RGV school nurses prepare for another school year during pandemic

Local News

HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A new school year always presents new challenges, and for school nurses, times like these are full of them.

After over a year of virtual classes, all students attending Brownsville ISD and Harlingen CISD are now back to in-person instruction.

“We have to educate ourselves so we can educate our students and our teachers because everybody is afraid,” said Reyna Rivera, Burns Elementary School registered nurse.

Rivera is the only registered nurse at Burns. Rivera says having to endure another school year during the pandemic will be a challenge for all school nurses.

“We have the extra duties of checking temperatures and making sure our students are healthy,” Rivera said. “We started COVID testing here at every campus, everybody has their own COVID testing.”

Last school year there were fewer students on campus due to virtual learning. Now, all students have come back to campus in person.

“That’s the fear I think parents have is having everybody back on campus and the safety of our students,” Rivera said. “But I can assure that we have gone the extra mile.”

Nurses at Harlingen CISD have also made changes due to the pandemic.

“We have extremely specific guidelines a protocol and we follow them for every single case, so its actually makes our job a little bit easier,” said Nurse Verna Garza at Vela Middle School.

Garza says her school has now added an isolation room for students experiencing symptoms. So far, Garza has had to treat some students these first few days of school.

“We have had some children come in who have not felt well and, again, we assess them completely, call home check with parents,” Garza said.

But even though this school year may be another unusual one, the main goal for nurses is to keep all students and teachers healthy.

“Are we going to have out positive cases? Yes we are, but we are going to deal with it,” Rivera said.

“That’s truly my hope is to get everyone back in school safely,” Garza said.

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