NEISD trains school nurses to handle on-campus COVID-19 situations

School nurses have trained vigorously in contact tracing through Johns Hopkins University

SAN ANTONIO – North East Independent School District has trained its nurses to handle COVID-19 situations should a student or faculty member show signs of the virus while on campus.

“This year for the nurses is going to look unlike any other year we have had,” said Aubrey Chancellor, NEISD spokesperson. “So much more is on their plate. So much more is at stake, but they are up to the task.”

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This summer, all 90 of the district’s nurses received hours of training, including contact tracing, which they did online through Johns Hopkins University.

“They will be able to know how to trace, where they have been, what questions to ask, and then hopefully make sure it doesn’t spread,” Chancellor said.

She said the district has faith in its nurses.

“Nurses are like anyone else. We all know this is a time of uncertainty, but nurses will be nurses. They are used to dealing with things you and I won’t have to deal with,” Chancellor said. “They are ready with the training they received. They are ready to take on the challenge.”

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The nurses have also been tasked with creating an isolation room.

“In their clinics, they have done assessment where they may need a room for isolation,” Chancellor said. “So they know how to maneuver some students there for simple things to take medicine or headaches or something of that nature, and they know protocol if someone comes in exhibiting symptoms. If they don’t have room in their clinic, then they have identified a space for that to happen and will know how they are going to handle things if and when that time comes.”

Teachers have also been provided with an electronic form to fill out should one of their students show signs of COVID-19.

“Before they come to the nurse’s office, a teacher can alert the nurse’s office that someone with possible COVID symptoms is coming in so that they have time, real quick, to isolate everyone, make sure the clinic is cleared, and make sure they have on all of the (personal protective equipment) they need.”

The No. 1 thing the district wants to make sure is a significant factor upon entering school grounds is that everyone must go through a pre-screening process.

“We do not want employees or students who think they may be sick or are living with someone in their household who may have symptoms coming to school,” Chancellor said. “We need to take precaution. We know all of our schools are COVID-safe, so if someone gets sick on campus, they brought it in from outside. It takes all of us working together to make sure we eliminate those possibilities from the very start. The goal is to open and remain open. We don’t want to open, only to have to close again and then reopen.”

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