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Celebrate Your Winter Park Consortium School Nurses

Yesterday, on National School Nurse Day, we celebrated the Winter Park Consortium school nurses and nurse practitioners.  It is an incredible honor to recognize the contributions to student health and learning that school nurses make every day! Students are able to fully access their education because of the interventions and actions performed by school nurses every day.

You still have time to thank your school nurse — National Nurses Week continues through the end of this week.

Celebrate Your School Nurse

We’d like to celebrate one of the unsung heroes of school health: nurses! It’s #NationalNursesWeek,  so we would like to extend a special thank you to school the Winter Park Consortium school nurses and school nurse practitioners, and school nurses everywhere for being champions of nutrition and physical health for kids across the country.

School nurses optimize student health and learning every day of the year. But, during National Nurses Week and on National School Nurse Day, we take special time to celebrate and recognize the contributions that school nurses are making to the health and learning of our nation’s 50 million children. On May 9th, we wish you a happy National School Nurse Day and, for all you do every day, thank you!

Learn more about the Winter Park Health Foundation’s School Nursing Initiative and School-Based Health Centers.

 

Thank You School Nurses!

 

We our thankful Winter Park Health Foundation partners with Orange County Public Schools to ensure every Winter Park Consortium School has a licensed nurse. We believe nurses are vital to ensuring children are healthy and ready to learn.

National Association of School Nurses shared this letter from a parent about how her school nurse was a great comfort to her, “Thankfully, we know our children have a life jacket: you, our school nurse. In measured doses, you give us parents peace of mind and keep our little ones afloat.”

Click here to read the original post.
Dear School Nurse,
Panic set in when my son was diagnosed with diabetes at 9 years old. Chase required a new diet, a new language, and an unfamiliar medical regime. And what I was least prepared for was leaving him in someone else’s charge. How could Chase go to school for seven hours without me watching over him?

The compassion, ability, and sheer brilliance of Chase’s school nurse were a great comfort to me. She was available to Chase during all hours of the school day and already knew how best to care for him. Moreover, she took the time to assuage my anxieties, explaining his routine and a plan for emergencies. She educated teachers and staff right away so that they would be confidently prepared to teach a child with diabetes. During school, I knew Chase was under the watchful eye of his school nurse, and instead of the school day becoming a time of fear for me, it became a time to breathe easier.

Not all children live with chronic diseases. But all parents still worry. Every morning as we send our sons and daughters into the choppy, swirling waters of public school, it is counter intuitive for us to walk willingly away from our children. Parents want to hang on; we want to go where our children go.

Thankfully, we know our children have a life jacket: you, our school nurse. In measured doses, you give us parents peace of mind and keep our little ones afloat.

And as our kids grow through adolescence and enter adulthood, you are there. Their needs change and you comply. You keep them safe on the tennis courts and on the wrestling mats. You watch over them on field trips and at blood drives. You provide for their growing needs by offering screenings, referrals, and health education. You keep them ready to learn!

When we visit your office to pick up our sick child or drop off medicines, we see the stacks of paperwork. We realize that every time we sign one document, you sign many more. Even still, we know that much of your work is done below the waters, unbeknownst to us.

We know that most of your efforts go unrecognized and, many days, you might feel unappreciated. We hope the daily whirlpool of activity provides you with satisfaction. Your career is worthwhile, your time is well-spent, and your ripples are far-reaching.

So, on School Nurses Day, on behalf of all caregivers, we’d like to say “Thank You.” As you deal with the physical ailments, the emotional scars, the mental anxiety, the hunger pains, and so much more…we applaud you. We applaud your intelligence, your patience, your time, and your compassion. Thank you for protecting and strengthening our children’s lives and enhancing their learning environment. Thank you for always keeping our children afloat. Your impact is felt and appreciated.

On behalf of moms and dads everywhere, THANK YOU for a job well done!

