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The School Nurse Is Important for Us

The School Nurse Is Important for Us


The School Nurse Is Important for Us

by Amy Nutt

Everyone remembers the school nurse. From the age of 5, we remember her as the one with the quiet voice, who smells like astringent, who has cool hands, who fixes it or makes it better- the next best thing to mom. Even wimpy, fraidy-cat kids, afraid of the doctor, were not afraid to go to the school nurse. She was someone you could trust, who knew it all, just wanted you to be okay and didn't ask your grades. She had stickers, and animal posters on the wall. And if you really were sick, you didn't mind being there at all.

The Centre for Health Studies is still there for our children and also provides care for the staff. Health care ranges from treatment of a skinned knee or administration of medication, knowledge of vaccine schedules, and the ability to implement an emergency plan if needed. She knows about childhood diseases and epidemics- she wants out children safe. The school nurse screens and processes referrals for indications of vision, hearing, weight and posture issues. We saw these as mundane things that threw our day off schedule- made us wonder if we'd be last in the lunch line or late for recess. We did the tests every year, sure that nothing had changed from the last, happy that we were healthy.

The school nurse promotes physical and emotional safety and a healthy environment. She has pamphlets and brochures, posters and charts; and no waiting line. She organizes educational events to inform, not only children, the school community as a whole. She educates parents and staff of symptoms to look for when all you know is that a child's 'belly hurts'. She tells us when to keep them home and why. She tells us when it's safe to send them back. She not only looks at sickness but also opens our eyes to health, nutrition and safety. She works with the cafeteria to be sure that they are serving a healthy diet then she goes to the classroom and speaks to the children to be sure it's being eaten.

We remember what we were told, we remember disregarding it, and we know now that it's the same thing we'll tell our own children. The school nurse is a leader and a link between the family and the school, the community and the parent. She is an expert in child development and supports social and mental health ensuring success and happiness in learning.

The school nurse has seen it all and doesn't cringe. She knows that head lice is not the parents' fault and sympathizes about the time it will take to remedy a six-year old with waist-length hair. She's heard all the whiners, criers, complainers and babies. In her lifetime, she will have watched and helped thousands of children grow, even though not her own. The school nurse will always be there for our children. Her job never goes away. She is one of those very important unsung heroes that everyone would miss were she not there.

About the Author:
Halifax college provides hands-on career training for business management and medical industries like Health Schools

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