Staff Writer, Anna Dailey contributed to this article.
ACCORDING TO THE 2005-06 School Year Report to the Charles County Board of Education, school nurses worked with 142,003 ill students and 42,874 injured students. Most of those students, said Supervising Nurse Phylis Reinard, stayed in school after receiving treatment.
Nearly 88 percent, or 162,428, of the 184,877 students seen in school health rooms in 2006 were returned to class.
“Healthier students make better learners. That’s our goal, to keep them healthy,” Reinard said.
There is at least one nurse in each public school and center as part of a partnership formed between Charles County Public Schools and the Charles County Health Department in 1997. The program, which started as a pilot and expanded to all schools, provides ongoing health services to students and staff. In addition to working with students in health rooms, nurses also supplied immunization services, health and injury assessments, health education and communication with families.
|Graphic courtesy of CCPS.|
According to Reinard, the nurses are seeing an increase in the number of asthmatic students as well as children suffering from severe food allergies. Although the county numbers of asthmatics are higher than the state’s, Charles County has followed the national trend. Last year, 15 students had to be treated at school for anaphylactic shock.
Reinard said nurses are trained and have worked with teachers to help them identify the symptoms students experience with an allergic reaction.
Additionally, the number of students dependent on technology to maintain their health while at school has increased. Nurses support students who bring health equipment to school such as intravenous feeding apparatus, nebulizers and insulin treatments.
“Ten years ago, these children would be in a hospital,” Reinard said.
School nurses are also seeing an increase in youth obesity, students with ADHD and students with seizure disorders.
C. Devadason, health officer, told the Board the health department is proud of the school nurse program and that it has been an exciting journey. “Children are better for what we do,” Devadason said.
Charles County Editor, Anna Dailey (email@example.com)