Diamond School District to add telehealth kiosks to schools
DIAMOND, Mo. – Taking temperatures, giving out bandaids, and comforting upset students.
“Hey, I fell, I have a scratch, I need a bandaid, I need an ice pack. You never really know what you’re gonna get from day to day,” says Diamond School Nurse Rachel Beckett.
Rachel Beckett’s job as the school nurse for the district is anything but boring. Which is part of the reason she loves it… but also understands this year will be a bit more complicated.
“It is gonna make it difficult,” says Beckett. “Especially when we hit that flu season because flu and COVID are so similar. I mean, you’re not gonna know unless they’re actually tested.”
The district is currently working on hiring nursing assistants to help Beckett keep up with the students in other buildings since her office is in the elementary school.
“The extra help would be amazing because obviously I can’t be in three different places at one time,” says Beckett.
But the biggest addition this year will be — if everything goes according to plan — telehealth kiosks at each of the schools. So that students and teachers alike can connect with a physician without having to step foot outside of the school.
“Getting a doctor’s appointment, getting in the door, and speaking to a doctor, that part could hopefully happen in our schools, which would be great,” says Diamond Superintendent Keith White.
White says they’re currently working with Freeman Neosho and the Newton County Commission to get the kiosks, which will serve as a quick access point to physicians during the school day. Something that will help Beckett determine whether or not a student has the coronavirus, or even needs to be tested.
“Having the telehealth available will help me be in direct contact with that physician and just kind of be their physical hands on the assessment of the student and then they can kind of diagnose and be like, okay, this is what I think is going on, this is the next step that we need to proceed to. Whereas me being a nurse, I’m not able to do that,” explains Beckett.
White hopes to have the telehealth kiosks in the schools by early to mid-October. Originally they were shooting for some time in September, but there’s such demand for the machines that it will take a little longer for them to come in. White also hopes to get final approval from the county commission next week (the week of August 9th), since the cost of the machines would be covered by CARES Act funding.
White is also in the process of getting medical grade UV light cleaners. They will be used to clean classrooms if a student does end up testing positive for COVID-19.
School in Diamond starts on August 24th.