Paterson school board calls for changes to district’s nurse sharing plan at schools | Paterson Times Paterson Times

Paterson school board calls for changes to district’s nurse sharing plan at schools

By Jayed Rahman
Published: September 1, 2016


The school board on Wednesday night called for revisions in nurse assignments at 12 schools that will be sharing 6 nurses this school year.

School board members cited medical emergencies that could place students at risk in the absence of a nurse at a school.

“What happens at a school when the half-time nurse isn’t there and an incident occurs?” asked school board president Christopher Irving on Wednesday night.

“There is no good answer to that question,” said state-appointed district superintendent Donnie Evans.

Board member Lilisa Mimms suggested the school look at student population count and re-assign nurses.

The district should also examine medical records of students with asthma and peanut allergies to assign nurses recommended board member Jonathan Hodges.

Irving said schools that share the same building can share a nurse, but those schools that are far apart should not.

Evans’ plan presented to the school board states the following schools will share nurses:
•    Stars Academy and Rosa Parks High School
•    School 11 and Roberto Clemente School
•    Young Men’s Academy and School 2
•    Harp and Yes Academies
•    School 1 and School 26
•    International High School and Garrett Morgan Academy.

“These three are just not practical,” said Irving pointing to the first three sets on the above list. “God forbid something happens — we’re in dangerous trouble from a liability stand point.”

The board president said the distance between the first three sets of schools are too great to allow them to share nurses. He suggested assigning shared nurses to schools in close proximity like School 28 and Napier Academy.

Hodges said schools that have two nurses may be able to give up one.

Evans said the district will revisit the shared nurses plan; however, he noted the district cannot hire additional nurses due to financial constraints.

“There’s no amount of money that you can pay a parent for the loss of their child. And you can lose an asthmatic in six to eight minutes,” said Hodges, a retired medical doctor. “It only takes one case.”

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