When Vermont children get sick in the classroom, school nurses are often the first folks to jump into action.
"In a school setting you see kids with a lot of different things, so many health conditions," said Kathleen Kelly, a school nurse in Colchester.
And the problems they're seeing are getting more complex.
"It's gotten much more complicated in that kids are coming to school with a lot more chronic illness," said Tonya Crawford-Stemple, a school nurse in Barre.
Friday, the team at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington stepped up to help, offering a full-day boot camp of sorts for school nurses, offering the latest information on all kinds of conditions.
"We're covering a lot of different pediatric specialties, asthma, oncology, chronic kidney disease, G.I. symptoms; issues that kids might be having in school," said Heidi Moore, the conference organizer for FAHC.
In all, more than 100 school nurses from all corners of the state took part in the refresher courses.
"Just having all of us together is really unusual," Kelly said. "We work hard in our buildings and don't often get to see our colleagues and network."
Organizers hope the workshops help make sure the nurses' skills are similar, regardless of where they work.
"It's probably been a while since a lot of them have worked in a hospital setting. Most of them have been out in the schools for a while," Moore said.
It's a place these professionals are ready to get back to, armed with information to help them tackle what lies ahead.
"Enthusiastic, excited for this school year," Crawford-Stemple said. "Better prepared for my practice."
A practice that for many picks up in just a few days.
This was the first year for the nurses' boot camp. It came in response to a group of Barre nurses who were looking for new opportunities for professional development.
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