This is the second in a series of guest blogs from my wonderful Rutgers-Camden School Nurse Certificate students. One of the assignments I introduced involved several components that are related to social media and blogging. The first component was linking each of my students to school nurse mentors who use Twitter. Of course, that meant that my students needed to create their own Twitter accounts. We then arranged a #SchoolNurseChat so that the students and school nurse mentors could connect virtually. That was a great success for both the students and the school nurses! It was a lively chat with great engagement. The final step was for the students to interview their mentors and write a profile that could be published on The Relentless School Nurse blog.
Maria Addison shares her blog post about Sarah Prescher, a colleague who has had a varied nursing career that included school nursing.
Sarah Prescher was first licensed as a nurse in 1996 after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from the The College of St Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. Sarah accredits the college with her ability to think critically, broadly and holistically. She believes in ‘keeping well people well’ engaging in, and promoting, anything wellness related with the view that wellness or wellbeing can be sustained, or even improved on, at any time of life. Social media, particularly Twitter, provides a valuable platform from which Sarah can explore and connect on this topic. She enjoys the ability of Twitter to ‘quickly connect with specific professionals on specific topics (hashtags)’. What she loves most, however, is ‘connecting the dots’ – delighting in finding connections between things other people have not. For Sarah, Twitter is a way to link people that never thought of speaking to each other and ‘watching the magical connections that result’.
Sarah’s belief is that ‘health promoting behaviors should be modeled/taught where children live’ – and for most children – the majority of that ‘living’ is done in school. Health, education and quality of life, she emphasizes are inextricably linked and School Nurses are poised at that very gap between health and education. To this end, Sarah introduced ‘self care stations’ into the schools she worked in, an idea she attributes initially to fellow #schoolnursewhotweets Jasmine Wood. The initiative thought beyond simply ‘putting a band-aid on it’, instead, teaching the students how to care for their own minor wounds (self care) in order to get on with the task of learning. A teaching guide was developed to educate both faculty and students on the purpose of ‘self care stations’ and the concept was systematically introduced to each grade level. What Sarah is most proud of is that the project provoked a shift in mindset amongst the district School Nurses leading to the venture being introduced into other district schools. The big lesson learned here Sarah says, is that you can make a huge difference by ‘reading one tweet, making a change and sharing it’.
Sarah recently began a new ‘adventure’ becoming a full time Parish Nurse at her beloved church Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. It is a congregation of some 14,000 plus members. For Sarah, it is a dream job (hopefully her last she shares) bringing together body, mind and spirit. It encompasses the holistic care she espouses and brings her career full circle, ‘I do believe all roads have led me here’ she says. Interestingly, I was introduced ‘virtually’ to Sarah, and encouraged to connect via Twitter, by Robin Cogan who described Sarah as a nurse who ‘shares great books too’. At the time I was delivering a lesson using Kathryn Otoshi’s book ‘One’. If you are unfamiliar with the title, it is a sweet little story with a very powerful message culminating in the magical connection of a colorful, and very specific, group of dots…
Bio: Maria Addison, BSN, RN has been a nurse for nine years and is currently completing a MSN at Rutgers University, NJ. Originally from New Zealand, Maria has lived in the United States for the last 20 years where she completed her nursing degree in 2010.
She began her career in a Nursing and Rehabilitation Center near the NJ Shore, eventually accepting a position within her own community at Virtua Hospital where she spent several years on a busy medical surgical floor specializing in gastrointestinal, post-operative and pre-operative patients.
In 2018 Maria decide to pursue her passion for pediatrics choosing to focus on the well child and stepped back from the hospital environment to begin working as a school nurse. She currently substitutes in her local school district in addition to several neighboring communities. Recently she was invited to become involved with the health offices at the JCC, Cherry Hill. Maria is also the proud recipient of the Charles S. Holcombe Memorial Writing Award for her paper on genetic engineering.
Bio: Sarah Prescher, RN received her license in nursing in1996 after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from the The College of St Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. With over 20 years of experience in nursing Sarah has enjoyed a variety of roles ranging from a Triage Nurse for Childrens’ Physician Network Triage Service to an Elementary School Nurse for Eastern Carver County Schools. She has also functioned as Program Nurse for Nexus Youth and Family Solutions and Nurse Advisor for Southdale Pediatric Associates.
Recently Sarah transitioned into the role of Parish Nurse for Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. In Parish Nursing Sarah looks forward to blending an holistic approach to nursing care with her passion for wellness promotion. Sarah is proud to be a Johnson and Johnson School Health Fellow.