When you were a child, do you remember those times in grade school when you found your tummy aching or fever escalating? If so, then you more than likely made a trip down to the school’s clinic to visit with the school nurse. School nurses take care of sick and injured students every day, and are also responsible for dutifully doling out any prescription medications a student may need. In honor of all of their hard work, the National Association of School Nurses, Inc. (NASN) deemed every Wednesday of National Nurse Week as National School Nurse Day.
School nurses play an important part in the development of a healthy child. From the time that they are old enough to attend school, children spend eight hours of their day, five days a week at school. It is inevitable that during this time some students will fall ill and need medical attention, even if it is a non-emergency case. School nurses ensure that students who are not feeling well are taken care of and that parents are informed of their conditions. They can also swoop in to remove sick children from the classroom so that other students do not fall ill as well. They can also prevent outbreaks of other sorts, such as removing children who have lice from the classrooms and ensuring that they get proper treatment. If it were not for the diligence of school nurses, it is likely that if one child had a highly contagious condition, like head lice or chicken pox, then the entire class would catch that condition as well.
Even when students are not sick they will come in contact with the school nurse. School nurses often are the people who carry out routine examinations of students, checking the flexibility, eyesight, hearing, and spinal alignment of the kids. These routine checkups conducted by the school nurse ensures that every student is developing normally and also that students who have eyesight or hearing problems receive attention right away so that these impairments do not get in the way of learning.
School nurses deserve to be celebrated, and National School Nurse Day is one way to do so. Established in 1972, the day has been a great opportunity for the community to recognize the efforts of their local school nurses. Set as the Wednesday in National Nurse Week, National School Nurse Day was created to remind communities to show appreciation to their school nurses as well as for school nurses to educate the community about what their jobs entail.