As we near the end of the school year and kids are starting to come home we often always try to give a little something to remind kid’s teachers, to recognize them. They do a lot of hard work and put up with children. But certainly, there are other people that we should be recognizing.  One of those people, I think is the unsung hero of the community health environment and that’s the school nurse. There’s a great article here talking about school nurse being a prime health care provider.

This is an article that focuses on a particular school nurse in this community but it might be one of those things, if you’re representing your local nursing organization or maybe your state nursing organization, that you find a way to reach out and encourage local papers to do a story about school nurses and the things that they provide in your region because it’s different from state to state and county to county. Certainly in this particular article, it talks about all of these key things that school nurses do. Of course they’re there to provide first aid but they’re really there for all the students with special needs, students with chronic health conditions, to administer medications and that to be administered mid day and also engage in prevention, health and wellness, diet, all of those things.

The holistic patient really comes to the forefront in the school nursing environment because you were really helping kids be healthier in so many different ways not just the chronically ill kids but you can work with the local dietician on the school diet committee. Try to improve school lunches but are still horrendous. Is there a way that we can provide cost effective and also highly nutritious school lunches for kids? And that’s a challenge because of the cost they cut and it’s a lot easier to buy those pre-processed fried taped paper tots and chicken nuggets and hot dogs and things like that to feed kids when we could maybe find some other alternatives and do some things.  School nurses are involved in the heath process.

So I urge you to read this article, I urge you to reach out and thank a school nurse in your area. As nurses we can thank each other too and not just wait for the public to do so. A lot of you listening to this or checking this out of kids or grand kids or planning on having kids, contact your local elementary, middle or high school, junior high school and just say “I’d like to leave a note of thanks to the  school nurse”. You can often find their e-mail address on school’s website. You can just send them an e-mail address saying “Hey, I’m a nurse, I just wanted to thank you for being a school nurse and helping to keep our community safe.” It is just one of those things we can use to pat each other on the back. And this has actually inspired me to look back.

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This article has been featured in the news segment of the Nursing Show podcast episode Donna Mazyck on School Nurses and Episode 181.

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