School Health

National CPR & AED Awareness Week: Five Ways to Get Involved

National CPR and AED Awareness Week is a reminder of the power everyone holds when it comes to saving a life. According to the American Heart Association, during a cardiac emergency, for every minute that passes without CPR or a defibrillating shock, the probability of survival drops by about 10%*. This makes it important that bystanders know how to properly administer CPR and have quick access to an AED in times of crises. Through quality training and education, you’ll be able to foster the confidence you need to get one step closer to helping someone survive.

The Five Ways:

  • Encourage CPR and AED Certifications – Encouraging others to get CPR and AED certified can help them learn the life-saving skills and techniques necessary to respond to sudden cardiac arrest. Communities can use education and awareness to create a network of prepared responders who know how to act swiftly during cardiac emergencies, ultimately saving more lives.
  • Know the Signs and Symptoms – Actions as simple as telling someone to dial 911 or fetch the closest AED can make a difference in survival outcomes. Some AEDs, including ZOLL AEDs, provide written and verbal instructions to help inexperienced individuals perform quality CPR. If you witness somebody experiencing the following, be sure to act: 
    • No pulse or breathing
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Heart palpitations 
    • Loss of consciousness
  • Evaluate AED Placement – Take the time to review the location of AEDs in your school or facility. They should be placed in visible areas and within three minutes of every location in your building.  This includes providing one on each floor and storing them 48 inches off the ground for better wheelchair accessibility. When thinking of AED implementation, many locations need to be considered, including:
    • Elevators
    • Outside stairways
    • Cafeterias
    • Fitness centers and gymnasiums
    • Primary entrances and reception desks
    • Main corridors
    • Outdoor areas where students play sports
  • Ensure Rescue Readiness – Having emergency equipment readily available is vital for prompt intervention during SCA. Furthermore, having a well-defined emergency response plan can help ensure that everyone knows their roles and responsibilities in the event of sudden cardiac arrest. Staying ready for the unexpected at all times has the ability to increase survival rates and enhance overall public safety. Check out our School Safety Center and comprehensive supply list and use them as references when you're emergency planning and checking supplies off your list.
  • Enable Your Community to Take Action – Brainstorming how you can spread awareness about the significance of CPR and AEDs is another way you can take part this week.  Sharing personal stories or testimonials via social media is one approach to this – be sure to use the hashtag #AEDsHelpSaveLives! Using a voice and word-of-mouth will help you shine the spotlight on this topic this week and for weeks to come.

* 2010 AHA Guidelines for CPR and ECC. 

School Nurse Day 2024: Encouraging the Next Generation of School Nurses

We want to express our sincere appreciation for the incredible efforts of school nurses. Every day, you play a vital role in ensuring the health and well-being of students in our schools. From administering medications and treating injuries to providing emotional support and promoting healthy habits, your dedication knows no bounds.

This past week, we asked you to share your experiences, advice, and best practices to help empower the next generation of school nurses. Your responses gave us even more insight into how essential you are for nurturing students’ health and well-being.

Below are just some of the submissions we received.

What Would You Like to Share with Future School Nurses?

“Each student is unique.  Each student has their own story and their own history.  Even the frequent flyers are searching for something. It may be your touch, tone of your voice, or calmness of your clinic that brings them some comfort and peace. The days get hectic, but you are making a difference in each of these students’ lives.” – Dawn P.

“In school nursing, compassion with consistency is key. Each student that walks into your office has a story beyond the one that brought them to you. Be kind, be empathetic, and listen to them. Follow up on the issues that you see, call home when you have concerns, and use your resources. Sometimes all it takes is one person to take the extra step to make a huge difference in a child's life, and that one person could be you!” – Casey R.

“Get to know the students and staff outside of the health office. Take some time visiting the cafeteria during lunchtime, show up at the student’s after school activities, volunteer to be on committees. We are all so busy every day, but every so often, leave the office (even five minutes  every other week), to walk around and be present in the school. Getting to know the community you work in gives a whole new perspective to the students you care for.” – Katie P.

“School nursing is a specialty with many unique challenges and rewards. Realize that you will not know everything on day one, day 50, or day 2,000. Trust your training and experience. Connect with other school nurses, mentor when you can, and ask for help when you need it. You got this!” – Rebekkah D.

