Mississippi Nurses Train to Fight Child Obesity

Mississippi nurses are turning their eye toward the children of the state, hoping to promote healthy weight from within the public schools. They are leading the way toward a new era in the field of professional nursing care: the era of specialized childhood obesity nursing.

child-obesityThe state’s Department of Education has announced its participation in a national program designed to train nurses in the special health care needs of childhood obesity patients – and in the special skills needed to better meet those needs.

The program, entitled School Nurse Childhood Obesity Prevention Education – or S.C.O.P.E. for short – provides strategies for promoting healthy weight among children and adolescents in high-risk populations. According to the National Association of School Nurses, which created the program, S.C.O.P.E. is “a comprehensive…continuing education program developed… to provide strategies for school nurses to assist students, families and the school community to address the challenges of obesity and overweight.”

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According to NASN, S.C.O.P.E.’s big advantage is its focus. Its curriculum is designed especially for school nurses and provides an overview of overweight and obesity in children, including obesity screening, type 2 diabetes, childhood hypertension, BMI, and other co-morbidities of the disease.

In a typical live training session, S.C.O.P.E. personnel educate nurses in the latest obesity-assessment techniques for high risk students – considered an important strategy in the war on childhood obesity – and in other effective ways to support school nursing practice as it relates to overweight and obesity in children.

More than 400 Mississippi school nurses are participating in the full-day S.C.O.P.E. program, which is being held in the state capital of Jackson.

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