Meet Your CHILL Counselor, School Nurse, and Healthy School Team Leader

In the belief that Healthy Kids Make Better Students and Better Students Make Healthy Communities, the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) is pleased to sponsor a variety of programs aimed at tending to the mental and physical well-being of the children in our community. The programs, offered through a unique partnership with Orange County Public Schools (OCPS), fall under the umbrella of the Coordinated Youth Initiative (CYI). Programs include the School Nursing Initiative, School-Based Health Centers (staffed by Nurse Practitioners), CHILL counseling program and the Healthy School Teams (HST). They are offered in the OCPS schools serving Winter Park and surrounding communities. (These schools make up the Winter Park Consortium of Schools and include Winter Park High School and its elementary and middle feeder schools.)

School Nursing Initiative

Financial support from WPHF allows schools in the Consortium to hire either Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) who have one year of education, or Registered Nurses (RN), who have two to four years of education. All nurses must take continuing medical education classes to keep their licenses current. School nurses provide health screening, prevention and health maintenance services, as well as emergency care.  Visit www.healthykidstoday.org, click on “Schools” then click on your school’s name to learn more about your school nurse.

School Based Health Centers

When the need exists, nurses or parents can refer students to the Consortium’s Nurse Practitioners (NP) based at Glenridge Middle School and Winter Park High School. They have master’s degrees and are able to offer more advanced care.  They are available to see children residing in Winter Park Consortium attendance zones.  They provide an important service to students whose families don’t have adequate health care coverage or access to a health care provider for their children.  Funded by WPHF, the NPs can assess, diagnose and prescribe medications and therapies for patients. Appointments are required.  Click here to learn more about the School Based Health Centers at Glenridge Middle School and Winter Park High School.

CHILL Counselors

To students, life’s problems sometimes seem too big to handle. That is why WPHF established the CHILL Program in partnership with Orange County Public Schools and its Winter Park Consortium of Schools.

CHILL—Community Help & Intervention in Life’s Lessons—is a free counseling program for students of all ages in the public schools serving Winter Park and neighboring communities who need help with issues such as divorce, grief and loss, low self-esteem, anger management and depression. CHILL Counselors focus on prevention and early intervention programs. There is no cost to students or families. Visit www.healthykidstoday.org, click on “Schools” then click on your school’s name to learn more about your CHILL counselor.

Healthy School Teams

Healthy School Teams (HST) have been established at each of the schools in the Winter Park Consortium, and are supported financially by and with leadership from WPHF.  Each team is charged with developing programs that will inject a dose of good health into its school. The programs are as varied as the schools; creativity is encouraged.  HSTs welcome the interest of parents and businesses. If you’d like to know how to get involved and support the Teams, visit www.healthykidstoday.org, click on “Schools” the click on your school’s name to contact your school’s HST Leader.

Healthy Kids Today

Healthy Kids Today serves as a source of valuable local health information for parents of children attending a Consortium school. It also will connect you to other websites across the Internet providing important health-related information. Visit www.healthykidstoday.org then scroll down to “Keep in Touch” to sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest local health and wellness information for your children and family.

Be sure to follow us on social media:
Facebook: HealthyKidsTodayMagazine
Twitter:  @healthykids2day
Pinterest:  healthykids2day
LinkedIn: Healthy Kids Today

School Nursing Defined

The National Association of School Nurses (NASN) has approved a new definition of school nursing:

School nursing, a specialized practice of public health nursing, protects and promotes student health, facilitates normal development, and advances academic success. School nurses, grounded in ethical and evidence-based practice, are the leaders that bridge health care and education, provide care coordination, advocate for quality student-centered care, and collaborate to design systems that allow individuals and communities to develop their full potentials.

Approved by the NASN Board of Directors June 2016.

Does your child attend a Winter Park Consortium School (an Orange County Public School in Winter Park, Maitland, or Eatonville)?  If so, click here to get to know your school nurse.

National School Nurse Day – May 11, 2016

Healthy Children Learn BetterIf you think school nursing is all about flu shots, Band-Aids, and record-keeping, you haven’t been inside a school lately.

School health professionals juggle a complex array of medical and social issues, seeing thousands of students.

