WUN Reaches Out to School Nurses

WUN volunteer Kim Grady and Ken McDonnell, communications director, recently raised narcolepsy awareness with school nurses, a group that spends time with kids when they are likely to exhibit symptoms – at school in class and out. The venue was Northeastern University’s College of Health Sciences School Health Summer Institute for Massachusetts school nurses.

The three-day conference, convened on August 6 in Hyannis, MA, brought together some 275 elementary, middle, and high school nurses to hear from experts on topics ranging from juvenile concussion, depressions and anxiety, to diabetes, autism, ADHD, and sleep disorders, including narcolepsy. Kim and Ken spoke with scores of attendees about WUN’s new Narcolepsy Goes to School (NGS) program.

NGS, a complimentary WUN offering, helps teachers and nurses learn more about narcolepsy and the signs they may observe in the school environment, symptoms that may indicate the need for further medical attention. The more school personnel know about narcolepsy, the sooner symptomatic kids can be diagnosed, and the sooner kids testing positive for narcolepsy can start treatment and begin leading a more normal life.

The nurses gave the NGS concept an enthusiastic thumbs-up. One attendee commented, “Kids come to my office all the time needing a nap. Yes, they may be bored or sleep deprived, but it may be narcolepsy or some other serious sleep disorder. Nurses, teachers and other educators can serve their students better if they understand what they’re noticing.”

For more information about Narcolepsy Goes to School or to connect WUN with your local educators, please reach out to Ken.