McDonald County schools hire new health aides

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MCDONALD COUNTY, Mo. — Nurses in one southwest Missouri school district will soon be getting some extra help.

The district will be hiring eight new health aid positions.

This comes after district officials noticed some additional needs that have surfaced, since the start of the pandemic.

School nurses in McDonald County have been working extra hard during the pandemic to make sure students are safe.

School secretaries have even filled in as aid for the nurses to help out — adding on to an already busy workload.

“When this pandemic hit, we found that they were really becoming overworked and had a lot more things going on than really they needed to have,” said Ken Schutten – McDonald County School Media Communication Coordinator.

Now, thanks to COVID relief money coming into the district, administrators will be able to hire eight new health aid positions. Something that not only will take stress off of nurses, but help better assist many kids throughout the district.

“Just here at Anderson elementary, we see over 500 children, we staff over 70 staff members, and, as you wouldn’t want to walk into your doctors office and not see a physician or a friendly nurses face, it’s the same with our littles,” said Angela Riley – Anderson Elementary RN.

Now that students will be even better assisted when going to the nurses offices, Schutten adds it will improve their learning.

“Research has shown over and over again that a healthy student is a better student. And that’s what our goal is, we want success all across the board when it comes to McDonald County schools, and each and every student needs to have that success,” said Schutten

And it will even allow the registered nurses to have success.

“Not only can I go out into the building and take care of those special needs kids, and do their readings in the morning and in the afternoon, I can walk out and do my hearing and vision screenings,” said Riley.

Riley adds when she leaves her health aid in her office, she knows the kids are well taken care of, and she’s excited to see that in the other schools

Officials in the district hope to have these positions filled by next month.

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