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National School Nurse Day, May 6th, kicks off a week long appreciation for nurses worldwide. (National Nurses Appreciation Week ends on May 12th, Florence Nightingale’s birthday.)

School nursing, as a profession, is such a unique specialty. If you have a relatively healthy child, you might not realize a school nurse handles more than the occasional bandaid. Being aware of the special qualities a nurse brings to a school system will bring a little more perspective (and gratitude) for what they do.

Here are five reasons to acknowledge and appreciate our school nurses.

They provide screening.

School nurses administer hearing and vision tests and often aid in early detection of hearing/vision problems and refer out as needed. They also serve as a liaison between the family, school, counselors and health care providers.

School Nurses administer much needed medication and monitor blood glucose levels.

And an assortment of other medical issues that need to be monitored and observed. This goes beyond paperwork, like immunization records. School nurses are also ahead of the curve when it comes to a possible communicable disease outbreak.

For some kids, school nurses are the only medical professionals they will see.

Not everyone is able to see a physician on a regular basis. School nurses can give children the health guidance, counseling and education they might not get anywhere else. They provide quality health care and will intervene with existing and potential health problems.

Many school nurses handle multiple schools.

Due to budget cuts and a variety of reasons, many school nurses must juggle multiple schools. More schools mean more kids. Think about it; In some cases, school nurses will enable a child with health conditions attend school. Such close and personal care can be difficult when spread out over multiple schools.  

They deal with our children’s boo-boos and illnesses.

School nurses are the first responders to incidents at school – whether it’s injury or illness.  Kids going to the nurse may be dealing with a physical or social/emotional cause. It’s up to the school nurse to communicate with the parents/guardians when further care is needed.

Children view a school nurse as a trusted adult and someone they can turn to when they aren’t feeling well. School Nurse Day is the perfect opportunity to show your appreciation, but it doesn’t have to stop there. Just like the teachers in your child’s life, it’s important to remember them around holidays too, like Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

Show your school nurse that you value their contribution, care, and compassion. A massage gift certificate is a great way to thank a school nurse who promotes health and wellness year round.

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