Local mom advocates for full-time nurses in all public schools

Local mom advocates for full-time nurses in all public schools



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Posted on October 10, 2012 at 7:38 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 16 at 2:20 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Terri Saurer goes through her morning checklist with daughters Hannah and Michelle like an executive closing a deal.

"Remember only food from home, right,” she asks her daughter Hannah.

Saurer says she has to act efficiently.  She believes her daughter's life depends on it.  Her daughter has a history of seizures, and there’s more.

"Currently she has life-threatening food allergies, she says.

Terri's daughter Hannah is in kindergarten at Ballantyne Elementary.  She loves her school and her teacher, but there is always something haunting her in the back of her mind.

"I'm allergic to nuts, sunflower and coconut,” said Hannah Saurer.

And her mom is worried.

"Her lips swell and she turns red.  She breaks into hives and her throat hurts. She could then have trouble breathing.”

How fast does it happen?

“Seconds,” said the younger Saurer.

That is why Terri is on a mission.

"I think a lot of parents don't realize they don't have a nurse at their school full time until they need it,” she said.

Saurer is starting a state wide coalition advocating for full-time nurses in all public schools.  The CDC recommends one nurse for every 750 kids.  North Carolina ranks 31st in the country, with one nurse per 1,200 students.  CMS has one nurse per 1,200 students as well.   

Saurer said it leaves a lot of teachers with additional job duties.

"The teachers didn't go to school to be a nurse.  They don't want that role,” she noted.

Saurer has a Facebook page and is writing elected officials and speaking out, with a message to every parent.

"The teachers have so much responsibility that if the teacher is concerned with my child's medical issues, who's watching the rest of the children, and who's teaching the rest of the children," asked Saurer.

To contact Saurer you can go to schoolhealthadvocacy@yahoo.com or visit her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ncschoolhealth.