Queensland Health employs School Based Youth Health Nurses (SBYHN) who work in secondary schools across Queensland, including Schools of Distance Education. These nurses focus on preventative health for young people and provide:
a confidential health service
health information to students, teachers and the school communication
intervention and links to other services as required.
SBYHNs are not employed to administer medications, deliver health procedures or provide routine first aid. Queensland state schools offer these services via other staff members.
Year 7 secondary school students and their access to the SBYHN program
From 2015, Year 7 will become the first year of high school in Queensland. To prepare for this move, up to 20 state schools will pilot Year 7 in a secondary environment before 2015. In accordance with the SBYHN program management guidelines and Memorandum of Understanding, this service is accessible by all students in a secondary setting.
Confidential Student Appointments
Your teenager can make an appointment with the SBYHN to discuss any questions they have about their health. These appointments are confidential, and the nurse will not share any information without the student’s consent unless there is a risk to the student’s health in not sharing this information with others.
In most cases, it is best for young people to talk to their parents about health and wellbeing issues. The SBYHN can support young people to do this.
Generally the law recognises that young people (usually over the age of 12 years) have the right to self-determine access to a health service. The SBYHN will assess if the young person has a sufficient level of maturity and understanding regarding the issues and the health services proposed. Where the SBYHN assesses that the young person does not have sufficient levels of maturity and understanding, the SBYHN will seek consent from the young person's parent.
Individual health consultations may include:
· early detection of actual or potential health problems
· providing information, options or referrals regarding relevant health services to provide them with further assessment, treatment or support
· providing brief interventions and/or referrals as appropriate.
Some of the main issues for which young people access a SBYHN are mental health, including social and emotional wellbeing, relationships, stress, eating issues, sexual and reproductive health, drugs (including tobacco and alcohol) and growth and development.
Where possible and with the young person’s consent, the school may establish a team approach with Education Queensland school support staff to address the health needs of the young person.
Other Nursing Services in Queensland state schools
In addition to the SBYHN program, Education Queensland employs Registered Nurses to work in state primary and secondary schools, to assist school personnel to safely manage the health needs of students with verified disabilities and specialised health needs, supporting their participation in an educational program.
For further information - Contact the school administration (07) 54 606 111, for further information on the SBYHN program and other health services available to the school to support students’ health and wellbeing.