Five Ways a School Nurse Benefits the School

A typical schedule can encompass immunizations, health care screenings, hearing and vision testing; dealing with home accidents, diseases such as diabetes and asthma, student obesity, special needs like tube-feeding, preventing the spread of disease through blood exposure; and the fallout from mental, emotional, and social problems, including arranging for disadvantaged students to receive breakfast and clothing, and even helping students cope who are homeless or whose parents are incarcerated.

For some students, the school nurse is the only health care professional they ever see.

Nor is their work confined to the nurse’s office—they must also interact with other professionals such as teachers, doctors, child study teams, administrators, school counselors, coaches, parents, police officers, drug and substance abuse professionals, social workers, and other Education Support Professionals.

School Nursing Initiative

The School Nursing Initiative is a unique, collaborative effort of the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) and Orange County Public Schools. Its goal is to boost student health and attendance by staffing schools in the Winter Park Consortium of Schools with professionally licensed nurses.

These nurses provide a variety of services and are able to handle emergencies and treat illnesses so that children can return to class as quickly as possible, ready to learn and make the most of the school day.

Click here to find your school nurseNurses 15.16

Financial support from WPHF allows schools in the Consortium—Winter Park High and its elementary and middle feeder schools—to hire either Licensed Practical Nurses who have one year of education, or Registered Nurses, who have two to four years of education. All nurses must take continuing medical education classes to keep their licenses current. School nurses provide health screening, prevention and health maintenance services, as well as emergency care.

In addition, when the need exists, nurses can refer students to the Consortium’s Nurse Practitioners based at Glenridge Middle School and Winter Park High School. They have master’s degrees and are able to offer more advanced care.  They are available to see children residing in Winter Park Consortium attendance zones.  They provide an important service to students whose families don’t have adequate health care coverage or access to a health care provider for their children.  Funded by WPHF, the Nurse Practitioners can assess, diagnose and prescribe medications and therapies for patients. Appointments are required.

May Health Celebrations

 

mental health weekChildren’s Mental Health Awareness Week, May 1-7
This year’s them is “Healthy Families, Resilient Children: Mental Health is a Family Affair!”  Be sure to celebrate your CHILL couselor, providing mental health services in Winter Part Consortium schools. #childrensmentalhealthmatters

 

thank-a-teacherTeacher Appreciation Week, May 2-6
Everyday teachers touch the lives of millions of children and make an impact beyond the boundaries of the classroom with their hard work. Celebrate these real-life superheroes during Teacher Appreciation Week. #thankateacher

 

SLHDwebSchool Nutrition Employee Week, May 2-6
Between preparing healthy meals for America’s students, adhering to strict nutrition standards, navigating student food allergies and offering service with a smile, school nutrition professionals are true heroes!
School Lunch Hero Day, May 6, 2016
Click here for ideas to celebrate your school lunch hero and share your pictures with us! #SchoolLunchHeroDay

 

screen free weekScreen Free Week, May 2-6
Unplug from digital entertainment and spend your free time playing, reading, daydreaming, creating, exploring, and connecting with family and friends.  #ScreenFreeWk

 

nursing weekNational Nurses Week, May 2-12
Celebrate the important role nurses play in health care during National Nurses Week#NursesWeek
National School Nurse Day, May 11 
Celebrate your school nurse who serves as a healer, comforter, educator, mentor, trainer, and role model. #schoolnurseday

 

walk bike

National Bike to School Day, May 4
Join Healthy Central Florida as they lead “Walk and Roll” Wednesday on National Bike to School Day. #biketoschoolday

 

Additional Celebrations

Want to celebrate more health observances?  Click here.

20,000 Visits to School Nurses During First Semester

school nurse

Yet another reason to love our school nurses — during the first semester of the 2015-2016 school year, there were 19,865 total visits to the clinics in our 12 schools!  The top reason for visits was illness, followed by medications and then accidents/injuries.  We celebrate our school nurses for having a 94% return to class rate.  This means your children are being seen, given the appropriate treatment, and then returned to class where they can continue to learn.  This return class rate is significantly higher than that of a basic school health aid.

