School Nurses

By: Erica Hurtt
By: Erica Hurtt

The challenges facing stateline school nurses are on the rise. School nurses say they're experiencing greater workloads and more stress as they treat our kids.

Guilford school nurse Mary Fisher is one of the busiest employees in the building. During a typical six-hour school day, fisher sees more than 75 students.

"I see a tremendous number of students any day of the week," says Fisher.

School nurses aren't just seeing kids who come in with bumps, bruises or a fever, they oversee state mandated testing from vision to hearing. They monitor immunization records and deal with a growing number of daily treatments for students with chronic illnesses.

"We're seeing more medically fragile students on a daily basis, students that are in wheelchairs, students with illnesses like asthmas, diabetes, heart disease," Fisher explains.

District 205's health service supervisors say the stateline's economy isn't helping either.

"As we see people getting laid off and maybe losing their insurance, a lot of times the nurse is the frontline person that sees the student," says Jody Moncado.

But the resources for school nurses who often work alone and cover more than one school.

"I don't have anybody to rely on by myself," says Fisher.

With budget deficit hanging over district 205, Fisher probably won't get any help anytime soon.

District 2-05 employs about 42 full and part-time nurses, which equates to about one nurse for every 1,000 students. The National Association of School Nurses recommends one nurse for every 750 students.

Despite the challenges, nurse Fisher says she loves her job and working with kids.


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