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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 14, 2013 at 7:03 AM

School nurses

Healthy kids learn better

Amen to Kathleen Bartholomew’s column about the important role school nurses play in the health and success of kids [“Students need school nurses,” Opinion, June 12].

Kids who have their health needs met and attend school regularly are able to learn better and become educated and productive adults.

In my 27-year career as a certificated school nurse, my caseload has never been the 750 regular-education students that the National Association of School Nurses recommends; it has always been much higher. That means a school might get services only one to two days per week.

Parents need to be aware that the person in the school health room most often isn’t the school nurse, but a health clerk, aid or school secretary.

In the last couple of months in Washington state, school nurses have revived two collapsed high-school students, using CPR and automated external defibrillators, and those students are back in school.

In many school districts, certified school nurses have been replaced with licensed practical nurses — or medical clerks — to save money. A certificated school nurse has a bachelor’s degree in nursing, a registered nursing license and educational staff associate certification from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Who’s the best qualified to plan, arrange and assist families with our student’s health and learning?

Mary Kathryn Myers, Kent

0 Comments | Topics: education, health care, school nurses

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