Being a school nurse ain’t like it used to be

Are students these days more medically fragile?

Diagnoses now cover a range of behavioral issues, and Ritalin rarely is used. Students with bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety or attention deficit disorder are prescribed longer-acting medications. In most cases students can take them at home before coming to school, but there is the occasional child who needs medication on demand . . .

. . . Part of the increased demand is because some children who once would have received education and treatment outside of public schools now are recognized as being entitled to public education.

“We have more medically fragile students in school,” says Sheryl Ferris, citing diabetes, asthma, allergies and epilepsy. She is a part-time nurse at U-32 in East Montpelier, with 18 years of school nursing experience. “We’re a resource to the whole community, not just the students.”