GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCBD) – The coronavirus pandemic has been tough on healthcare workers, including school nurses.
Jenny Durant, a school nurse at Westview Middle School in Goose Creek, South Carolina, says the past year has been one of her most difficult.
“I want all of my parents to know that every child that walks into my door is treated like my own,” said Durant.
She is the person who gets called when anyone at Westview Middle is not feeling well. When COVID-19 hit, her work increased.
“I actually think last year, we were just preparing for what would happen this year, and this year it has just been tremendously different,” she said.
Meeting more than just medical needs.
“Not just encompassing their physical needs, but their mental, their emotional, and their social needs as well,” she said. “We’re doing all we can to try and keep our kids safe, but sometimes it feels like it’s not enough. We’re getting overwhelmed quite a bit. I’m just being very transparent; we’ve had a pretty tough year.”
And when a child has possible COVID-19 symptoms: Based on our protocols, if you have one of four symptoms, secondary symptoms, you get a lovely letter that says you need to see a doctor to be evaluated before returning and that doesn’t always go over so well,” said Durant.
Durant said this is likely one of the hardest years as a nurse. “Not just a school nurse, but as an actual nurse,” she said.
Sometimes the volume can be overwhelming. There are no substitutes for school nurses right now in Berkeley County. There is a nurse shortage everywhere.
“I can come to work every day and I have this sense of family; my coworkers are there to help lift me up, this is why I do what I do.”
There are 47 schools in the Berkeley County School District, and at least one school nurse at each school.