Beaverton, OR: "Children with conditions has... skyrocketed over the past 10 years"

Jan 24, 2018, Portland (OR) Street Roots News: The effect of Oregon's school nurse shortage Nina Fekaris has been a school nurse with the Beaverton School District for almost 30 years. Last summer, she was named president of the National Association of School Nurses. She believes that providing more school nurses to rural Oregon would have a deep impact on not only the health of rural Oregon communities, but also the educational outcomes. … … The number of children with chronic or acute health conditions has kind of skyrocketed over the past 10 years. The number of children with anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening allergic reaction, that has increased dramatically. Our number of children with Type 1 diabetes has increased dramatically. … S.H.: What are school nurses seeing these days that they weren’t seeing in the past? Essentially, what’s the experience of the 21st-century school nurse in Oregon? N.F.: The dramatic increase of children with life-threatening allergies and Type 1 diabetes: These medical conditions significantly impact the amount of time and planning and preparation that a school needs to have in place to keep those students safe. The other huge issue that we’re seeing is mental health. Mental and behavioral health concerns have also skyrocketed, and that has been within the last five years that we’ve really seen that huge increase. It’s children coming to school with severe anxiety; early, early diagnoses of kids with potential eating disorders; children that are experiencing such kind of traumas or adverse childhood events in their life outside of school that coming to school is kind of their safe haven.