If you plan on working in New York City as a school nurse, you may reconsider your decision to enroll in a school nursing program. If you are already enrolled in one, you may consider switching your major to another field of medicine. According to Jenny Anderson, reporter for the New York Times, New York City Mayor Bloomberg has proposed eliminating nursing positions at schools with an enrollment of 300 students or less. Mind you, when you are referring to public school enrollment numbers, these numbers are not necessarily equal to the actual number of students attending a school. This is especially true in tightly budgeted schools, where funding is based on enrollment numbers. If this passes, what additional risks involved in not having a medical professional stationed at a school – especially in an über-crowded urban city such as New York. What happens in emergencies? Will teachers be made responsible for the health and safety of students? Even if a teacher were given basic first aid instruction, who would attend to the rest of the students while he or she is caring for the ill student?
After experiencing the life of a teacher in New York City and elsewhere, in all likelihood, mayhem would break out if the teacher is forced to care for ill students, rather than attend to their lessons. Without a school nursing program, there is always the likelihood that students, especially the more brazen ones, will take advantage of the situation and feign an illness or condition to distract the teacher during important lessons or exams. Then there’s always the inevitable mob mentality; in short order – classrooms in NYC will become places of bedlam – if they already are not! What happened to the “no child will be left behind” legislature? Is this part of Obama’s healthcare overhaul?
Just to show you how much money our government officials waste is that the Mayor provided a loophole for his proposal, which states that schools with children who require daily medical attention, e.g. students taking medication that is administered by a licensed healthcare worker will be exempt. Haven’t we been hearing report after report as to how many children are on controlled substances? Then there are those, such as the diabetic child who may require injections. Without a school nursing program on campus, what will happen to these children and those with potential emergency needs? Statistics prove that nearly half of all children have been diagnosed with some sort of chronic disorder or illness and that many of them require some sort of daily medication regimen. Without a school nurse, who is going to take care of these children? Are teachers, staff, and principals expected to also assume legal responsibility?
According to Judith Arroyo, president of the New York City nurses union, besides administering to daily health problems of school children school nurses are at the front line of defense when it comes to diagnosing or recognizing serious viral outbreaks, such as the swine flu (H1N1 virus), which was first reported to city health officials by a Catholic school nurse.
According to Henry Fortier, associate superintendent for public policy and government programs for the New York Archdiocese, public testimony will not be permitted. Therefore, in this writer’s opinion, the Mayor’s proposal is another strategic political ploy to stir up the pot to get a lot of people worked up over nothing. Indeed, this move of the Mayor’s is another example of his reckless manner and hubris for strong arming his way through our weakened political stratum.
The bottom line is that it is probably not very prudent to enroll in a school nursing program in New York at this time. If you are considering medicine, there are many other opportunities, such as CNA, RN, and PhD Nursing online programs, where your education will lead to job security. NYC long ago lost its battle for solvency, and Michael Bloomberg has failed at his job despite his great success and brilliance when it comes to private enterprise. This nursing cut is just another reflection of how poorly mismanaged our tax system is. Billions of dollars pass through the hands of people who work off the books or run cash businesses and never make it into the New York tax coffers. Raising taxes on gasoline, cigarettes, and snack foods hurts the consumer more than it ever helps the state. If this were not true, New York would be in the black.