So much looks so different inside schools since the COVID-19 pandemic, while many people can’t wait to get rid of the mask and shields, some of the changes will stay… like those in the nurses’ offices.
Garland ISD went all-in on telehealth. Last year, pre-pandemic, they showed us a pilot program. Now a year later what they tested out is now on every campus in the district.
Cameras and computers let nurses dial in a doctor when they need one. That’s thanks to a partnership with a company, Hazel healthcare, that brings pediatric doctors in schools virtually.
“It acts as an extension to the school health services just by providing the school nurses the ability to connect with a Hazel (Healthcare) doctor whether it be virtual or our remote kids face to face,” said Kathryn Shreves, a nurse at Garland ISD.
It came in handy during the pandemic, to get an extra set of eyes to handle the cases but the school’s nurses tell us being able to take photos and live stream with doctors will help them on the day-to-day with things like broken bones.
“We can conference someone in, we can use this service for something that we as a school nurse feel like this is above our scope of practice,” said Shreves.
The program was free this school year, but will work with parents, and take most medical insurances to help get kids care right on campus so mom and dad don’t have to leave work and bring the child to the doctor, when those 1 p.m. stomach aches pop up.
It’s a takeaway from the pandemic that school nurses are happy about.