Tuesday, May 5, 2009

National School Nurse Day - May 6th

Wednesday, May 6th is National School Nurses Day. School nurses are as important as a good principal. They help create a healthy, nuturing environment at a school, and they really are educators, not just support staff. Prevention and education are just important as the actual care they provide. Take some time on Wednesday with your children to say thanks to your school nurse!

From the National Association of School Nurses:
School Nurses: Voices for Student Health

From the National Education Association:
School Nurse Day

If you think school nursing is all about flu shots, Band-Aids, and record-keeping, you haven't been inside a school lately. School health professionals juggle a complex array of medical and social issues, seeing thousands of students, and often moving from school to school throughout the district.

A typical schedule can encompass immunizations, health care screenings, hearing and vision testing; dealing with home accidents, diseases such as diabetes and asthma, student obesity, special needs like tube-feeding, preventing the spread of disease through blood exposure; and the fallout from mental, emotional, and social problems, including arranging for disadvantaged students to receive breakfast and clothing, and even helping students cope who are homeless or whose parents are incarcerated. For some students, the school nurse is the only health care professional they ever see.

Nor is their work confined to the nurse's office—they must also interact with other professionals such as teachers, doctors, child study teams, administrators, school counselors, coaches, parents, police officers, drug and substance abuse professionals, social workers, and other education support professionals.

Many Students, Few Nurses

About 50,000 school nurses are employed in America, but we need more. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, schools should have one nurse for every 750 students. The reality is a far cry from the recommendation; about 59% of schools have a higher ratio of students to available nurses. According to statistics from the National Association of School Nurses, in 2005, Michigan, for example, had about 3,611 students for every school nurse, and Utah had only one nurse for every 4,952 students. At the same time, the number of students with medical needs continues to increase.

Yet, school nurses rise to the challenge. Healers, comforters, educators, mentors, trainers, role models, critically-needed members of every school community—heroes all—NEA salutes school nurses this day and every day.

P.S. National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day - May 7, 2009
NASN is a supporter of this awareness day that promotes positive youth development, resilience, recovery, and the transformation of mental health services delivery for children and youth with serious mental health needs and their families.
Click here for more information.

H/T to the DeKalb County School Watch.

1 comment:

ecrunner said...

School nurses really have it hard and deserve all the best thanks and gratitude possible. The things they do go above and beyond what their duties entail and it is very much appreciated. Their stories are humbling and inspiring.