Participating in NASN conferences changes you. We walk away with a treasure trove of ideas, information, resources, and memories of important and impactful conversations. During Director of NASN Communication, Margaret Cellucci’s Blogging Workshop, our small group had a rich, meaningful dialogue about how to quantify school nurse stories. The themes of telling our story and finding our voices as school nurses have been woven throughout the conference. The next steps may be how do we count the impact of our work, beyond our tasks.
Quantifying our best stories, those that illustrate the magic that is School Nursing may be the next generation in data collection. Step Up and Be Counted is a valuable tool that is being embraced in school nursing offices around the country. But how do we count the time that a school nurse saved the job of an undocumented mother, whose factory worker boss refused to accept her return to work slip because he deemed it fraudulent? How do we quantify the hours it took to convince the employer that the phone number on the return to work slip from the provider was a keystroke error, not a fake note? How do we capture the numerous phone calls back and forth to the provider trying to help this mom, who spoke an obscure Mayan dialect because she came from a remote region in Guatemala where Spanish was not spoken?
This is a true story, with a happy ending. Mom kept her job, the provider revised the note and corrected the hundreds of misprinted labels that had an incorrect office phone number and the school nurse coordinated the pieces. The story is compelling, heartwarming, sad and hopeful at the same time. But does the time spent count? How can it be captured as Care Coordination? Do we have a tool in our school nurse toolkit to capture our care coordination efforts?