“When you are feeling overwhelmed between paperwork, screenings, and students coming into the office, take time to reground yourself. Remind yourself daily why you are here and who you are here to help.” -Alison S.

“Be patient, calm, and listen.  Sometimes we feel hurried to get through a checklist of "must-dos" and may miss an opportunity to impact a student's life or academic success.” – Colleen H.

National Athletic Training Month 2024: ATs are Essential!

National Athletic Training Month 2024: ATs are…Essential!

As another memorable year of NATM wraps up, we want to extend our gratitude to all athletic trainers for their unwavering dedication to athletes everywhere. You are an essential piece of championship teams, the backbones of successful athletic careers, and the guiding light in challenging recoveries. Without you, athletes would lack the crucial support for success on game day.

Throughout March, we asked you to tell us why you love being an athletic trainer and what it means to you! Your responses provided a glimpse into the impact your athletes, profession, and community hold in your hearts.

Below are just some of the inspiring answers we received.

Why Do You Love Being an Athletic Trainer?

“The best part of being an AT are the connections you make with your athletes, coaches, and the community. The longer you are part of a community, the more valuable you are, and I wouldn’t want to leave my high school community for anything!” -Heidi B.

“The secondary school setting is something special! The kids sometimes call me "mom" because they know I'm available for them for whatever they need! If they get hurt, need a band aid, need some advice, or need to vent, I'm there for them! I love watching them return to play the games they love so much. They make my job so enjoyable!” -Amanda H.

“I absolutely love being an AT! Helping others return to the sport or the activities they love is very fulfilling. It's sometimes a journey to get there, but I love being able to support those along the way.” -Liz E.

“I love being an athletic trainer because you get a chance to teach the athletes what it takes to bring the best out of themselves. I love encouraging them, especially after they've gotten injured. I have always been able to make them better than they were even before their injury. I just love my job.” -Gary C.

“I love being an AT because it allows me to build relationships and be in an athlete’s corner when they may feel like they have no one. Being an advocate for student athlete mental health is one of the most rewarding and crucial things about my job.” -Alec P.

“I love being able to be there for every aspect of my athlete’s needs- the mental, physical, and emotional needs that the athlete has in every stage of his/her/their career is so important to me! I love being on the sidelines and seeing my athletes through every stage of their career, as well as their wins, losses, injuries, and comebacks. I love what I do and have been doing it for the past 23 years!” -Mary H.

“My favorite part is being a preceptor. Being able to show my passion for this profession to aspiring ATs, so they go out and make a difference in hundreds or thousands of athletes' lives, is something that I couldn't go without. Even if we don’t get a 7-figure salary, our profession has so much to offer, and it puts a smile on my face to see each new generation coming through.” -Steve B.

At School Health, we know an athletic trainer faces new challenges and lessons daily. Thank you for always being there for your athletes and working tirelessly to ensure they’re prepared for every game and practice, all while inspiring them along the way.

 

Start Getting Ready For The Next School Year

As you gear up for the end of another school year, it's the perfect time to start thinking ahead and planning for the next one! Whatever your role is, we have a few tips to help you plan better and make the transition smoother.

What can you do to prepare for the new school year?

  • Supply Lists – Our premade supply lists take the hassle out of supply ordering for the upcoming year. From essentials to exciting new products, planning for next year just got a whole lot easier.
  • ESSER III Funding – Be sure to check if there is any ESSER funding left in your district that you can use. Download our interactive supply list to see what you can purchase! If you’re looking to dig deeper into ESSER, watch our Federal Funding Explained series, where our funding expert, Dr. Ray, discusses the significance of utilizing these funds and specifics on how to do so.
  • Expert Assistance – Our experts know their stuff inside and out! With years of specialized knowledge in their fields, they each can provide guidance navigating complex compliance situations, product selection, program implementation, and equipment training. You will always be in good hands when you choose School Health. Our specialists can help in the following areas: vision and hearing, emergency preparedness, PE curriculum and professional development, special education, and sports medicine. Get a free consultation!
  • School Safety Center – Visit our School Safety Center for tips on creating an emergency operations plan that works best for your school or district. Make sure you have a plan to ensure  your emergency must-haves are in working order and ready to use. Some of these include AEDs, trauma kits, drug deactivation systems and evacuation equipment.  Summer school, camps, and athletic practices will soon be taking place so it’s crucial to stay emergency-ready! Ask us about our SH Connect  compliance Management System to make this process a breeze!
  • Essentials Restock - Get ready for the upcoming school year by taking inventory, organizing, cleaning, and sanitizing your workspaces, including disposing of any expired supplies or medications. Think about the infection prevention, cleaning, and general health essentials you use on a daily basis such as gloves, tissues, menstrual products, soaps, and disinfectants – and make sure you have enough of them!

