Angie Allmer, nurse at Central Valley Health District and school nurse to the Jamestown Public School District, said the fall of the year is the busiest part of the school year.

"In the fall of the year we are doing vision screenings and flu shots," she said.

Allmer said during the summer she reviews vaccination records to see if any students are missing shots required by North Dakota law.

"Many times it just slipped the parents' mind," she said. "The parents usually take care of it but if it's a hardship, the school nurse can give the shots with the parent's permission."

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Students in kindergarten through sixth grade are required to have five doses of DTaP (pediatric diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis) three doses of hepatitis B vaccine, four doses of IPV/OPV (polio vaccine), two doses of MMR (measles vaccine) and two doses of chickenpox vaccine.

Students grades 7-10 need the same vaccines as previously listed plus one dose of meningococcal vaccine and one dose of Tdap (tetanus, diptheria and pertussis) vaccine.

Students in grades 11 and 12 need another dose of the meningococcal vaccine.

"North Dakota has a low level of unvaccinated students," Allmer said. "But if there are problems, they must be corrected with 30 days of the start of school."

Allmer said school nurses fill a variety of needs beyond monitoring or administering vaccinations.

"The role varies from being a medical provider to a parenting role to someone providing counseling," she said. "We work with the parents a lot because they know their child the best."

School nurses also play an important part in providing care for any medically fragile students who might be attending the school.

"We help the school staff and the parents work so the child can have a successful school year," Ulmer said. "The hope is if a child is in distress, the staff member can do enough to get by until the next level of (health) care comes along."

Allmer said school nurses also see students who aren't feeling well while at school. The child can ask to see the nurse or a parent may contact the nurse and ask the child be checked.

"The volume of kids you see goes up if there is flu going around," she said, "but there really is no particular time of the year when we see more students."

Allmer visits Jamestown Public Schools on a rotating schedule that is posted at www.CentralValleyHealth.org and is accessed by clicking on the school nurse button on the left side of the screen. Other staff of Central Valley Health visit other schools in Stutsman County and are also on the schedule.