Page 19 - Scene Magazine 45-02 February 2020
P. 19

Education Scene
BY KRISTIN
MCDERMOTT, Health Educator
School Nurses: Helping Your Little Ones (and You!) Breathe a Little Easier
not being there if something were to happen. So yet again, you call the school and let them know he won’t be there to- day... it’s the third time this week. To say you feel defeated is an understatement.
Beyond asthma management, CCPHD SWP nursing staff can often
be found in the classroom – teaching students about nutrition, dental health, and even why lice makes it a bad idea to share your hat with everyone. They pro- vide school staff with medical emergency training to address common injuries and to counteract potential tragedies through the use of automated external defibrilla- tors (AEDs) and Epi-pens (to counteract allergic reactions), as well as the proper technique for cardiopulmonary resusci- tation (CPR). And of course, they serve as liaisons for parents and guardians who need referrals to healthcare, more information on managing their child’s chronic condition, or even just a
After your conversation with the SWP nurse, you are already feeling
more hopeful. With a plan in place and
a support team, you’re more confident your son can stay in school safely – healthy and ready to learn with the rest of his classmates. You’re excited to hear about what type of books they’re reading during story-time tomorrow. Asthma shouldn’t stand in the way of your child’s learning, and the CCPHD School Wellness Program is here with you to help clear the path to the classroom.
As a leading chronic illness among children and youth in the United States, Asthma also tops the charts as a leading cause of U.S. absenteeism. Calhoun County is no exception to these statistics, and students who are unable to regularly be in the classroom miss out on the usual reading, writing, and arithmetic, as well as important socialization development and life skills.
You can find out more about the great work of the Calhoun County School Wellness Program by visiting us online at www.calhouncountymi.gov/publi- chealth, or by following CCPHD on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ CCPublicHealthDepartment.
By mid-morning, the combo of hu- midifier and propping him up on a couple of extra pillows seem to have him breath- ing a bit easier, but he’s still exhausted. Your phone rings, and with a twinge of anxiety, you recognize the school’s num- ber. Has he been out too much this year? Will they hold him back a grade?
Yet again,
your son woke
up coughing. His asthma has been terrible lately, and while it saddens you to see him wheeze, it’s too scary to think about
“This winter cold snap has certainly not been helping,” you think – and to make sure you, your son, his teachers, and his classmates are all in on the plan; some- thing you know would let YOU breathe a little easier when he’s away at school.
check-in to make sure their son will be able to safely go on that next field trip, because the nurse has got their inhaler packed and ready on the bus.
Calhoun County Public Health Department’s (CCPHD) School Wellness Program (SWP) is working in three of our county school districts – Harper Creek, Battle Creek, and Lakeview – providing care and support to allow students to remain in the classroom where they are healthy, safe, and ready to learn. As you might guess, this takes more than the Band-Aid and a cold pack you see doled out by the school nurses on television. Asthma is a topic they tackle frequently.
The friendly voice on the other end of the line introduces herself as the school nurse. Checking in to see how your little guy is feeling, it’s clear she genuinely cares about your son’s well-being. She invites you, once your son is feeling better, in to meet with her about his asth- ma – to build a care management plan to ensure sure he has access to his inhaler in school, that he understands what things might make his asthma flare-up –
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