One of the few bright spots in the COVID19 crisis is highlighting the work of school nurses across the country, and how they are responding to the pandemic. During emergencies, Mr. Rogers famously said, “Look for the helpers. You can always find people who are helping.” Virginia Beach School nurse Chrissy Love is clearly one of the ‘helpers,’ and in her concern for her students and staff, she has created inventive ways to stay connected.
Trying to figure out how to be a school nurse from home has been challenging. When it was announced that schools would remain closed for the rest of the school year I was devastated. We didn’t have a chance to say goodbye. As I became to go through the grieving process, I realized that everyone was probably feeling the same way. I wanted to find a way to stay connected with my students and let them know that I am still here for them and that I care about their well-being…..
I created this video for my students because I thought we could all use a little laugh right now. If you can find some humor in a situation, you can get through anything. My students will tell you, my motto is, “Laughter is the best medicine.”
I also started a weekly video discussion on an app called Flip Grid called “Wellness Wednesday.” Each week, I post a video about a topic like exercise, nutrition, positive thinking, etc and I encourage the students and staff to respond with their own videos. The response has been great and students from all grades have been getting involved. We have had some good laughs, some good cries, and the most important part is that we are connected. The students are continuing to learn and grow. School nurses are important for a student’s physical health, but now especially play a crucial role in their socio-emotional health. I’m so glad to have the technology to remain connected with students and staff to support them as we navigate this strange situation we’re in.
This was the challenge of the week of April 8th:
Positive thinking helps keep the mind healthy just like exercising and eating well keeps the body healthy. The body and mind go together in health and wellness. When you can’t change a situation, you can change what you think about it. Can you think of some positive things about having to stay at home right now?
Bio: I am the school nurse to about 700 students at Strawbridge Elementary School in Virginia Beach, VA, where I live with my husband, 2 teenage sons, and my dog. This is my 7th year as a school nurse. Prior to school nursing, I was an ER nurse for 16 years. Being a school nurse has been the absolute best part of my nursing career. With the 16 years of ER experience under my belt, I felt pretty well-prepared to enter the school nursing world. What I never expected was the relationships I would build with my students and their families. It’s such a unique nursing experience and I’m so glad to have landed here. One last thing, I was selected as the Virginia Beach Public Schools School Nurse of the Year in 2018. That was a huge honor.
Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN is a Nationally Certified School Nurse (NCSN), currently in her 19th year as a New Jersey school nurse in the Camden City School District. Robin is the Legislative Chair for the New Jersey State School Nurses Association. She is proud to be a Johnson & Johnson School Health Leadership Fellow and past Program Mentor. She has been recognized in her home state of New Jersey and nationally for her community-based initiative called “The Community Café: A Conversation That Matters.” Robin is the honored recipient of multiple awards for her work in school nursing and population health. These awards include, 2019 National Association of School Nurses President’s Award, 2018 NCSN School Nurse of the Year, 2017 Johnson & Johnson School Nurse of the Year, and the New Jersey Department of Health 2017 Population Health Hero Award. Robin serves as faculty in the School Nurse Certificate Program at Rutgers University-Camden School of Nursing, where she teaches the next generation of school nurses. She was presented the 2018 Rutgers University – Camden Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award for Part-time Faculty. Follow Robin on Twitter at @RobinCogan.
View all posts by Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN