PSEA is a community of education professionals who make a difference in the lives of students every day.
Phoenixville EA member John Odell is in his second successful career after 24 years with the Army.
Pennsylvania’s public schools should be the safest and healthiest places for students to learn and grow. To make sure they are, we need the most qualified teachers, teaching assistants, school nurses, counselors, psychologists, and social workers.
PSEA is committed to making changes aimed at protecting everyone who works and learns in our schools.
School nurses can’t be everywhere. Medical situations and emergencies happen in classrooms, in cafeterias, on buses, on field trips, and just about anywhere in a school community.
Barb Magnotta, senior nurse at two elementary schools in the Central Valley School District, Beaver County, and her fellow nurses were talking about that and about things they would like to go over with teachers, support staff, and administrators.
They saw an opportunity when the district was providing CPR training to all K-12 staff during in-service days last August.
“We came up with ‘Did You Know?’ We created trifolds with numerous topics for staff to review, and then we gave them a test,’’ said Magnotta, a board member of PSEA’s Department of Pupil Services’ School Nurse Section.
To add interest, the nurses solicited donations from community businesses to raffle as door prizes for those who took the test. The vast majority participated.
Topics included drug overdoses, the use of EpiPens, asthma symptoms, diabetic information, and other medical conditions.
There was also information on sexting, cyberbullying, depression, child abuse, and the mandatory reporting process. They also talked about the need for educators who chaperone field trips to know any health issues of students going on the trip, and to check with the nurses’ office to see if a nurse should go along.
“There was a lot of give and take between staff, including administrators,’’ Magnotta said. “It was really a hit. It did exactly what we intended it to do.’’
She gave a presentation on it at a School Nurse Section meeting, and it drew much interest from her colleagues around the state.
“Many of them said they are planning to do something like this in their districts,’’ Magnotta said. “A lot of it is commonsense information, but it needs to be reinforced from time to time.’’