention of the risk of infection by coronavirus”.
The objective of the study was to know the effectiveness of direct training to students, using the “Prevention of the risk of infection by coronavirus” school workshop by comparing these 88 students to the control group of 506 school children who did not receive the direct training.
Of the control group of 506 students who did not have the direct training via the school workshop, 17.4% of the students had to take a school PCR test for confirmed COVID contact in these three months; five new positive COVID cases were found as a result of these tests. Out of the 88 schoolchildren who attended the specific workshop of coronavirus prevention, no students required a school PCR for school COVID contact.
In the first three months of the 2020-2021 school year, the Coronavirus infection risk prevention workshop turned out to be 100% effective. The role of the nurse in Primary Care, through health education to the community, is key in the promotion of health and in the prevention of highly contagious diseases, such as COVID-19, achieving the maximum effectiveness in the group exposed to the school training workshop.