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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Rich Grucela: A Nurse in Every School

Imagine a 17 year old high school senior who suffers a rare heart attack at school. Imagine a ten year old who suddenly experiences seizures in class. Now imagine that in both of those instances, there's no school nurse. The ten year old survived, but the high school senior is now dead.

State Rep. Rich Grucela (D-Northampton) has just introduced legislation designed to save lives. It will require every school district to employ full-time nurses. These professionals are often a child's only resource for conditions like asthma and diabetes, or drug and alcohol abuse, school violence and teenage pregnancy.

"School nurses are of fundamental importance to a successful school system," said Grucela, a former teacher who also serves on the House Education Committee. "They help create and maintain a safe school environment through education and outreach, in addition to performing essential health screenings and immunizations. They are also familiar with and can monitor chronic illnesses, which could require immediate attention at any given time."

"Most importantly, if a medical emergency arises, a school nurse is a professional health-care provider who is on hand to immediately assist a student," Grucela added.

The cost for this proposal would be evenly shared by the state and individual school districts.

According to a 2008 National Association of School Nurses report, Pennsylvania schools have one nurse for every 832 students. That's much better than the national average, which is one nurse for every 1,461 students. More than 50% of U.S. public schools have no full-time Registered Nurses.


Anonymous said...

Who is gonna pay for it Bernie ? School taxes are high enough--another unfuded mandate in the works.

Bernie O'Hare said...

That's definitely a drawback. I think it should be funded completely by the state.

Anonymous said...

Gee another kiss your mother resolution from Grucela, he is becoming quite good at this. So the state orders every school has a nurse. Registerd or Practical?

Based on past performance the State will promise an amount of funding then underfund.

Thanks Rich for giving us another poorly funded mandate, mighty big of you.

Anonymous said...

Will Rich, the arrogant public pension compiler, be voting with his dog-whipping master Rendell to increase my income taxes 16%?

He is the worst example of a populist political do-nothing who's always first in line to get his - by killing the taxpayers he so loathes.

Where's pension-grabbing Friedman as well on raising my taxes in this economy?

Gutless Rendell lapdogs, both.

Anonymous said...

It's Freeman. And I'd like to hear his answer to your simple question.

Dave said...

An LPN maybe or a certified health/first aid worker but who's gonna fund it? Back in the day we had a school nurse but Eisenhower was president then! Don't we train teachers in first aid and first response stuff..then call 911. I don't get where he's going here.

Anonymous said...

Is this why they want to pass table games? What happens when the gambling money runs dry?

Anonymous said...

Who is gonna pay for it Bernie ? School taxes are high enough--another unfuded mandate in the works.-

You. Quit your whining and join society.

Carol said...

Bernie, am I correct in assuming the negative bloggers re: school nurses are parents and grandparents of very healthy kids who don't have to concern themselves about diabetic, asthmatic or heart afflicted kids; or kids who suffer from migraines-but perhaps being a middle of the roader, some liberalism is popping out coming from a mixed family of D& R's. Carol

Bernie O'Hare said...

Carol, I understand the unfunded mandate argument, which is why I think the state should pay. But we should do everything we can to care for our children. They are our most precious asset.

Anonymous said...

"hehe... turn your head and cough!!!"

Anonymous said...

I think kids are our most precious assets and I'm opposed to populist legislative impulses that are big on fanfare for political sponsors, but short on details about funding such mandates.

Being opposed to poor government does not mean one is opposed to properly caring for all Americans. Carol's assumptions are insulting.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:12, How sad and how true.

That is the big guilt trip the folks who enjoy spending your money love to play. The Health Department people do that as well. The poor, poor children. They love using other peoples money for their causes.
When the practicality or other real issues are questioned they pull out the kids, disabled or other group.

These public dole robbers have no shame and no scruples.

John Byrnes said...

Research has determined that from the Moment of Commitment (the point when a student pulls their weapon) to the Moment of Completion (when the last round is fired) is only 5 seconds. If it is the intent of a school district to react to this violence, they will do so over the wounded and/or slain bodies of students, teachers and administrators.

Educational institutions clearly want safe and secure schools. Administrators are perennially queried by parents about the safety of their schools. The commonplace answers, intended to reassure anxious parents, focus on the school resource officers and emergency procedures. While useful, these less than adequate efforts do not begin to provide a definitive answer to preventing school violence, nor do they make a school safe and secure.

Traditionally school districts have relied upon the mental health community or local police to keep schools safe, yet one of the key shortcomings has been the lack of a system that involves teachers, administrators, parents and students in the identification and communication process. Recently, colleges, universities and community colleges are forming Behavioral Intervention Teams with representatives from all these constituencies. Higher Education has changed their safety/security policies, procedures, or surveillance systems, yet K-12 have yet to incorporate Behavioral Intervention Teams. K-12 schools continue spending excessive amounts of money to put in place many of the physical security options. Sadly, they are reactionary only and do little to prevent aggression because they are designed exclusively to react to existing conflict, threat and violence. These schools reflect a national blindspot, which prefers hardening targets through enhanced security versus preventing violence with efforts directed at aggressors. Security gets all the focus and money, but this only makes us feel safe, rather than to actually make us safer.

Some law enforcement agencies use profiling as a means to identify an aggressor. According to the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Education’s report on Targeted Violence in Schools, there is a significant difference between “profiling” and identifying and measuring emerging aggression; “The use of profiles is not effective either for identifying students who may pose a risk for targeted violence at school or – once a student has been identified – for assessing the risk that a particular student may pose for school-based targeted violence.” It continues; “An inquiry should focus instead on a student’s behaviors and communications to determine if the student appears to be planning or preparing for an attack.” We can and must assess objective, culturally neutral, identifiable criteria of emerging aggression.

For a comprehensive look at the problem and its solution, http://www.aggressionmanagement.com/White_Paper_K-12/