The Presence Shortage Of School Nurses Harming Our Children's Wellness

1334 words - 6 pages

Have you ever noticed the constant absence of nurses at your school? It seems like every time you need to go to the nurse, one is not there. That fact has led to my investigation of the effects of school nurse absences on most K-12 campuses. Many children have died from not receiving care as a result of an absent nurse. Although it is true that school nurses are divided between schools (1,185 students for every school nurse in NC), every school needs a nurse (Healthy Children Learn Better). Most accidents relating student injuries can be avoided with the daily presence of a school nurse in every single school. The school nurse's job tends to be at risk during budget cut time (Wilson).
That fact has led to my investigation of the effects of school nurse absences on most k-12 campuses. Between 1999 and 2009, 38 states improved their number of school nurses. Although this is true, there is still a significant shortage of nurses in most school districts. As a result, accidents occur and must go untreated leading to serious conditions and even death. Negative patient care outcomes are even more common now that there are environmental health concerns leading to the increase in Asthma and genetically induced obesity-related diseases that can develop in children. The nutritional aspect is not completely met since a nurse is not always in attendance to educate students and their parents about healthy eating and other habits. There are even more problems derived from schools being devoid of their own designated nurses.
Many children have died from not receiving care as a result of an absent nurse. In fact, 12 year old Laporshia Massey died in late September of this school year in West Philadelphia after suffering a serious Asthma Attack. While the young girl was in school, she felt sick but didn’t leave class because she could not see her absent school nurse. Upon returning home, she immediately went for her inhaler but died at the hospital after receiving the proper care too late (Lattanzio). Laporshia’s father believes that if a school nurse was present that day, his daughter would still be alive. Ten-year-old Mercedes Mears also died of an acute asthma attack. However she died on campus. It was realized that her rescue inhaler and allergy auto injector were in the possession of the school’s nurse who was only present on campus on a few days during the week. That day was not one of them. Paramedics were called to the scene but no first responders were on hand to administer CPR or mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Therefore, she went into cardiac arrest approximately six minutes later while waiting for paramedics to arrive, and died (Mithers). Once again, things would have happened differently if a nurse was on duty that day. Schools have done little to fix the school nurse problem.
Although it is true that school nurses are divided between schools (1,185 students for every school nurse in NC), every school needs a nurse (Healthy Children Learn Better)....

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