Nurse Appreciation Week

It’s not just handing out bandaids

Anna Grieshaber-Fjesme

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Laura Alexander has been the school nurse at Rouse since January 2021 and has since served as the only health professional on campus. 

Alexander has a long background in nursing. She has her associates degree in nursing, and has been a registered nurse for more than 22 years. Her past experience includes years as a bedside nurse in the hospital and elementary school nursing. 

As a school nurse, she needs to be prepared for any kind of emergency of a student or staff in order to offer the best possible response and solution. 

“It all depends,” Alexander said. “I basically describe it like a triage in the ER, so you have to be prepared for everything that comes and whatever happens at school.”

Alexander not only cares for ill students but she helps students with chronic illnesses and diseases who require daily medications. She emphasizes the need to be emotionally and physically prepared for all sorts of situations and emergencies, including mental and behavior issues. This, Alexander says, is something students might not realize.

“I don’t feel people are aware of how much goes into being a school nurse,” Alexander said. “There’s a lot more that goes into it, it’s not just handing out bandaids.” 

The school nurse needs to take care of all the immunizations the school needs a student to have, vision- and hearing screenings, and they are responsible for letting families, teachers, and students know about potential COVID-19 cases. 

“I want people to know that I’m here to help support students however I can and whatever they need,” Alexander said. “That’s what I’m here for.”

Even though there are times in which there is a lot for her to do as the only health care professional on campus, she enjoys working with high school students and encourages students to come in for whatever they need.