CCISD Nurses Go Above and Beyond

CCISD Nurses Go Above and Beyond
Posted on 05/07/2020
This is the image for the news article titled CCISD Nurses Go Above and BeyondAs the Coordinator of Health Services, Marina Keeton has been on the frontlines, working with local and state health authorities during the CCISD closure due to COVID-19.

As a Lead Nurse during her first year before transitioning into her current role this year, she oversees one clinic aide and a team of 53 nurses across the district.

Before Spring Break, she was a point of contact for information for Harris County Public Health and Galveston County Health District as she evaluated the status of CCISD and began to develop action plans.

“We first started looking at evaluating student and staff travel during Spring Break and how to handle their return if they were visiting places that had already been affected by the Coronavirus,” Keeton said.

In order to evaluate employees and students upon their return, Keeton and her team gathered information from them before the break and tracked student and personnel health after they came back. This involved looking into how international, national, regional and local officials were responding and preparing for the pandemic at that time.

Once CCISD decided to close and the pandemic got worse, she began participating in calls as an audience member with the Texas Department of State Health Services in addition to the local entities.

After gathering input from all agencies and collaborating with her team to research and develop protocols, Keeton would then meet with CCISD leaders to provide updates. This information, along with input from other district leaders, directly influenced CCISD’s plan on how to move forward based on the number of confirmed cases reported, community spread, and other factors.

“Things have leveled out after the initial shock,” Keeton said. “At first, I was sitting in on daily calls with state officials and the frequency of those has gone down to three days a week and now to twice a week combined with digital updates.”

She also monitors the Harris County Public Health and the Galveston County Health District websites daily for updates and participates in weekly meetings with the School Health Leadership Group, an organization comprised of nurse leaders within Region 4, which includes Clear Creek ISD.

As a leader, Keeton is grateful to her dedicated team of nurses for rising to the challenge during these uncertain times, including their continued participation in monitoring essential employees’ health at the district’s food distribution centers every week.

“I tell them that they make it very easy to come to work,” she said, “They make me a better leader because of what they do every day.”

After donning personal protective gear, the nurses take the temperature and complete a screening questionnaire of all employees before their shifts at the food distribution centers. Keeton developed the protocol, which follows guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, after discussions with regional nurses and collaborating with other nearby districts on how best to monitor workers’ health. She also coordinated with the Child Nutrition Department by learning about their process and then tailoring the monitoring protocols accordingly.

“Once the protocols were ready, I polled everyone on my team to see how many would be able to staff the food distribution centers and had about 24-25 team members sign up,” Keeton said. The group of nurses conducting screenings has since grown.

Those who could not participate due to extenuating family life circumstances volunteered to take over listening in on the daily calls with state officials and participate in informational COVID-19 webinars before reporting back to her with important notes.

After all the responses came back, Keeton created a shared calendar for the nurses so they could sign up for their preferred slots and currently, only one slot has not been filled. She believes this speaks to how devoted her team is and how lucky she is to work with them.

“They have a lot of care and compassion for students to do what they do, during COVID-19 and beyond,” Keeton said.

The food distribution program will continue at least through the end of May.

In addition to providing continued input to district leadership related to COVID-19, Keeton will work on closing out the Health Services Department by the end of the school year. Over the summer, she will continue to monitor the status of the pandemic and play an important role in the reopening of the district.

“Moving forward, I will stay in contact with federal, state and local entities so I can collect information to share with district leadership related to starting school in the fall,” she said.

“Together, we will develop plans for the reopening to happen in the safest way possible.”
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