Monday, November 06, 2006
School nurses on the run
…School nurses, remember them? They had a little cot in there, they took your temperature, they maybe even called Mom.
…According to Jeffrey Zaslow (WSJ, Nov 2, 2006), nurses usually aren’t stationed all day in any one school and they often have heavy-duty responsibilities, such as monitoring blood sugar and dispensing meds to kids.
…One parent in this story clocked how long it would take for the nurse to get between her two assigned schools should this woman’s grandson have lapsed into a diabetic coma.
…Her grandson would be brain dead before the nurse got there, she said.
…Federal guidelines require that each school nurse cover only 750 kids, but some care for as many as 2,000.
…Nowadays nurses work out of their cars and don’t sit in a nice little office waiting for some kid to hurl.
…They insert feeding tubes for kids and tamp down asthma attacks in addition to checking out the scrape.
…A fifth of kids need the nurse each day for a medical visit.
…Some nurses even have to create a terrorism plan or pack necessities in case of violence in school that would cause people to flee.
…”Selectively abandoning” some chores, as they put it, nurses may no longer check for tooth decay, vision, or hearing.
…Before a recent field trip, a nurse was besieged by kids asking for the epi-pens and inhalers.
…Their budgets are being slashed right and left, while some schools still have money for football and sports.
…The grandmother mentioned above? She likes the school nurse and knows she would run a red if she had to in order to save her grandson.
…Uh, is it just HA, or is this strictly the school’s responsibility?