Although the start of a new academic year can be overwhelming, our resources will help you stay prepared and ready to tackle whatever may come your way. We are always here to help, so that you can walk through the door on the first day of school with a little less worry, and a lot more confidence!

Looking for More?

Don’t forget to take a browse through our online catalogs where you can find all the supplies you need with a single click! Also, connect with us on social media to get more tips, participate in contests, and stay up to speed in everything health. Plus, subscribe to our emails to hear about new product offerings and get $5 off your first order! 

Combating Burnout: Tips for Self-Care

 

Did you know that workplace burnout has been on the rise ever since the pandemic first hit in 2020? According to The American Institute of Stress, 80% of workers feel stressed from their job, and nearly half of them need help coping with this stress. The education sector is notorious for its high-stress environment, with school staff frequently dealing with long working hours, heavy workloads, increasing administrative tasks, and pressure to focus on the individual needs of each student. Acknowledging burnout is essential to maintain the wellbeing of school employees and empower staff to create a healthy work-life balance. Now is the perfect time to start recognizing your stress triggers and indulging in the things you find most enjoyable.

Main Causes of Burnout in School Workers

In order to tackle burnout head on, we first need to start with knowing what it is and the effects that it has on the individual, both professionally and personally. There are many common causes of burnout in school workers. These include:

  • Excessive workload – Individuals who work in schools are frequently stretched thin and feel pressured to work long hours just to keep up. Large school and class sizes, increasing administrative responsibilities, and limited support staff are just a few of the challenges that lead to an unmanageable workload. 
  • Lack of resources – School employees may believe they are not being provided with the funding, materials, and equipment that is necessary for them to succeed in their role, contributing to feelings of frustration.
  • Administrative pressures – School nurses, teachers, and other educational workers may struggle to keep up with the demands of parents, administrators, and the community. 

Although your work environment may seem difficult and unbearable, there is one blissful thing that you should always strive to squeeze into your schedule: self-care. Like burnout, self-care also comes in many different forms and looks different for each individual. This is the time where you can focus on the most important thing: yourself!

Self-Care Tips (No… It’s Not Selfish!)

Taking intentional steps to nurture your own health and happiness is the first step to eliminating any overwhelming or negative feelings. Find what works best for you and prioritize it as frequently as you can. Psychiatrist, Amanda Itzkoff, explains the three types of self-care that are key to ongoing self-efficacy:

1. Physical

  • Take a nap to recharge your body and mind
  • Connect with nature and embrace the fresh air
  • Engage in physical activity such as jogging, walking, or even dancing
  • Do something crafty or DIY
  • Go for a drive without a destination

2. Mental

  • Journal or write down five things you love about yourself
  • Practice mindfulness with meditation or yoga to stay present in the moment
  • Take breaks when needed
  • Set boundaries when necessary to protect your time and energy
  • Read books to keep your mind occupied 

3.  Social

  • Spend time with your loved ones, including pets
  • Join a club or social group for extra support
  • Volunteer with others that have shared interests 
  • Express gratitude by performing small acts of kindness
  • Unplug from your devices and engage in person 

Recognizing and addressing the stress and burnout epidemic within schools is crucial for building a positive and healthy learning environment. Be sure to take care of yourself as much as you take care of others. Being in tune with your mind and body is the first step to combatting burnout, which is why self-care is so utterly important. Once you assess your own needs and find techniques that work for YOU, workplace challenges will be a little less dreadful and your life will be a little more fulfilling.

To kick-start your self-care routine, check out this video

 

Resources

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/signs-of-burnout/

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/caring-for-your-mental-health

https://www.stress.org/workplace-stress

https://aihc-assn.org/burnout-a-threat-to-our-health-care-system/

https://psychiatristsnyc.com/blog/3-essential-types-of-self-care-for-everyday-life/\

National Nurses' Week 2023 Wrap Up

 

Our team at School Health is inspired by school nurses like you every day! Thank you for your passion for school nursing and for keeping students healthy and safe.

