How important is your child’s school nurse? It may depend on the child. Some children need to see the school nurse every day, while others may only see her a few times during their entire K-12 experience. If you happen to be like me…your child’s school nurse is a trusted friend and ally and could even be a life-saver.
School nurses do everything from taking temperatures and administering medication to dealing with life- threatening emergencies. In my case, my children’s school nurse was like a second mom at school while I was away at work. Not only did our school nurse administer one of my children’s daily medicines and at the same time assess his well-being, she also helped me to know when my children were really sick and when they might just need a little extra TLC. She had me on speed dial and every time she called, I dropped what I was doing to pick up, so she could give me the latest update on my kids. To a single mother, this school nurse was a God-send and I’ll never forget her.
Parents play an important role in making a positive connection and being a good team player with their child’s school nurse. Here are some ways to make sure you’re always doing your part to ensure your children are well cared for at school….
- Make sure your contact information is updated in the school computer, and also in your child’s paper file.
- Answer the phone when the nurse calls you! I cannot stress this enough! Have a plan for what to do if your child needs to go home, and have a back-up person available to pick him or her up, if you can’t. Make sure your back-up person is listed as an emergency contact.
- If age-appropriate, make sure your child knows your phone number and the phone numbers of all your emergency contacts.
- Share medical information with the school nurse. The more they know, the more they can help! If your child has a chronic illness, special need, takes medication or has allergies, make sure your school nurse is aware and that the information is documented in your child’s school records. If your child will be taking medication at school, make sure he or she has the proper forms signed and enough of the medication available. There are rules and guidelines in place that must be followed before the school nurse can administer medicines to your children. Make sure you are aware of the process.
- Show your appreciation for all the things your school nurse does and recognize there is usually only one nurse responsible for hundreds of kids!
Here’s a heartwarming story from one of my all-time favorite school nurses:
- Student comes in with “stomachache”
- Nurse: Tell me what’s going on with your stomach.
- Student: Well, it’s hurting because I ate too much food at my cousin’s house the other day.
- Nurse: The other day huh…and all that food still in your tummy?
- Student: No it’s empty.
- Nurse: Is your stomach hurting or are you hungry?
- Student: Well, I don’t go to lunch until 12:50.
- Nurse: Let me work some magic, have a seat.
- Student: Do you have magic like at the Doctor’s office?
- Nurse: I don’t know what kind of magic they have, but you’re gonna like my magic (handing him a snack).
- Student: Can you open it for me?
- Student: This tastes really good, but if I eat it all I probably won’t eat my lunch; I do have gummies for my snack time.
- Nurse: Well, you don’t want to be too full so you can’t enjoy your lunch.
- Student: I think I’m gonna stop now (throwing the rest in the trash).
- Nurse: Now when you’re eating lunch don’t stuff your tummy…stop when you get full, so you won’t get sick!
- Student: Got it…what’s your name again?
- Nurse: Nurse C
- Student: ʽBye, Nurse C & thanks for the snacks!
Who doesn’t want their kids to be cared for this way?
In honor of National Nurses Week from May 6th to May 12th, make sure you show your school nurses some love and appreciation!