Do you feel like you have a lot to keep track of in your life? Maybe you have to remember to drop off and pick up the kids from school. Perhaps you have some dry cleaning to pick up once in a while. And most of us have bills that need to be paid at certain times of the month.
That's likely only scratching the surface, but you probably aren't responsible for making sure dozens of kids are taking their vital medication on time throughout the day. Unless you're a school nurse. Nurses don't just take temperatures and soothe upset stomachs all day; they're tasked with keeping a meticulous schedule for administering any medication that the students might require.
It's another example of how a synchronized clock system can prove indispensable, because when it's your job to make sure kids are taking their medicine on time, you want to be sure your clocks are keeping the right time, too.
For a school nurse, timing is everything
Kelly Hopkins is a nurse at Groves Academy, a school that serves special-needs students in grades 1-12. Of its 281 students, most are dealing with dyslexia or ADHD, and that can mean a lot of medications to manage. Plus, since many of these students already have difficulty focusing to begin with, it falls on Hopkins to make sure they take their meds properly.
“I keep a list of all kids that take medication and when, and mark down who comes in. I have a locked cabinet with a drawer for each student and their medication in it,” she explains.
When timing is critical
For many of her student-patients, it's especially critical they take their meds on time.
“All ADHD meds are basically time sensitive, or you won't have a good outcome,” Hopkins says.
For the nurse, that factor is so important that it's part of the “3 W's” that she keeps in mind to keep everything in order. It goes like this: Who is receiving the medication, What medication are they taking, and When are they supposed to take it.
To further complicate matters, many students take medication more than once a day. In the case of ADHD meds, oftentimes the morning dose will wear off, Hopkins explains. To make sure the students continue to benefit from the effects of the medicine, she makes sure the students get another dose later in the day when necessary. Some students need to take their meds as often as every three hours.
Complicated schedules require synchronized time
It's easy to see how someone with a job like Hopkins would need to take extraordinary measures to stay organized, but such efforts go to waste if the clocks aren't displaying the right time in the first place. If the clock in Hopkins' office is off, kids won't get their meds on time, and it's not hard to imagine the cascading scheduling trouble that would ensue in a school of 281 students when the nurse is late on an appointment. By the same token, accurate clocks in the classroom help kids and their teachers keep track of when they should go to the nurse's office.
Left on its own, any standard clock will inevitably veer from true time. Thankfully, synchronized time systems avoid that occurrence and help keep facilities running on schedule. For school nurses like Hopkins, that means keeping kids healthy, happy and focused.