Community Benefit Stories
Hospital Reaches Out through School Nurse
Kim Lindroth, RN, the school nurse in central-city Milwaukee, starts her day teaching three health classes for eighth-grade students at Westside Academy. “Thankfully, I have found a nursing career that keeps me working with children and incorporates creativity and ingenuity,” Lindroth says. “No day is ever dull.” Her position is funded by Froedtert Hospital as part of its community outreach initiatives.
“This is what makes my position extremely gratifying,” says Lindroth, who has been part of the Froedtert staff since October 2007 and has six years of experience in pediatric nursing, as well as one year working with adults. “Being an educator of young, intelligent individuals is a privilege, and I know that doing preventive education can reduce many community health complications.”
In the course of one morning at the Westside Academy II site that serves fourth through eighth graders, Lindroth treats two girls with eye problems while another has a sore throat that she says has lasted a week.
In the afternoon, Lindroth heads to Westside Academy I for Head Start through third grade. As she walks across the playground, two girls approach her saying they have cracked teeth that hurt. Once inside the building, Lindroth attends to a boy who has a welt developing on his forehead after running into another child. Lindroth does a quick assessment and reassures the boy. Shortly after, she sees the familiar face of a first-grade girl who complains of a stomach ache and sore throat, asks for lotion for her eczema and says she could use a new toothbrush.
After lunch, Lindroth organizes post-tests and tallies results of student surveys to prepare her year-end report. Her routine paperwork includes charting as well reminding parents about immunizations, prescription medications or other matters, or to schedule a meeting. Efforts to get in touch with parents can sometimes be a frustrating when families relocate or working-poor parents with inflexible jobs cannot afford to take time off work.
In the 2008-09 school year, Lindroth provided 1,285 health visits to students. And even though her days are filled to the brim, an idea crosses Lindroth’s mind: A Student Health and Wellness Plan for middle school students who do not get regular exercise or outdoor recess. She makes plans to type up the proposal before leaving for summer break after a very busy, 10-month work schedule during the school year.
Last Review Date: Oct. 23, 2009
Online Editor(s): Richard Petre