The impact of Covid-19 on school nurses

ANDERSON, Mo.–When Covid-19 cases surge within school districts, it’s school staff that keeps everything running smoothly for students, and when it comes to students’ health, nurses play a key role.

“Even though Covid has been around for a few years now, it’s still very scary for the parents, the staff, the kids,” said Angela Riley, a registered nurse at Anderson Elementary. 

While the McDonald County school district has managed to stay open for the most part, Riley says she’s never been busier. 

Even after taking a few days off last week to clean district buildings and giving students time to recover from illness.

“For them to be proactive and go ahead and take those days off, it was definitely needed. but yes, we’re definitely seeing it increase…it’s been very busy, very, very busy. but we have a great team here,” Riley said.

As a nurse, Riley’s seen not only the physical aspect of the pandemic on children but the emotional aspect as well.

“It’s definitely a process. even though covid has been around for a few years now, it’s still very scary for the parents, the staff, the kids, just because they do here in the community of people who have lost their battle with, it is still very scary, so there’s a lot of not just the health side of it, but the emotional side of it.”

What really helps alleviate stress,  is having the entire school working with Riley to keep track of who’s sick 

“I think our district’s doing a great job. I really do. I know the nurses in the district, they’re tired. You know, this has definitely been a long run over three years to be dealing with something like this.”

With everyone in the district stepping in to help, Riley says she hopes this will be over soon.