Wednesday, October 15, 2008

School nurses are necessity, not a frill

…Emily Gerseman, writing in the Arizona Republic (October 11, 2008), says districts facing budget shortfalls are thinking of laying off the school nurses, or making them trek from school to school to keep bases covered.

…The National Association of School nurses says fewer are employed this year.

…But with kids being mainstreamed, many children need nurses to administer medication and help them with ventilators and other equipment.

…There should be 1 nurse to 750 kids—but this is more like 1:1200.

…Thirteen states have adopted measures requiring decent ratios.

…Nurses can perform a public health function, too—spotting outbreaks of flu or other illnesses or noticing cases of child abuse.

…Many districts are also employing aides with less training. The Nurses Association says this is like a substitute teacher. It’s a, pardon the expression, Band-Aid.

…Some parents, especially those with kids with chronic problems, won’t even enroll in a school without a nurse on staff.

…Nurses are so much more than a cool cloth on the head when a math test looms.

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