DCSD Celebrates National School Nurse Day
CASTLE ROCK - National School Nurse Day, May 7, 2014, is a time to celebrate the role our school nurses play in the safety, health, and academic success of our students.
Since 1972, National School Nurse Day has been set aside to recognize school nurses. It is always celebrated on the Wednesday within National Nurse Week and National Teacher Appreciation Week. The celebration was established to foster a better understanding of the role of school nurses in the educational setting.
According to the National Association of School Nurses (NASN), the theme this year is “The School Nurse: Caring for Others. Caring for Ourselves.”
School nurses play a crucial role in our school communities, by not only administering medicine and bandaging scraped knees, but also modeling health and resiliency. Healthy children learn and school nurses work to remove barriers to learning.
“If a student is not feeling well—has a headache, has chronic conditions—diabetes for example and their blood sugars are out of control they are not going to learn,” explained Director of Health Services Paulette Joswick. “When we take a child that has a significant issue and we work with all the different people in that child’s life; the doctors, the therapists, the teachers and they try to provide a holistic plan.”
The nurses' work can be lifesaving. They have identified lumps, which have turned out to be cancerous, counseled students struggling with anorexia, and intervened when students have considered taking their own lives.
“One nurse recognized a student that was suicidal and was able to talk the child out of her active plan to commit suicide that night by taking an overdose and got her help, because the child saw the nurse as someone she could talk to,” Joswick.
In the United States more than 73,000 school nurses are stepping up to help students meet new challenges they face today and working to support education and advance student health. Health, healthy lifestyles and graduation are the goals.
“School nurses focus on prevention and wellbeing for students and families through education regarding healthy lifestyle choices and management of chronic diseases. Chronic conditions such as asthma, allergy and obesity require a plan of care that school nurses create and implement through communication with parents and healthcare providers,” said NASN President Carolyn Duff, MS, RN, NCSN. “Quality school health services demand school nursing skills and practices based on the strongest scientific evidence, and updating knowledge is continually necessary for health and safety of students. School nurses are healthcare connectors who keep students in classrooms ready to learn.”
Learn more about DCSD's nurses on the Health Services department page.