CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — With Robstown ISD students physically going back to class, school nurses are prepared to keep kids healthy -- but that isn’t limited to just physical health.
Robstown ISD Director of Health Services Melissa Chavez lost a family member due to COVID-19. She knows it’s just as important to be emotionally there for students as it is to help them get better if they are physically sick.
“You know what these families are going through, and what the kid is going through, so it enables you to be in their shoes and understand all the emotions that you are feeling -- that they’re going to feel them too,” she said.
Right now Chavez and Robstown ISD nurses are focused on immunizations, but with twice-daily briefings at the beginning and end of the day, Chavez keeps her team up-to-date with the COVID-19 statistics in the schools, and urges nurses to be there for students to give them mental-health advice during the pandemic.
“Now it’s like you’re listening and you have to address other issues, and try to help them with coping,” Chavez said.
Cordelia Bosquez is a school nurse for multiple schools in Robstown ISD, and said in order to help kids succeed in class, it’s necessary to keep them healthy.
And keeping them healthy has been the biggest challenge for her.
Bosquez was one of the nurses that went to students’ homes, bringing them blankets and food when students were learning remotely. She said it gave her good insight on how students live outside of school.
“We are making a difference in their lives because we are able to go out there and see their home lives,” she said.
Priscilla Benavidez is a third-grade teacher at Robert Driscoll Elementary School. She said students learn better in class, and that’s why she works with nurses to keep her students healthy. She alerts nurses if students have any COVID-19 symptoms.
“I know everyone is scared, but our best option is to be face-to-face right now, and we’re doing everything we can to ensure that students are being kept healthy and safe,” she said.
Bosquez said if a students tests positive for COVID-19 at school, they are put in an isolation room before they are released to a parent or guardian.
Nurses such as Bosquez and Chavez also work with parents to inform them on how to spot COVID-19 symptoms and give them advice on how they should care for their child if he or she is sick.
“We’re a very close-knit team, so we’re always there to help each other out,” she said.