School Nurses
Posted on January 28th, 2020 by Speare Memorial Hospital

School Nurses: a Shared Support

From stomach bugs to caring hugs, Speare nurses are at the frontline, keeping our children safe and healthy.

School Nurses - Photo [Front L-R]: Brooke Ashworth-Wisner, Russell Elementary School; Elizabeth Mills, Thornton Central School; Heather Mason, Holderness
Central School; Sandy Rodriguez, Plymouth Elementary School; Judy Macord, Wentworth Elementary School; [Back L-R]: Denise Petrycki,
Plymouth Regional High School; Lorraine Cathy, Campton Elementary School; Toria Haungs, substitute nurse; and Dianne Reid, Waterville
Valley Elementary School nurse coordinator
Photo [Front L-R]: Brooke Ashworth-Wisner, Russell Elementary School; Elizabeth Mills, Thornton Central School; Heather Mason, Holderness Central School; Sandy Rodriguez, Plymouth Elementary School; Judy Macord, Wentworth Elementary School; [Back L-R]: Denise Petrycki, Plymouth Regional High School; Lorraine Cathy, Campton Elementary School; Toria Haungs, substitute nurse; and Dianne Reid, Waterville Valley Elementary School nurse coordinator

Employed by Speare, school nurses work in eight local schools and live in the communities we serve. Having these qualified community members charged with caring for the children in our neighborhoods is what makes the Speare/SAU 48 school nurse partnership so strong.

“Our role is to advocate for and protect our students, serving their best interests,” says Lorraine Cathy, a school nurse at Campton Elementary School. “We are a community lifeline, helping kids get proper healthcare and serving as a resource for parents and those working within our schools.”

As the primary healthcare link between students, parents, teachers, and local medical providers, school nurses handle much more than bumps and bruises. They are often relied upon to make sure kids get the care they need – from determining if a child’s symptoms warrant a visit to the doctor to helping children with acute and chronic illnesses.

“In addition to monitoring the complex health and social needs of students, school nurses must also follow state requirements regarding immunizations, physicals, and reporting neglect,” says Dianne Reid, school nurse coordinator at Speare. “And that’s what you’ll find them doing every day.”

All eight nurses agree, “We are the voice of the children in our community.”

“School nurses become a very stabilizing force in the lives of students and staff,” says Brooke Ashworth-Wisner, school nurse at Russell Elementary School. “They are comfortable in our presence, and they look to us for that example of integrity. We are a daily force in their lives.”

By compassionately taking care of the physical, mental, and emotional needs of students, Speare’s school nurses can bolster a child’s ability to attend classes and ultimately achieve a healthy, meaningful educational experience.

And these school nurses can think of nothing they would rather do for their life’s work.

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