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Dorchester Cty, MA: 'The [medical] needs of children have gown'

June 29, 2018, Dover, DE, Dorchester Banner: School nurses facing challenging times Dorchester Cty, MA: “A lot of people think we just give out pills, but that’s not true,” School Health Program Supervisor Carolyn Hallowell, RN said June 19. Ms. Hallowell was speaking to the members of the Dorchester County Council, asking the commissioners to provide as much support as they could to the increasingly complex tasks performed by school nurses…. Her program’s annual budget is $744,777, most of which comes from the Board of Education, with $143,940 from the council. In her 15 years in her post, Ms. Hallowell said, “The needs of Dorchester County school children have grown.” For example, in 2010, there were 59,686 health room visits in the 11 public schools. That number climbed to 81,170 last year. Though a person might picture bandages going on scraped knees, there’s more to it. Ms. Hallowell acknowledged that injuries and illnesses are treated in the nurses’ offices and the wellness centers in four schools, but there are also a wide variety of needs to be met, including head lice, incontinence, tube feedings, diabetes issues and more. “We have a nurse giving meds every day,” County Health Officer Roger Harrell said. In fact, medicine was dispensed 27,924 times last year in Dorchester schools…. In the past, one nurse could often cover two schools. Now, though, with the increased work load, it’s pretty much one for each – 12 nurses now serve Dorchester children….

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