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School nurse urges vaccinations, gives tips to avoid catching the flu

By Matt Montgomery

With the flu virus spreading through the air of most of America and infiltrating the schools, making kids sick, even causing death in one case in Texas recently, Piedmont Schools Nurse Ashley Buckner, RN, BSN, said she recommends that all Piedmont students be vaccinated with the flu vaccine.

Of course, she said good hand washing will help prevent transfer of the virus, but most importantly she said to keep a sick child at home and not take them to school.

“If your child is sick, they need to stay home,” Buckner said. “They need to be fever free for 24 hours and they need to stay home, which I know is hard.”

Some people believe that once a person is administered the flu vaccine,  that they will feel sick at first, and Buckner said that just isn’t the case.

“It (the vaccine) is not a live virus so it should not give you any signs of symptoms of the illness,” she said. “But, I know, many people report that it does.”

She said throughout the Piedmont School District she is aware that several students have tested positive for the flu but isn’t certain which schools they came from or when they contracted the virus.

“I don’t think it’s anywhere isolated,” she said. “I’m pretty sure it’s been scattered throughout the district.”

Combating the virus is a big priority for Piedmont’s only school nurse, so she said the district has increased the amount of available hand sanitizer in every classroom and the amount of hand soaps as well.

“We have really talked to people about washing their hands,” Buckner said. “And, we’ve really cracked down on sending kids home. If they are sick then we are sending them home and we really enforce the 24-hour rule.”

She said a student who has a temperature above 100 degrees will be sent home from school.

Overall, Buckner can’t stress enough the importance of being vaccinated for the flu virus and repetitive hand washing. She said it is her goal to try to educate the public about the flu and to try to keep kids feeling well in Piedmont schools.

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