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School nurses gear up for the upcoming school year

With about a month left until students are expected to return to classrooms, school nurses are busy preparing for when their jobs may get a lot more complicated.

They've been in talks with their school officials, local, state national and even global experts, too.

"Most of the school nurses in Pennsylvania are pretty overwhelmed but we have a system and we have been in an enormous amount of contact through like PSNAP," said Mountain View High School Nurse, Melody Haley.

"Our state our local, international, NASN, and actually many of us are on a group worldwide which has been extremely helpful."

School nurses all over our region are trying to figure out how best to keep students safe if schools reopen in the fall.

They're coming up with different plans….what supplies they will need, how they may need to rearrange their space to keep the virus from spreading and how they'll cope with their regular jobs of treating cuts and scrapes and more serious medical issues plus coronavirus concerns.

"It absolutely will be shocking and the thing is that since this is new for everyone and things are constantly in flux and changing, what we may be doing today," explained Kathy Verbel, nurse at Stroudsburg Area.

"And what we may learn today, we may have to adjust and change things in three days. One thing that's real positive is that school nurses are used to doing that. We're realty flexible and used to thinking on our feet."

Some districts in our region are considering hiring more school nurses to deal with the extra workload this fall, others are training teachers and staff in first aid so they can help, too.

"We never know what's going to happen, you never know what's going to come through your door, what you're going to face everyday," said North Pocono High Schoo nurse, Lynn Heard.

"This certainly throws something totally new into the lop but we'll get through it."

School nurses say they continue to get guidance from the state health department about which student symptoms can stay at school and which need to be sent home and quarantined.

Nationwide, over 15,000 school nurses signed a petition asking President Trump to fund an additional 10,000 school nurses all across the country to deal with this crisis.

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