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Comal ISD Nurses Volunteer at COVID-19 Hotline

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Comal ISD Nurses Volunteer at COVID-19 Hotline

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These Comal ISD registered school nurses have been busy volunteering at a COVID-19 triage call center. From left: Health Services Specialist Kelli Townsend-Brooks, Garden Ridge Elementary's Nichol Burchett, Indiana Springs Elementary's Catriona Salter, and Mountain Valley Middle School's Brandy Bennett. Image by Comal ISD.

While students remain home, Comal ISD nurses have been voluntarily staffing a COVID-19 triage call-center for area physicians.

Today is National School Nurse Day, and Comal ISD is celebrating its 36 school nurses, who also have been busy checking in with students who have chronic health conditions to make sure they are doing well.

“It’s a stressful time for everyone,” said Courtney Nesloney, R.N., Comal ISD’s Health Services coordinator. “Some students really want to hear from familiar school faces they saw every day, including their school nurse.”

Comal ISD nurses also are busy returning medications and supplies to parents, ordering clinical supplies for the 2020-21 school year, updating special-education health plans, sending summer immunization letters, and checking shot records for all new students.

“We have also been using this time for continuing education activities online, preparing for how we will re-enter school in August and implementing any changes which will be needed to keep students and staff healthy,” Nesloney said.

The National Association of School Nurses said its 2020 theme is “School Nurses: Supporting Students in Times of Crisis.”

Statement:

“This year, more than ever, all members of our school communities, school nurses included, have been required to take on unprecedented roles and adapt quickly to changes in their jobs. It is reflective of the significant roles school nurses have in the health care of their school communities to help make a healthier place for children and families to learn and grow during this crisis.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the essential school nurse role. Whether we are physically present in our health offices or working virtually to support our students, the role of school nurses in public health, in policy development, in care coordination and education is essential,” said NASN President Laurie Combe, MN, RN, NCSN. “A professional school nurse is needed for every school because school nursing is the foundation for student physical and mental health.”

“NASN believes all teachers deserve to have school nurses in their buildings so that teachers can focus on instruction and students’ individual educational needs; and parents deserve to feel secure that children are safe at school and their health needs are met every day by school nurses. School nurses have the knowledge and skills to plan and implement care for students with chronic and medically complex conditions and prepare the school staff to recognize and respond appropriately to potential emergencies. Prevention is key in school wellness and safety, and planned emergency response and disaster preparedness in schools require the expertise of school nurses.

“In this global Year of the Nurse, it is an honor to recognize our nation’s school nurses as we celebrate National School Nurse Day,” said NASN Executive Director Donna Mazyck, MS, RN, NCSN. “School nurses influence wellness and disease prevention practices in our communities now more than ever during these changing times.”

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