‘It’s been a crazy time’: Horry County School nurses prepare for 2020-2021 school year with new guidelines

Grand Strand

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW) – As Horry County students prepare to go back to school amid the pandemic on Sept. 8, so are school nurses across the district.

Socastee High School’s nurse says there are new guidelines and procedures she’s learned in her annual training to help keep the kids safe.

“It’s been a crazy time. The very beginning, learning it because it was a new virus, and the ever changing guidelines and recommendations,” said Socastee High School nurse Susan Cyganiewicz. “We know what we need to do, we just need to roll it out. We’re ready.”

For Cyganiewicz, the most difficult thing has been preparing for the school year amid the increase of COVID -19 cases over the summer.

“[I was] just watching the numbers over the summer and trying to imagine in my mind how it’s going to be this school year,” she said.

She says school nurses like her go through Safe School Training every year and now there’s additional training in the program, specifically related to COVID-19.

At Socastee High School, masks are required and students should self-screen for symptoms before they come to school.

If a child starts feeling symptoms while at school, instead of sending the symptomatic child to the nurse’s office with a pass, teachers will now call the nurse to let them know the student is on the way.

Socastee High health staff have an isolation room where that child will stay until their parent or guardian pick them up.

Cyganiewicz says communication over phone and through PowerSchool with parents is vital, and even though she can’t test kids for the virus, she and other nurses are in daily contact with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

She says although some are concerned that everyone will experience a flu season amid a global pandemic, they’re ready.

“The guidelines that we have in place and what we’re doing, following to prevent the spread of COVID-19 should help prevent the spread of flu as well,” said Cyganiewicz.

Cyganiewicz recommends parents send their kids to school with an extra, clean mask. She also suggests sending in updated immunization records to the school.

If a child needs a daily or rescue medication, Cyganiewicz says their parents should call the school nurse to make an appointment for a pick-up or drop-off of those medications.

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