It’s that time of year again, your students walk into class sneezing into their bare hands and coughing without covering their mouths. You watch as they proceed to touch every surface imaginable- the doorknob, their books, the chairs, your markers, your desk!!! You name it, their germs are on it. Before you know it your whole classroom feels like it needs to be completely cleared out and wiped down (again). There is only one person with the power to stop these little bacteria monsters: the school nurse.
School nurses are unsung heroes at schools lucky enough to have one on staff. Throughout cold and flu season (all winter long) 1 in 10 students become absent due to viruses that they pick up at school, and if it weren’t for school nurses that number would be even higher! Though they are vastly outnumbered by the students that they tend to, 1 nurse per 750 students (and often more), they continue to keep students and teachers, happy, healthy, and informed all year long.
School nurses are often over-looked and deserve to be recognized. Here are just a few of the reasons why:
- They can tell by just looking at a child if they are getting sick and need to go back home, so they don’t spread an illness.
- They can also tell when a student is trying to fake it to get out of class.
- They coordinate with parents and the school to make sure sick students get what they need to get better and back in the classroom.
- They care for minor injuries that happen to students (like bumps, scrapes, and bruises), so teachers can tend to the rest of their class.
- They provide health education to students and give them the information they need about concerns or changes with their bodies.
- They help students with chronic conditions like diabetes.
- They also train staff members to deal with emergencies and are often the first to respond when one happens.
- And lastly, they look out for our students and put their best interests first. Whether that is intervening if they suspect something is happening to a child at home or just listening when a child needs someone to talk to, they are there.
School nurses have a heart of gold and go above and beyond their job descriptions every day to help teachers and students. Thank you, school nurses, whether you hear it often or not, we are so thankful for you!
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