We love celebrating school nurses like you on National Nurses Week and School Nurse Day. We know that the demands and responsibilities of nurses have drastically changed, but we are continually inspired by your resilience, perseverance, and dedication to your students.

For National Nurses Week, we asked you to share moments that make you love what you do. Below are just some of the answers we received!

I would have to say that working with the kids day in and day out keeps me passionate about my job.  I find it very rewarding and fulfilling. Hearing about their day, sharing their joys, and helping them through their hard times is satisfying. Each day is different, which I love! Sometimes the kids just come to say hello and other times it is because they are sick or injured. You never know what is going to happen.  One time I had a student who needed a winter coat. When I gave it to her, she hugged me and thanked me. I wanted to cry because our storage area became a blessing to someone who really needed it. It was at that moment that I realized that school nursing was a huge opportunity to minister not only to the kids, but also to the community. It was more about taking care of their health. School nursing takes care of the whole child. I am thankful for that lesson. – Tonya B.

I have been at the same school for 18 years. It's so cute when they bring me random gifts or just come to get a hug. Many of my current students are the children of my former students. It is such a joy to see them growing up and going out into the world. – Kelly M.

I have spent my school nursing career at the same elementary school for the past 30 years. I am now taking care of the children of my former students. It is great fun to share stories of students’ parents with these students. I love mentoring my former students when they choose nursing and medicine as a career by providing shadowing experiences in my clinic. My most rewarding days as a school nurse are the ones when I facilitate a newly diagnosed T1D kiddo getting back to school. These students and their families depend on the school nurse, and it is a pleasure to provide this support. – Jeanne A. 

I have been a school nurse for six years. They have been some of the hardest and most rewarding years that I have worked in the nursing profession. I work primarily at a middle school, which I believe is the most challenging time in kids’ lives. Every day we struggle with kids trying to find themselves and fit in to whichever area of life they are drawn to. Kids want to be accepted, want to be loved, and want to be part of something. This process is exhausting, especially for kids that come with more emotional, social, and physical baggage. Every morning, I try to remember that kids are the way they are because someone made them this way, and that we as nurses, teachers, educators, need to be patient, caring, and kind. I try to build trusting relationships with my students and communicate openly and honestly with them. It is so important to empower this age group to advocate for themselves and help them understand how important it is for them to be a part of their solution and problem solving. They need tools to get through life, and if I can add to their toolbox, I want to do this. I love my job and am thankful every day that I get to work with students and, hopefully, help them be successful in their lives. – Jennifer M.

What keeps me passionate about school nursing? I Love my role in EDUCATING THE STUDENTS!! – Stacy C. 

I have been a school nurse for seven years, and I couldn't ask for a better job. I love the kids. I work in a smaller district from grades K-12, so I am the only nurse. You never know what each day will bring. Some days are a challenge being the only nurse. No one to collaborate with, but the environment in a school is great. Everyone that works in a school setting has a passion for the kids. – Molly T.

At School Health, we understand the role that school nurses play in their schools and communities. Our team is here to support you, so that you can provide the best care for your students and help them succeed in school and beyond. Thanks for everything you do!

Period Equity in Schools

 

For a young adult, there’s arguably almost nothing worse than getting an unexpected period – especially at school. Often, there’s some embarrassment that follows. The student might have to ask to be excused from class, go talk to the school nurse for a pad or tampon, or maybe they already bled through their clothes.

Period equity has become a hot topic both in and out of schools. As a matter of fact, many states are considering or have already passed laws that require schools or public spaces to provide free access to menstrual products.

One study showed that 23 percent of students have struggled to afford period products. Many have also experienced some form of period poverty, the term that’s used to describe a lack of access to menstrual products. Some even had to wear menstruation products longer than the recommended time because they could not afford to buy more. The same study also found that 70 percent of students felt like the environment at school made them feel self-conscious about having their period.

A lack of access to menstruation products in school can also lead to learning loss. The study found that four in five menstruating students said they either missed class or knew someone who missed class because they didn’t have access to pads or tampons when they needed them.

So, what can schools do to help?

