Published: May 26, 2012 07:00 PM
Modified: May 26, 2012 09:39 AM
It was an ordinary day in the school district. The teachers were working with their classes, the principals were trying to catch up on their reports, a few classes enjoying recess on the playground. All seemed quiet
A first grader on the playground got stung by a bee. Luckily both his teacher and the classroom assistant knew what to do. They had been instructed by their school nurse and knew that this first grader had severe allergic reactions to beestings. They took the student immediately to the nurse, who gave him benedryl. After careful observation the child continued his day with no further problems.
Meanwhile, across town, in a middle school, a team of teachers and support staff, including the school nurse, was meeting to determine a plan of action for a student who had serious behavior problems, though no one was sure of the cause.
And at one of the high schools a school nurse worked patiently with a sophomore who had severe diabetes. The nurse and the student worked out a plan where the student could manage her diabetes successfully, feel confident, participate in her daily activities knowing that there was a caring, competent professional she could turn to when necessary.
Everyone knows that school nurses can administer first aid and deal with health crises, but how many of us in the community stop to appreciate what a school nurse really does?
Our school nurses are critical in helping students and their families develop and implement often complicated health plans so that they can be successful in school – even with a serious health problem. They make sure that there are staff in each school who know how to be safe and effective first responders (trained in first aid), they make sure staff are comfortable with their students – even those with health problems like diabetes, asthma, and seizure disorders. They serve as on-site epidemiologists and protect the health of all students by managing and containing communicable disease outbreaks.
We all benefit when all students can learn, when health problems don’t interfere with the success of students. May 9 was National School Nurses Day – but let us salute the school nurses in our district every day. Thanks to the commitment of the Orange County Commissioners, each of our schools has a full-time nurse. We should all be proud to be part of a community which values education and understands that it takes more than good classroom teachers to educate all children.
All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be published, broadcast or redistributed in any manner.