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Collaborating with school nurses, virtually, to ensure the best care for kids
April 01, 2021
Collaborating with school nurses, virtually, to ensure the best care for kids

To us, kids come first – not just within the CHoR walls, but in their communities too.

An integral part of kids’ health and well-being in the community involves their time in school. That’s why we find value in regularly connecting with school nurses.

School nurse conference slideWe traditionally host the Promoting student health conference once a year to share the latest information on hot pediatric health topics with school nurses and other school health personnel. While COVID prevented attendees from gathering in person, it also raised new questions and concerns about the best ways to care for kids in the midst of this coronavirus. We took this opportunity to shift the conference to a virtual setting which, as turns out, came with some great benefits.

View the Promoting student health PowerPoints

Watch the conference presentations

Reaching hundreds of school health professionals

One of the biggest advantages of going virtual was that nurses from outside of Central Virginia, like Susan Redford-Vogler from Chesapeake, could still get the helpful information without having to make the trek to Richmond.

“With the onset of COVID, there has been a lot of increased responsibility for school nurses who are on campus as it relates to student visits and following up on contact tracing,” said Redford-Vogler. “This was a great seminar – the coordination of knowledgeable, enthusiastic speakers with pertinent information was outstanding. I have attended this seminar in Richmond the past two years and they have always been informative, but this year it was even better!”

Another benefit to the virtual format was the ability to swiftly and thoroughly plan a second conference this year to cover essential content on the evolving nature of COVID-19.

“The virtual conference presented an opportunity for CHoR to strengthen our collaboration with the Virginia Department of Education, Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and Virginia Department of Health, working together to help school nurses balance virtual and in-person student needs in this pandemic landscape,” said Karol Wilson, outreach and marketing senior, who led CHoR’s involvement in the conference. “And based on positive feedback from attendees, the virtual approach may be the way to go moving forward.”

Nearly 400 professionals from as far as Bristol, Roanoke, Blacksburg and even West Virginia participated in the latest free virtual conference held on February 15, 2021.

Topics included:

  • COVID-19 update – presented by Jeffrey Donowitz, MD, infectious diseases specialist, CHoR         
  • When to seek the ED vs. urgent care – presented by Patrick McLaughlin, MD, emergency medicine specialist, CHoR
  • Athletes returning to play during COVID-19 – presented by John Farrell, MD, pediatrician, South Riding Pediatrics
  • Immunization resistance: Having hard conversations – presented by Nicole Parkerson, MD, pediatrician, MERCK
  • Virginia 2021 vaccine update – presented by Erica Hunter, PhD, Virginia Department of Health

The conference wrapped up with an “ask the pediatrician” session led by Diane Dubinsky, MD and Natasha Sriraman, MD representing the Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Participants submitted questions related to timely concerns and real-life scenarios.

Working together with kids’ health at the center

This conference provides opportunities for pediatricians and school nurses to build relationships, reassuring school nurses that they’re valued members of the pediatric patient care team.

“School nurses have an enormously influential role in promoting the health of our young people. Our CHoR experts are proud to support them in this important endeavor by sharing the latest research, advancements in care and educational resources,” said Elias Neujahr, CHoR CEO. “We’re all working toward the same goal – ensuring the best care to keep kids healthy, learning and having fun being kids.”

Educational posters were offered to attendees to continue COVID prevention efforts and information sharing as more schools return to in-person learning. Get your own downloadable resources here!

Stay up to date on all the latest educational opportunities and events (virtually for now) from CHoR.

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