Twice a year, in the spring and fall, Monadnock Region’s school nurses gather for a special meeting with Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth Hitchcock-Keene hospital staff and other member of the public health community.
They spend an evening having dinner together, learning about a new health topic, and swapping stories about their work. The next meeting will be in October.
SNAP (School Nurses and Providers) meetings are a good venue for the region’s school nurses to mingle with other providers from the medical center and brainstorm ideas to better serve the school community. One issue SNAP attendees are working to address is the disconnect between the New Hampshire school vaccination schedule versus the Centers for Disease Control schedule, which is followed by CMC/DHK doctors. Since the schedules differ, some students are not up to date with vaccines when it is time for them to start school.
Invitations to the SNAP program and its workshops goes to all school nurses and substitute nurses in SAU 1, 24, 29, 47, 60, 92, 93, 94 and Cedarcrest Center for Children with Disabilities in Keene. Note: The workshops are not open to the general public.
We spoke with Harriet Davenport, a school nurse at Keene High School, who says the meetings are always well-attended; she has been attending SNAP meetings since they began more than five years ago. She said that over the years SNAP has hosted different community speakers, from an allergist from the hospital to a police officer who spoke on how to handle an active shooter situation.
She notes that being a school nurse can be isolating — both from the perspective of interacting with doctors at the hospital and our peers at other schools. She says, “SNAP bridges that gap and helps us with our continuing education requirements, and keeps in touch with our peers and hospital providers.”