by: Leslie Rivera
APS salutes school nurses on National School Nurse Day, May 6, 2015.
This year’s theme is “School Nurses: Caring for Others. Caring for Ourselves.”
School nurses do more than just apply bandages after playground falls. Today, school nurses play a significant role in supporting education and advancing student health. They enhance educational achievement by improving and protecting the health status of students through prevention of illness, early detection, and removal or modification of health-related barriers to learning.
Two APS Lead Nurses oversee the school-based Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses who strive to help young people establish healthy lifestyle behaviors and choices to increase health and well-being and reduce disease.
According to the National Education Association, a typical nurse schedule can encompass immunizations, health care screenings, hearing and vision testing; dealing with home accidents, and diseases such as diabetes and asthma, student obesity, and special needs.
APS would like to honor two nurses for their contributions as they both prepare for retirement.
Sufia Trotman has been a school nurse for 22 years. She’s a graduate of Hunter College in New York and chose the profession because it allowed her to spend time with her own family while working in a specialty area of pediatrics. “I love children and I have enjoyed being an advocate for children’s health needs in the school and in the community,” said Ms. Trotman.
She plans to read and sew more during her retirement as well as spend time with family, “I have two children – a daughter who graduated from Emory University in 2010 and a son who will graduate from Georgia Tech in May. I am looking forward to spending more time with my children and grandchildren; and will cherish the memories from my time at APS.”
Florence Blankson has been in nursing 47 years, 32 of them at APS. She began her nursing career at the Royal United School of Nursing in Bath, England. Her first job with APS was as a special education nurse serving all children in the district with special needs (i.e. tracheostomies, pacemakers, catheterization, gastrostomy feedings, insulin dependent diabetics, etc.) “I enjoy working with children. I also enjoy the fulfillment that comes with my services that provide students with the utmost health to excel in their education,” said Ms. Blankson.
She has been married nearly 48 years and is a mother to three adult children (one son and two daughters) and three grandchildren. She’s eager to see them all more, “I look forward to spending precious time with my spouse, children and grandchildren. I plan to do some traveling and eventually settle in my home country of Ghana, West Africa.”
Please take a moment to celebrate the contributions that school nurses make every day to improve the safety, health, and academic success of all students.