Keeping Our Kids Afloat
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!