Earlier this year, Healthy Schools Campaign hosted its fifth annual School Nurse Leadership Training. In celebration of this milestone, we're profiling nurses who have been part of the program to find out how their experiences have changed the way that they view their positions and the impact they have in their schools. We spoke with school nurse Cam Traut, currently a school nurse at Libertyville High School in Illinois, who took part in the first class of HSC’s School Nurse Leadership Training.
Traut began her career at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, working in the pediatric Intensive Care Unit. At that time, she was also a volunteer with her church’s youth ministry. She mentioned to a friend how she was beginning to feel burnt out by her job, but wanted to continue working with children. It was then that her friend suggested school nursing. Cam was initially skeptical, as she pictured the stereotyes of school nursing that we’ve described before. But as she researched, she found that school nursing was much different from that image and that it was her new calling.
Cam’s day-to-day duties include administering medication to roughly ten students and providing care to a handful of students who have type-1 diabetes. She also provides traditional care such as tending to any injuries and students who become ill. Additionally, Cam provides advising and counseling to teachers and parents alike if they approach her about a situation where a student may need extra care of some sort, recognizing that she is a great resource for questions they may have relating to the health and well-being of their students.
She is also a leader in taking steps to ensure that her school provides a healthy environment, and serves as a central school resource for health and wellness issues.
For example, Cam’s school has seen a rise in concussions over the past year, so it has also been her job to educate students, parents and teachers alike about the short-term and long-term effects and how concussions can ultimately change the learning process for the student over time.
“I kind of became that center person that brings it all together and starts looking at this issue at different levels,” Cam said. “I think about how the School Nurse Leadership Training helped me out and this is a great example of that.”
Cam attended the very first School Nurse Leadership Training focused on developing wellness programs in schools. The training program gave her the materials she needed to approach school leaders and explain how important health and wellness are to a school environment. She plans to implement a wellness program and council for her school throughout the school year.
“I feel I’m a very valued part of what we do at Libertyville,” said Cam. “It’s been essential to show the students and staff the role that the school nurse plays with students. . . and how important that is.”
Kudos to Cam for applying what she learning in the School Nurse Leadership Training Program to her invaluable work at her school!