The School Based Health Centers at Glenridge Middle School and Winter Park High  School, were also busy during the first semester with 2,426 visits.  Their top reason for a visit was for a physical examination for either school entry or sports/ROTC/Special Olympics.  This was followed by sick visits and nursing assessments.  The School Based Health Centers have a return to class rate of 93% which is amazing given that they are often seeing students that have been referred to them by their school nurse.

Thank you to the school nurses and the nurse practitioners at our school based health centers that ensure their students are healthy and ready to learn!

 

Blog: Tips to Decrease Screen Time From a School Nurse

Charlotte Green - Nurse 9th Grade Center

Charlotte Deehr, RN- School Nurse, WPHS 9th Grade Center

Written by Charlotte Deehr, RN, WPHS 9th Grade Center School Nurse

Learn more about Charlotte

My childhood unfolded in the last few years before the internet even came into being. I remember being 14 and AOL was the new big thing, chatting with friends through the computer? Amazing! However, today’s kids have lived their entire lives with bleeps, buzzes and signals coming from many channels of information. Parents and teachers alike worry about the impact that constant multitasking is having on children’s developing brains.

Even at a young age children are drawn to screens and smart phones. My own 2 month old will turn his head to see the T.V if he can, after all the noise, pictures and colors must be terribly interesting to him. So how do we ensure our kids don’t grow up to be screen-a-holics when there is clearly such a pull? And for parents, who themselves have plugged in. How do we reconnect and unplug in a way that’s fun, and functional? After all, we can’t ask our children to unplug when we ourselves can’t.

This is not just some thought, idea, or inane theory about how to reconnect with your kids and support their h45044ealthy development. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for children under 2 and limited screen time for kids over two. Their website claims that the average amount of screen time for today’s children is 7 HOURS per DAY. Whoa. That’s more than half of a typical child’s waking hours in a day! There is an increasing body of research that shows that excessive screen time can lead to attention problems, social delays, and an increase in violent behavior. Interaction with a live human being is clearly what human babies and young children need more than anything else. In fact, babies deprived of human contact die, even if they’re provided with adequate food, clothing, and shelter. Freedom to explore their world in a physical and sensory way is also crucial to healthy development. So, how can we help kids avoid media when screens are so prevalent and so unbelievably addictive? I’m glad you asked.

  1. MODEL WHAT YOU WANT

If you want your child to unplug, then you need to unplug. Yes it will be hard not to reach for the phone to check. Put it on silent, then you won’t hear the ding of the alerts, sit down, and enjoy dinner. Without the background noise. Show your children how to connect on a personal level not just digital.

  1. PLAY DATES

Make them no screen time play dates. Get outside, explore, or head to a local museum/park etc. This not only gets them away from screens it also challenges them to socialize, interact and get creative.

  1. OFFER A VARIETY

Books, games, puzzles, crafts, any other diversional activities. If your child isn’t getting into it right away try playing WITH them. Soon they will be immersed and you may be able to return to what you were doing.

  1. ARTS AND CRAFTS

Get some chalk and decorate the driveway, make some fun crafts to hang around the house for various holidays *even silly ones like national dog day or talk like a pirate day.* This is where Pinterest comes in handy. And have the kids pitch in to help clean up afterwards, don’t forget to have fun yourself.

  1. TUMBLE TIME

A little bit of roughhousing does everyone some good. Have some play time with your children, remember to let them win!

  1. YARD WORK

No one likes yard work, unless it’s the fun kind. Try planting a small garden, or challenging your kids to a contest of who can rake leaves the quickest (and throw in a prize if you like, something as simple as an ice cream cone, or no dish duty for the winner.)

  1. READ ALOUD

It doesn’t matter the age, any child can get transported away to another world in the form of a good story. Get your kids involved by alternating who reads, and you can even do voices for characters if you are feeling spunky. Pretty soon your child will be begging for their daily chapter.

 

In a society inundated by technology and digital relationships we need to be mindful to take a moment to unplug, reconnect with ourselves and our fellow humans.