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The Importance Of School Nurses For Health Of Children

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Christine Amidon, president of the Indiana Association of School Nurses, shares what it's like to be a school nurse, and the importance they play in health for children. 

Lewis: On a given day, what sort of conditions and ailments do you treat as a school nurse? 

Amidon: It's interesting because there's no typical day. On most days, most school nurses see 60-70 kids in their clinic. It's just a multitude of things. There are kids with chronic problems, like asthma, diabetes, muscular dystrophy. Things like that they need a lot of nursing care every day. Then there are things that are more acute, like kids that come up with fevers and coughs, or injuries, concussions, things like that..

Lewis: Do you feel like you're equipped to handle the mental health issues as well as you are able to handle the chronic and the acute physical issues? 

Amidon: I think that is one thing that a lot of school nurses from all over feel like they are less equipped to deal with. Luckily, I think in a lot of schools we have good partnerships with local mental health providers, and some of them even have case workers and therapists in our schools who work with kids, and that helps a lot to support the school nurse. But that's something that's still emerging, and we've been trying to find sources of more educational programs for nurses to deal with those things. It’s an interesting kind of health care that you are the only health expert in your building. And in most kinds of health care you are working with a whole team of people who are all familiar with us...

To learn more about keeping your child healthy during the school day, visit: http://www.hscfoundation.org/aboutus/publications/partnering_with_schools_english_guide.pdf