The National Association of School Nurses has designated May 12 as School Nurse Day. The day was established to help foster a better understanding of the role school nurses have in an educational setting.
In the TSC, the Health Services Department is made up of 16 full or part time registered nurses, along with several substitute nurses, part-time LPNs and health assistants. The staff handles more than 90,000 health office visits each year.
Nurses play an important role in educating and screening students for illnesses, as well as additional duties brought on by the pandemic. They communicate the latest COVID protocols and provide guidance for families about isolation or quarantine procedures.
“I love being a school nurse,” says Christine Eitreim who serves Mintonye Elementary School and Southwestern Middle School. “I enjoy being that person of safety and trust where children confide in me if they are struggling with something at school or at home.”
Harrison High School Nurse Beth Shelton says it is rewarding to watch students grow: “I have had the privilege to work with and educate young people about healthy life choices and guide them through chronic health conditions and recover from injuries. Along this journey, we talk, listen, laugh and cry while building a safe place to share their medical and emotional concerns.”
Health Services Director and COVID Coordinator Krystal Zahn says school nurses are true heroes: “Despite often having anger directed at them and working well beyond their normal hours, they continue to show up every day with a smile and a desire to do what’s necessary to keep TSC students and staff safe.”