Nurses featured in "Spotlight on the Schools"

Nurses featured in "Spotlight on the Schools"
Posted on 05/23/2024

Scott County School Nurses featured in "Spotlight on the Schools"

May 8th is National School Nurse Day. This is a great time to introduce you to the Scott County School Nurses and try to explain the role of a school nurse. In Scott County we are blessed with a school nurse in all our schools. We want to acknowledge that this is a wonderful service for our students in that only 58% of the children in our state have access daily to a school nurse. This is made possible because our school leadership recognizes the value in having a nurse in every school. School nursing is defined by the National Association of School Nurses as “A specialized practice of nursing that protects and promotes student health, enables optimal development, and advances academic success. School nurses, grounded in ethical and evidence-based practice, are the leaders who bridge health care and education, provide care coordination, advocate for quality student-oriented care, and collaborate to design systems that allow individuals and communities to develop their full potential.”

That is a lengthy definition that covers part of what our nurses do. They help make possible positive student responses to normal development: promote general health and safety, intervene when health problems arise, provide case management services; and work in partnership with others to build the ability of the student and student’s family to adapt, manage, advocate and learn.

The school nurses and nurse substitutes are all licensed to practice nursing in the state of Tennessee. The nurse’s day can vary in their duties. No two days are the same. They adapt to what the students need to keep them in school that day. The duties include but are not limited to: providing direct patient care for general health needs like medication administration, diabetic care, tube feedings and catheterizations, care for accidents and emergencies, provide screenings and referrals, provide resources to maintain a healthy school environment, provide training to staff about health care needs of the students in their care, and importantly act as a liaison between school staff, family, health care professional and the community. The nurses also serve on the school's 504 teams and are an important asset in developing health plans for students with special needs. The nurses also attend field trips with students with special needs. Rosemary and Jeanie teach CPR and first aid to the school staff. This is a big task because several teachers, all bus drivers, coaches, and cafeteria staff are trained. The nurses are busy. Last year there were 25,297 documented student visits to a school nurse county wide.

This year the Scott County schools entered a partnership with East Tennessee Children’s Hospital to provide Tele-Health services to all students. This has proved to be a valuable resource to our students and families. The student can see a Children’s Hospital provider for illnesses while at school. Parent permission is required. The nurses can provide top of the line testing for strep throat, flu A and B, and covid.

The school nurses are a valuable part of the school emergency response team. They work tirelessly to maintain student health so that that there are fewer emergencies. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure we all say. The school nurses also provide services to the school staff, They provide services such as blood pressure checks as needed and answer and research health needs for our staff. They also provide emergency care as needed.
Let’s meet our nurses. We have a wonder group of ladies, and we are proud to say they are “home grown” products of the Scott County Schools. They are grounded and involved in our communities, and it gives them a greater understanding of our student’s specific needs and cultural values.

Rosemary Jeffers, School Nurse Supervisor

Rosemary Jeffers, BSN, RN, is the Nursing Supervisor and has been with the Scott County Schools for 31 years. She and her husband have 2 adult children and 7 grandchildren. Rosemary serves as a nurse at Huntsville Elementary/Middle and the Board of Education.

Susan Norman, LPN

Susan Norman, LPN, has been with the Scott County Schools for 19 years. She and her husband have 2 adult children. She serves at Fairview Elementary.

Jeanie Martin, LPN

 Jeanie Martin, LPN, is our Pre-K nurse. She has been with the Scott County schools 10 years, She serves in all our elementary schools. She and her husband have 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren.

Jessi Strunk, LPN

Jessi Strunk, LPN, has been with the Scott County Schools 8 years. She serves at Scott High School. She and her husband have 3 children.

Danielle Carson, LPN

Danielle Carson, LPN, has been with the Scott County Schools 8 years. She serves at Robbins Elementary School. She and her husband have 2 children.

Bethany Ellis, LPN

Bethany Ellis, LPN, has been with the Scott County Schools for 6 years. She serves at Huntsville Elementary/Middle School. She and her husband have 3 children.

Ann Patton, LPN

Ann Patton, LPN, has been with the Scott County Schools for 5 years. She serves at Burchfield Elementary School. Ann has 3 adult children, 9 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.

Andrea Letner, LPN

Andrea Letner, RN, has been with the Scott County Schools 2 years. She serves at Winfield Elementary. She and her husband have 2 children and 1 grandchild.

That is 89 combined years of School Nursing experience. All our nurses have worked in different areas of nursing prior to coming to the school setting and bring all that valuable experience with them. Many still work in other nursing areas in their free time.

The school nurses can be accessed by calling your child’s school. They are happy to help in any way possible. The school nurses strive to provide a soft place to land for students. Many students deal with many stressful situations and hardships beyond our comprehension. Sometimes they just need a hug, smile, or someone to talk to during a stressful day. We all pray for the wisdom to serve the children of our county in a way that most of all pleases the Lord, and we pray we can make a difference in their young lives.

Please check out our "Spotlight On The Schools" article in the May 23, 2024 E-Edition at The Independent Herald on pages 28-29.