Lakewood still nurse-less

Lakewood hasn’t had a school nurse since mid-September

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Guidance secretary Dricilla Johnson fills out forms in the clinic office. Johnson has been acting as the school nurse ever since the most recent nurse left. “I feel great because I love children and I love taking care of children,” Johnson said.

Aniya Trueblood, SNN Staff Writer

Every day students go to the office complaining about not feeling well – but there is currently no trained professional there to help them out. Lakewood High School is one of several schools without a full-time nurse. Lakewood has lost three nurses during COVID-19, because under the stress of the pandemic school nurses are finding better options available to them.

“Prior to COVID-19, it was very unusual for us to not have a nurse,” principal Erin Savage said.

With the pandemic going on, guidance secretary Dricilla Johnson helps students when they show up at the clinic. She never knows whether the student has COVID symptoms or just a simple headache, but she tries to help them to the best of her ability.

“Depending on the symptoms, we either bring the student to the clinic and call home for a parent to come pick them up if they are not feeling better at 15 minutes or with (COVID-19) symptoms we take them to the COVID isolation room and call home,” Savage said.

Public Information Officer Isabel Mascareñas said the district is actively recruiting for the job.

“Postings are on marquee signs and on the PCS website and job sites such as Indeed,” she said.

The district has 24 schools covered full time by ‘’agency nurses’’ or others. An agency nurse is a temporary nurse hired and placed by an agency or a registered nurse was assigned to the school to provide part-time coverage.

Johnson said she doesn’t mind working in the clinic and working in her regular position as the guidance secretary. She said about 10 kids go to the clinic a day.

“I love children and I love taking care of children,” Johnson said.

Lakewood’s previous nurse left in mid-September because she got a job that had better pay, Savage said.

“I am hoping that we get a replacement soon,” she said.