The early weeks of the new school year have seen an escalation of COVID positive cases in students and staff. This follows the predictable incubation period of the virus. I have spoken to school nurses from across the country and we are beyond stressed, stretched, and feeling unsupported. The biggest frustration is that there is funding available to throw us a lifeline so we can actually do the work of school nursing and not function as the de facto health department. We have become a legion of contact tracers, with no bandwidth to do anything else.
“I could so use help in the office – a school health office aide to do the sick visits. I am turning students away, triaging at the door.Not what I want to do but with covid protocols and the plethora of phone calls this entails and running back and forth outside the building to talk to parents and give them covid letters and explanations, etc.Then ( and I’m sure I’m not alone) quarantined students returning too soon and not getting picked up – more phone calls.I still haven’t connected with all my parents re: student’s medical needs. I’m beginning to worry that so much will not get done doing screenings sounds laughable.I go home every day and wonder what I missed and hope it’s not anything important no need to respond just wanted to add my voice to the collective.”