DOI: 10.1177/10598405231218287 ISSN: 1059-8405

Adolescents’ Perceptions of School Nurses’ Role in Functional Seizures at School

Andrea Tanner, Jane von Gaudecker, Janice M. Buelow, Wendy R. Miller
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)

Adolescents with functional (psychogenic nonepileptic) seizures experience school-related struggles. School nurses are positioned to address such struggles. However, school nurses report having little education or confidence in their role of managing or responding to this mental health condition. Little is known about adolescents’ perceptions of school nurses’ role in functional seizure care. This qualitative study used semi-structured interviews with 10 adolescents from across the United States with functional seizures to explore adolescents’ perceptions of school nurses’ roles in functional seizure care at school. Results revealed school nurses, when present, play a spectrum of roles according to adolescents’ perceptions, ranging from negative (harmful and uninvolved) to positive (being present, expressing care, and actively doing tasks for the student). These perceived roles shed light upon school nurses’ lack of functional seizure awareness and opportunities to incorporate mental health interventions for adolescents with functional seizures in the school setting.

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