School nurses’ perceptions and experiences with an interprofessional concussion management team in the secondary school setting

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Journal of Interprofessional Care


Following a concussion, both cognitive and physical rest are imperative aspects of injury management. The inclusion of academic adjustments and the formation of an interprofessional concussion management team (ICMT) provide a mechanism to manage academic issues following a concussion. As one of the sole healthcare providers presents during school hours, the school nurse may offer unique insight regarding the infrastructure of an ICMT in the secondary school setting. The purpose of this study was to explore school nurses’ perceptions of and experiences with an ICMT for adolescents following a concussion in the secondary school setting. The consensual qualitative research approach was used to guide this study. Semi-structured individual telephone interviews were conducted with 15 school nurses employed in the secondary school setting across the United States. During data analysis, themes and categories were established based on a consensus process by the research team. Study findings indicated that school nurses identified several stakeholders regarding the concussion management team that are essential to include in the concussion management process. In addition to the school nurse, participants perceived an ICMT should include a physician, athletic trainer, school counsellor, teachers, and other stakeholders such as the patient and their parents. Additionally, participants discussed their perceptions of their own role as a member of an ICMT in the secondary school setting. The inclusion of an ICMT to aid the recovery following a concussion is vital to ensure proper care for the adolescent patient. Furthermore, the school nurse and athletic trainer must effectively collaborate, when possible, to ensure that concussed adolescents are allowed sufficient cognitive rest via the incorporation of academic adjustments during the recovery process.

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