Since her arrival three weeks ago, our new School Nurse, Vanessa Sciammarella, has been proactive and forthright. When she toured potential sites for the new Health & Wellness Centre, she politely inquired as to whether the Business Office was available, as the location was ideally situated, had multiple independent spaces, and more importantly, access to a washroom for her patients.
A quick flurry of planning and a rapid move for the Business Office ensued and CDS’s first Health & Wellness Centre is now centrally located at the juncture of the Junior School, Middle and Senior Schools. This location is critical, as it has ease of access to both the Middle/Senior Schools and Junior School to assess sick individuals. In a perfect world, they will be delivered to her.
Nurse Vanessa holds a B.Sc. (Hons) and post-graduate degree in Nursing (RN) from the University of Toronto. She comes to us from The Hospital for Sick Children where she worked for the past five years, her patients ranging from newborns to young adults.
“My niche is kids,” she explains. “When I was in Nursing School, I did my placements with SickKids. Kids are who I know best, so this role of School Nurse really caught my eye.”
In short order, Nurse Vanessa has gotten the Health & Wellness Centre up and running with three isolation rooms where students will be able to rest quietly until their parents arrive to pick them up. Currently, the protocol is that as soon as a child or staff member exhibits any COVID-19 like symptoms, they are to be assessed by Nurse Vanessa. If she deems that symptoms warrant (she may also check with the Doctors on our medical team), a parent will be contacted and asked to pick them up immediately at the doors toRogers Hall behind the Middle School. Siblings of students showing COVID-19 like symptoms will also need to be picked up, and the whole family should isolate as they contact their family doctor for next steps (which may include testing).
With the changing weather and flu season right around the corner, the Health & Wellness Centre is sure to become a busy place. That is why it isimperativethat our parents (and faculty and staff) continue to follow our protocol by conducting adaily health assessmentfor their child(ren) every day.
As Dr. Cohn said in our July 29th Reopening Plan webinar, gone are the days where you can give your child two Tylenol and send them to school. It is critical that we remain vigilant in accessing for symptoms this season, and if present, stay home and switch to remote learning.