Ensuring that students have easy access to menstrual products when they need them is key. Make sure that they are in more places than just the school nurse’s office, or the building’s front office. Place them in multiple bathrooms around the building and let students know where they can be found. Not only does this provide quicker access for the student, but it’s also more discreet because they won’t have to walk across the building or campus, while bleeding, in order to get what they need.

Recently, some nurses and educators have created “menstruation stations,” or kits to keep in their offices, classroom, or bathroom.

 Here are some tips on how to put your own together:

  • Provide both pads and tampons so the student has a choice.
  • Include baby wipes for easier and more hygienic clean up.
  • For students in middle school, it may be helpful to provide some age appropriate information to help them understand what a period is if it’s their first time.
  • Let students know to whom they can go to get ibuprofen or similar pain relievers.
  • Let students know who they can reach out to if the menstruation station needs to be restocked.
  • Ensure that students of all genders have equal access to kits, supplies, and menstruation stations.

If you do create a menstruation station, it is important to let your students know that they exist in the building and that they can use them when they need them. Period equity will have a positive snowball effect. It can mean more socioeconomic equity for those who come from disadvantaged or low-income communities. It can mean that the stigma surrounding having a period, or even talking about it, will eventually go away. It can also mean that young people with periods will miss less class time because they have easier access to the products they need.

Interested in creating a menstruation station in your building, and making sure that your students have access to the hygiene products they need? Connect with your School Health representative or contact us to get started!

 

Additional Information

https://www.learningforjustice.org/magazine/spring-2019/equity-period

https://www.npr.org/2021/12/02/1056830306/free-tampons-public-schools

https://www.gcsu.edu/womenscenter/menstruation-station

https://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=26183

Access Angle: One Spoonful of Independence at a Time

Gabriel Ryan, School Health Blog Writer and Contributor 

 

One Spoonful of Independence at a Time

Adaptive eating utensils are designed to assist people with limited arm, hand, and finger mobility or difficulty with fine motor skills to feed themselves as independently as possible. What makes these utensils different than typical silverware is that the handles may be larger or have more of a grip, they may be weighted, made from bendable material, or they could also have straps or attach to a glove, and some are even automated! There are a variety of options of these types of utensils which are sold mostly through rehabilitation or medical supply companies.

 

Occupational therapists, feeding specialists, hand therapists and others can be very helpful to assist with figuring out the best option to try. It can take a while to find the most user friendly utensil. The only way to know what will work is to try a variety of utensils and see what feels the most comfortable.

 

I’ve started exploring adaptive utensils from a very young age. I have difficulty with hand grip and grasp, arm and hand mobility, and simply coordinating the process of eating especially if it involves using a fork or spoon. Finding an adapted eating utensil which I can consistently and independently use, took a little over 20 years!  

 

Here are some of the utensils I’ve tried over the years and a few thoughts on them.

 

The Maroon Spoons feature a shallow small spoon bowl so I didn’t end up with too much food in my mouth. These also helped with working on lip closure.

 

I moved on to trying spoons that had an angle such as the Easie Eaters Curved Utensils. These were still small and lightweight, but having the curve allowed me to bring the food from the food dish, directly to my mouth versus trying to turn my wrist or neck, which was difficult for me to do all at the same time.

 

I also explored utensils with built up handles, similar to the Good Grips Bendable Coated Spoons and Good Grips Adaptive Utensils. These types offered a much more stable handgrip especially as I got older and my hands grew larger. This non-slip material and larger grip were easier for my fingers to wrap around and control the utensil.

 

I was able to check out eating aides that wrap around the hand as an alternate to spoons that require a grip, such as the Utensil Holder Hand Clip or that have a Velcro attachment like the Universal Cuff Utensil Holder. These were helpful tools since eating can be a lot of hard work when it is physically difficult. Not having to worry about gripping the spoon or having it fall out of my hand allowed me to focus on the other steps involved in eating.

 

Over time, what became more difficult for me was keeping the spoon balanced in order to keep the food on the utensil. I tried a few options that have features to address this issue. The Plastic Handle Swivel Utensil which has a special swivel designed to keep food from spilling when turned at any angle. Also, the Steady Spoon which has the built-up handgrip, hook and loop strap, and an active counter balance/weight that keeps the head of the spoon in a level position.

