When a 9-year-old had a seizure on the playground Wednesday, University Park Creative Arts School got an illustration of the importance of school nurses and parent communication.
When the child collapsed, school staff rushed into action, calling 911, clearing the area of other children and summoning the teachers trained as "first responders." The west Charlotte school, which has about 400 students, has a nurse only two days a week, so trained faculty must fill the gap.
"I feel all schools need a full-time nurse -- all day, every day," Davidson said after the child had been taken to the hospital.
Teri Saurer and a group of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools parents have been lobbying for two years to get just that. As my colleague David Perlmutt recently reported, their persistence is making an impression on county officials, who are thinking seriously about spending the $2.5 million it would take to meet that goal next year.
In this case, the child's parent had recently informed the school about the medical problem and brought seizure medication. It couldn't be administered, however -- not because a nurse wasn't present but because the paperwork from the child's doctor wasn't complete.
That's the second important lesson, Davidson said. Parents whose children have medical issues need to make sure schools are fully informed and authorized to provide assistance. In this case, she said, once the authorization was complete the nurse would have trained the designated teachers.
Bolyn McClung, who was doing volunteer work at University Park when the incident occurred, says he was impressed by how well the school responded. "If nothing else, the staff knows how to handle an emergency," he said.