In the fall of 2019, I read a Tweet from school nurse Becky Kilfoy that described a social emotional initiative that she was implementing in her elementary school in collaboration with her school counselor.
Becky shared her journey to address the confounding problem of students who somaticize underlying mental health concerns. We all have the experience of students who repeatedly present to the health office with vague physical complaints masking anxiety, depression or stress.
Becky teamed up with her school counselor to tackle the patterns they were seeing head-on. Students were losing precious class time and even undergoing unnecessary medical testing (in some cases). They went upstream to address the challenges students were exhibiting by introducing an Emotion Management Program beginning in kindergarten!
Now Becky has moved into the BIG Leagues and is leading a webinar to share this innovative initiative with school nurses across the country! The webinar will be on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at 3:30 pm EST. The details are below, but don’t worry, if you miss the live webinar, NASN is planning on offering the webinar on-demand too!
Webinar: Emotion Management K-6
Date and time: Tuesday, March 3, 2020, 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM Eastern. REGISTER TO ATTEND
This webinar will present an interdisciplinary approach to managing somatization in our schools. Given the attention of emotional health in children leading to academic success and the importance of attending to the whole child, this program has been developed to increase K-6 students’ abilities to cope with school stress in healthy and effective ways. The participant will leave with a better understanding of the frequent flyer, and tools to utilize in their health suites to assist the students they serve.
As a result of participating in this educational activity, learners will be able to:
• Recognize the significance of the effect of stress in our children
• Understand how stress is experienced in a child or adult
• Articulate the school nurse’s role in identifying and supporting stress management and mental health issues.
• Recognize how somatization manifests in a school nurse office
• Identify a need for mental health referral
• Identify steps to take to assist students in identifying their emotions and coping with their emotions in the school health office and in the classroom. – NASN Website
Bio: Rebecca Kilfoy, MSN, RN, ACNP, NCSN: School Nurse West Vincent Elementary – Owen J. Roberts School District. Rebecca is a school nurse serving Kindergarten through 6th grade in an elementary school in Chester County, Pennsylvania. She specializes in a holistic approach to childhood wellness. She incorporates evidence-based medical approaches and social and emotional techniques to foster wellness in her school community. With nearly 25 years of nursing experience, Rebecca uses innovative approaches to protect and promote student health, facilitate optimal development, and advance academic success.
Rebecca’s current passion is the integration of social and emotional concepts into her nursing suite to promote Whole Child wellness. This holistic approach assures students’ academic success and lifelong skill development to cope with the ever changing social environments.
Rebecca earned her B.S.N at the University of Scranton, her M.S.N. – Acute Care Nurse Practitioner at Drexel University, N-C.S.N. at Eastern University and is currently completing her M.Ed. in Social and Emotional Learning at Neumann University. She is looking forward to continuing her education in Social and Emotional Learning Leadership in a Doctoral program using her research skills to study the success of SEL in the school nursing arena