Valley Children's providing preventative care training to school nurses across Valley

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For a second year, Valley Children's Hospital is making sure school nurses throughout the Valley are prepared for anything. (KFSN)

Spending an average of roughly 40 hours in class or on campus, school is where your student is spending a majority of their time.

"A child needs to be healthy to learn and were there to help that process," Jeanne Prandini with Clovis Unified said.

For a second year, Valley Children's Hospital is making sure school nurses throughout the Valley are prepared for anything. Nurses from the hospital's 11 county service area spent the day learning everything from patient care to preventative care.

"The school nurses are truly our eyes and ears while the kids are at school," Dr. Vinod Balasa said.

The conference covered a variety of topics like blood diseases and social issues faced by children that could impact their health and well-being.

Balasa of Valley Children's says a large portion of the day covers patient care. He says many of their patients undergoing intensive treatment for various cancers are able to return to school earlier than expected.

"We want the nurses to be prepared to receive these children's and be able to cater to whatever needs they have," Balasa said.

Prandini says this is a way for school nurses to continue their education and stay up to date on practices.

"We're providing the nursing services through licenses vocational nurses doing G-tube feedings, trach care, catheterizations at school," she said.

These school nurses aren't just learning to care for patients that are already undergoing treatment, they're learning a proactive approach and the signs and symptoms of all of these major diseases.

"We've caught Leukemias, cancers, appendicitis' things that you wouldn't expect," Prandini said.

Of the more than 146,000 patients Valley Children's saw last year at their main campus and regional specialty care centers, nearly one in five didn't indicate a primary care physician - meaning a school nurse could be their first line of defense with a major illness.

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