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Survey: School Nurse Shortage Having A Big Impact On Philadelphia Schools

By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - A new survey says that having fewer school nurses is hurting the health and education of Philadelphia school children.

The Education Law Center surveyed parents and school nurses on the effects of budget cuts that have left 195 school nurses serving 200,000 students in Philadelphia's public, parochial and private schools.

"Children are missing classroom time," Maura McInerney, Education Law Center senior staff attorney, says non-medical staff are doing nurses' jobs.

"Seventy percent of the people that we surveyed reported that medications or treatments were being administered by teachers or aides rather than by school nurses. 52 percent reported the children are not receiving urgent medical care."

The Law Center recommends an end to using untrained personnel, and recommends using nursing students to perform limited duties under the supervision of a registered nurse.

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