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School nurses power through the end of the school year

Posted at 6:22 PM, Mar 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-22 19:22:59-04

BELL COUNTY, TX — Working as a school nurse is a demanding job every year.

“Giving medications, assessing kids especially during emergencies...deciphering what it is that they need, especially with COVID,” Kristin Cortez, a school nurse at Martin Walker Elementary School in Copperas Cove, said explaining the day-to-day tasks she accomplishes.

Now, with a pandemic, that job can be even more stressful as her tasks double while attempting to keep students and staff safe from COVID-19.

“It's really about assessing what symptoms that they have and deciphering who needs to quarantine and who does not has been the biggest challenge,” she said.

It’s a challenge that is felt across most Central Texas school districts.

Just ask Kimberly Glawe, the director of health services at Temple ISD.

“During the times of a pandemic...you're bridging out further,” she said in regard to keeping those at school safe. “How can we keep the students safe and healthy in the midst of something as enormous as this?”

She overlooks a staff of 18 nurses across all of TISD’s campuses and says she’s proud of the work each and every one of them has accomplished this past school year.

In fact, TISD or Copperas Cove don’t legally need to hire school nurses in the state of Texas.

According to the National Association of School Nurses, about 40% of all schools in the U.S. have full-time school nurses.

“I honestly can't imagine having no school nurse present,” Glawe said. “Because school nurses play such a vital role.”

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