Langley’s public school nurse role has evolved

In celebration of National Nursing Week May 9 to 15, 2022

Tamira Burton is a nurse working in the Langley School District. (SD35)

Tamira Burton is a nurse working in the Langley School District. (SD35)

Tamira Burton is the Fraser Health healthy schools nurse supporting the Langley School District.

“In addition to engaging in district-wide health promotion initiatives, my role also includes engaging in partnership with a select number of schools within our district, known as ‘focus schools,’ Burton said.

“The intent of our engagement with focus schools is to provide additional resources to integrate health promotion into schools that experience higher rates of vulnerability.”

Fraser Health’s healthy schools nurses support school districts and identified focus schools to promote the mental, physical, emotional and social well-being of students.

“We base our work with our focus schools on extensive research that shows healthy students are better learners,” she added.

“In my role as a healthy schools nurse, I lead with this understanding in mind when supporting focus schools to expand on the incredible work they do to improve all aspects of student health and wellbeing in the school setting.”

This includes mental, physical, social-emotional, and intellectual health.

“I do this by working alongside school staff and other community partners to take upstream actions such as supporting the development of healthy school policies, linking to sources of health data, supporting improvements to the school environment, and strengthening connections with community partners,” Burton explained.

The pandemic brought significant change to learning but the healthy schools nurses remain committed to working in close partnership with school districts and focus schools.

“We do this in support of their efforts to prioritize the mental wellbeing of their students and staff,” she said. “A key example of how we have done this is by demonstrating to our school district partners how our supports and services strongly align with the Ministry of Education’s key principles and strategies for K-12 mental health promotion in schools, an important framework for our school districts to take an upstream approach to supporting mental wellness.”

Despite the challenges of modern health care, Burton enjoyed this helping profession.

“I enjoy all aspects of this role and the biggest rewards are hearing the benefits our collaborative work has on staff and students,” she said. “We all benefit from the partnerships and relationships that are developed, and I hope that we continue to build on these partnerships.”

A variety of resources is available for students looking to improve their well-being.

There are many resources connected to schools and the community.

Students and families can refer to the Langley School District website under the “healthy schools” page, or Fraser Health’s healthy schools program webpage for resources on topics such as healthy eating, active living, healthy practices (including substance use prevention and sexual health), and mental well-being.

– From the Langley School District

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