Here is a shout-out of special appreciation to writer Nicole Fauteux for featuring school nurses in her recently published article, “At the Intersection of Health and Education”. Nicole was collecting quotes from school nurses across the country responding to this question about our newfound celebrity increasing respect.
The COVID-19 pandemic put school nurses in the spotlight. Did that newfound celebrity bring increased respect?
I answered her email with this message:
The COVID-19 pandemic certainly put school nurses in the spotlight due to our critical roles in managing the pandemic in the extraordinary efforts we made in keeping our school communities safe. While increased visibility and varying appreciation for the work of school nurses were heightened during the pandemic, the reality of the impact of the mental health challenges schools experienced during COVID continues to be a great concern.
In some cases, the pandemic may have highlighted the importance of having well-equipped and properly staffed school health services, leading to increased recognition and investment in this area. However, there were also considerable cases of negativity and even reports of abusive reactions to school nurses attempting to implement the constantly changing public health guidelines. Ultimately, long-term changes in respect and recognition for school nurses will be influenced by how communities and policymakers value healthcare professionals and prioritize public health initiatives.
Here is a link to the final article! Nicole did a great job capturing sentiments from school nurses from coast to coast. Many of us had similar messages.