A few months ago, a school nurse who experienced a school shooting reached out to me to express her feeling of isolation and asked for support. She wanted to know if I knew of any other school nurses she could connect with who also lived through this nightmare. The nurse has asked to remain anonymous and I certainly respect her decision. Her email left me reeling, thinking of how I could support this very brave, but very wounded school nurse.
Where is the support for school nurses who have had school shootings in their buildings? The answer is that there does not seem to be a space for school nurses who have experienced the unimaginable to share openly and without fear of repercussion, until now. Thanks to the courage of this nurse, we have set up a closed Facebook group for school nurses looking for support. Here is the link:
As you will read, the last line of her blog post states: “As nurses we support others, but yet as individuals, we suffer in silence. Break the silence!” Please reach out, join this closed Facebook group to grow a support network of school nurses who have experienced gun violence either at school or in your community.
How do you deal with trauma in your community or school? What if you live in that community as well? Finding the balance to care for yourself, students, staff, and the community that may be grieving. We know there are no directions on how to grieve, everyone in their own time, and way. What about yourself? Supporting your school and community you lose yourself.
The first year goes by only to realize you never processed your emotions, the relationship and trust the student showed for you is no longer present, they no longer walking in the hall. No longer do you see the smile on their face as they climbed out of the pool at the end of practice.
Things have changed in our building, “the new normal” we are told, but there is nothing normal about gun violence taking the life of a student. A family, school, and community suffering the loss of a member. Their lives forever changed. People are left looking for answers that would never be found.
This is a day in a School Nurse’s life that I wish no one else to endure. As nurses we support others, but yet as individuals, we suffer in silence. Break the silence!
– An Anonymous School Nurse