I spent four years at a local school and saw first hand the challenging job school nurses have. In between collecting all the required immunization forms, chronicling students' health issues, maneuvering around language barriers, helping with families in crises, and then still taking temperatures, soothing fears, providing a change of clothing, and just being a smiling face for a troubled child, our school nurses do it all. Plus, they always had a bucket at the ready.
Hudson Health Plan sponsored a contest for local school kids to write an essay about their school nurse. Here are the two winning entries. These kids say it all.
1. Ciare R. Bell of Monticello’s winning essay, honoring her school nurse, Pamela Shimer (Wurtsboro), at George L. Cooke Elementary School in Monticello.
"Why do I appreciate my school nurse? I love everyone in my school. My friends, my teachers, my subs, Mrs. Johnson-Fields, but my nurse is my role model. She always helps and cares for everyone. Mrs. Shimer is nice, kind, helpful, loving, sweet and respectful to every child in school. She doesn’t care about how weird it is or how nasty. She will take care of about anything, from asthma to a simple bruise. She loves and cares for everyone and anyone. Sometimes she gives us crackers. Our nurses are the best. That’s why I love my school nurse so much."
2. Euqaisia Perry of Poughkeepsie’s winning essay, honoring school nurse Nancy Liber (Wappingers Falls), at George W. Krieger School in Poughkeepsie.
"My nurse is very special. Her name is Mrs. Liber. She is very kind. She can help with almost everything. She will try to make you feel better. The nurse won’t yell or scream. She’ll politely tell you she can’t do anything. She’ll let you lie down if you’re not up to the weather. All her lotions and potions heal you in time. Lose a tooth? Don’t worry. Mrs. Liber will give you a case to give to the Tooth Fairy. Have a cut or a bump? A sting? Mrs. Liber can help with all those things. She is never mean. I just told you about my nurse. Tell me about your’s."
The essay competition, sponsored by Hudson Health Plan, commemorates National School Nurse Day - May 11, 2011. Hudson Health Plan is a community-based not-for-profit health care organization that provides state-sponsored Medicaid Managed Care, Child Health Plus, and Family Health Plus insurance coverage to adults and children in six counties in New York: Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Dutchess, Ulster and Sullivan.