Cooperation between Finnish primary school nurses and pupils' parents

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Abstract

Aim

To generate information on how school nurses in Finnish primary schools describe cooperation with the school-aged (7–12 years) children's parents.

Background

Cooperation between the school nurse and parents is essential for health promotion with primary school children. The topic has not been widely investigated in international research.

Methods

The data consist of descriptions written by 20 Finnish primary school nurses in 2003 and 2005. The data were analysed by the method of grounded theory.

Findings

Cooperation with parents aims at outlining the child's life situation, ascertaining the family's health situation and helping when the child has difficulties. The school nurses described meetings with parents, providing health information and bolstering parental resources as the forms of cooperation. Cooperation is professionally rewarding and school nurse-centred. Confidentiality and familiarity are perceived as facilitating factors while difficulties in communication, factors connected with family and structural factors of work were perceived as barriers.

Conclusions

It is necessary to develop cooperation between school nurses and parents in primary schools. Cooperation and communication skills should be emphasized more in school nurses' training. The findings enable an understanding of the phenomenon of cooperation in school health services and they add valuable point of views to the discussion and the development of children's health services.

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