Celebrating school nurses on the High Desert

Bend-La Pine nurses appreciated for their work

National school nurse day

BEND, Ore. - Remember your school nurse? Their jobs might have changed over the years, but the role they play is just as important.

May 7 is a day to celebrate the people who dedicate their days to the lives of others -- it's National School Nurse Day.

"Kids and nursing are my passion they are," said Bend-La Pine school nurse Marylou Paterson.

For 25 years, Paterson has been able to make her passion her career.

"We're part mother, but we're really involved in making sure that we are representing their parents at school -- not trying to become their parents," Paterson said.

She's part of an important group of nurses that serves the students and faculty of Bend-La Pine Schools.

"What I tell parents is we are the bridge between education and health and the medical needs of the students," school nurse Margo McDonald said.

Some of those needs can't always be fixed with a Band-Aid.

"Each day, there's always new issues to be dealt with, and you are constantly having to think on your feet,"  said Bend-La Pine school nurse Meg Moyer.

But with the constant challenge and hard work comes the reward of helping others.

"I had flowers from the mother of one of my diabetics, and when I thanked her, her response back was, 'You help me to breathe easy every day' -- and that meant so much more than the flowers," Paterson said.

"Just to meet even the smallest of needs of one of those students -- it's a blessing, and you walk away knowing you've done your job," McDonald said.

It's a  job that's appreciated every day by helping the growing and learning children of the Central Oregon community.

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