The Student News Site of Los Osos High School

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

Staff Spotlight: Mrs. Schmidt, the School Nurse

Being a school nurse is a big responsibility. As the resident school nurse, Mrs. Schmidt is responsible for all the student and staff health issues. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a lot of press around appreciating healthcare workers. This includes the one on our own campus. The impact of COVID-19 has lessened, but the habit should not stop. Her job is not mentioned often on campus. Subsequently, she doesn’t receive the recognition she deserves.

There are many requirements to become a certified school nurse. In California, workers are required to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a current registered nursing license, which requires one to two years of experience nursing in schools. This could take up to six years of schooling. About the same amount as educational teachers. 

These credentials are needed because of the various types of health issues school nurses handle. Mrs. Schmidt said, “I think people don’t understand it’s not [just] an ice pack and a bandaid.”

On a typical day, nurses could deal with calling parents, headaches, and even more severe health issues like people passing out, or having seizures. Another responsibility is doing a full evaluation of the special education students’ physical health every three years. 

I don’t think students are aware of the resources the health office has either. Students are allowed to use the singular bathroom in the health office, which is cleaner and more private than the regular bathrooms. For students with menstrual cramps, they can sit down with a heating pad until their cramps ease. If a student is having a mental breakdown or simply needs a mental health break, there is a back room where they can sit to recoup and relax. 

The most important thing for Mrs. Schmidt is communicating with her about what you’re struggling with. A lot of kids come into the health office without actually having any health problems because they want to leave class. She said, “[In] my experience, sometimes if a kid comes in the door and I look at them, I can tell if they’re sick. Sometimes they just need a break, and I’m fine with that. I would just rather [they] tell me that than not make up some huge story.” Communication ensures she can help you to the best of her ability.  

For mental health breaks, the new wellness center, located in the D building, is the preferred option. But if the center is closed, the nurse’s health office is another option.  

However, before students come to the health office they need to get a pass from their teacher. The only time a pass is not needed is during lunch. If they want to come during the passing period, they need to go to their next class and get a pass. If they’re out of class without a pass they may be mistaken for skipping class. 

Another reason is safety. A pass informs when a student left class, which class they left, and what time.  Without it, if something happens to them on the way there there is no physical representation of the students’ whereabouts. When a student leaves, the nurse will also sign their pass. The sign indicates to the teacher that the student visited the health office, and what time they came back.  

She is also a resource for other aspects of health. If students don’t have clothes to wear or food to eat on the weekends she will refer them to Student Services for help. 

Thank you, Mrs. Schmidt, for all you do!


Donate to The Grizzly Gazette

Your donation will support the student journalists of Los Osos High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Donate to The Grizzly Gazette