BREMEN—School nurses Kristina Horner and Erica Secrist spoke to the school board about the roles they fill, both as a part of their regular duties and as a part of their role to mitigate COVID relief to students. “We’re here tonight to share with you about being a school nurse in today’s world,” explained Horner.
Some aspects about being a school nurse has not changed, like administering vision screenings to students and monitoring mandatory vaccinations, and reporting to parents, school administration, and the state as needed. They also take charge of showing hygiene and puberty videos to fifth grades and answer questions as they come up.
In the office, these two nurses take care of students who have chronic medical issues. They also take care of medical emergencies and any acute medial issues that comes up, typically around 30-60 students a day.
Of course, living in a COVID world has forced Horner and Secrist to think and work outside of the box. “The pandemic has brought new challenges to all industries. Obviously, the school nurse is very chaotic. The guidelines for the pandemic are ever changing We all do our best to stay up-to-date on those guidelines with the CDC and the Marshall County Health Dept.,” said Secrist.
Bremen Public School is one of the few schools in the country that still offer rapid tests, per parental consent. “Those are becoming harder to come by, but while we have the supplies, we will continue to test the students as we are able to,” Secrist said. They continue to assist the school with contact tracing, and helping people decide whether or not quarantine or insulation is appropriate for the degree of contact they have received. “We’re also continually answering questions, emails, and phone calls about what current protocols are, what to do next.”
Ultimately, both nurses still love their job and enjoy assisting the students and staff in any way possible. “We feel valued and supported by not only our school but our community as well,” Horner said.