 

Learn more about adaptive feeding utensils mentioned in this blog by visiting the School Health website. If you are looking for a teachable, robotic feeding device, check out the Obi Robotic Feeding Device. The Obi accommodates a spectrum of people who have difficulty feeding themselves. It works by automating the motion of a human arm and becomes an extension of the diner, allowing them to select the food of their choice and dictating the pace at which the food is fed to them.

 

It may be a quick find or a long journey to discover what will work best for each individual exploring adaptive utensils. Take your time and be patient with yourself, or those you may be supporting. Try and try again or maybe design something, there is certainly a continued need for more flexible options. Once I found the right utensil for me, I was able to feed myself my own dinner, and the next morning another first, I ate a bowl of cereal, by myself…. one spoonful of independence at a time!

 

 

Staff Wellness: Creating a Healthy Balance to Best Support Students and Our Staff Members

By Dr. Raymond Heipp

Staff Wellness: Creating a Healthy Balance to Best Support Students and Our Staff Members

We continue to hear about the issues students are currently facing as they navigate this world and all that is and has happened. Their anxiety levels are still at all-time highs as we continue to experience health concerns as well as a wide range of global concerns on top of that. Unfortunately, students are also continually bombarded with polarizing news reports which augment this anxiety. As faculty and staff members, we are charged with assisting the students through these trying times. But what is being done for us as staff?

I am honored to be working with Connie Morris on the Pillars Initiative which focuses on creating pillars of support for our school staff. This initiative has also brought me into a heightened awareness of what is currently being done in our schools and the diverse range of approaches that have led to both positive and less than positive outcomes for the adults in those communities. As a former administrator, I recognize the need to make sure that our students have the best support we can give them. I also recognize that the foundation for that support must come from a balanced approach where staff members also have the same type of access to mental health and wellness support.

I feel as though I should begin the next few paragraphs with “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” but that has already been used. Still, we do see a tale of two approaches in our school communities. Let me begin with the “worst of times” example as we need to see that there is a way of changing that narrative as we move forward. 

In one of my recent journeys, I came into contact with a school culture where the emphasis on wellness is completely on the students. There is nothing wrong with having the students as that centerpiece, but it was how they were doing it that brought me concern. I was there to help with the creation of a sensory room which they were excited to bring to the students. We were speaking about the needs of the various groups of students at the school when I asked how they might also see this being used by the faculty. At this point, the administration explained to me that this was for the students only. Throughout the visit, I also met with teachers and therapists to get their insights on the needs of the room. They all seemed very tired and lackluster. I found out, from those who were comfortable enough to share, that the reporting, lesson planning, and amount of meetings had increased with the amount of down time given to the teachers during the day almost eliminated. They still had their lunch and planning periods but were expected to meet with students during those times daily. The faculty felt brow-beaten and not supported and several of the younger teachers shared that they were thinking of leaving the profession as it was just too much. This lack of balance eventually create a community where even the students become completely overwhelmed as the teachers are already exhibiting signs of exhaustion while expending all of their energy on the students with no energy being given to themselves. This is not a viable plan!

Ironically, I began virtually meeting with another school a day later with plans to visit there in person. It was a unified committee of an administrator, a teacher, a therapist, the school nurse, and a parent. This group was extremely positive and worked so well together. The administrator explained that they wanted the room but also wanted ideas on how to create a sensory space for the staff. The parent joked that they wanted a room for the parents too and everyone laughed! I had the opportunity to have a follow-up call with a group of teachers who were so positive and kept referring to what they were actually doing for themselves as the basis for what they could do with the students. I learned that the administration had begun providing them with additional time during the school day for “decompression” and had brought yoga and exercise programs to the school for use by the staff. They also had instituted “chair massage days” that occurred on a monthly basis for the staff as part of this program. The positive feeling that I perceived through these virtual meetings was powerful and completely opposite of what I felt with the other school. This feeling demonstrates the balance in approach being used by this school. Think about it this way, if the farmer is sick, then the crops cannot be properly cared for on a regular basis.

So how can we work to achieve that balance? Start with simple things! Is there a faculty or staff members who are also yoga trainers or who might lead a group in running/walking during free time? Even if one does not have a yoga instructor on staff, can something simple like sets of Pose Cards or Breath Cards be shared with the staff for their own use? Is there a way to rotate staff members so that everyone in the building can have a 15 minute break for “decompression?” Instead of creating sensory rooms, as some buildings may have limited areas for this type of use, can we create sensory spaces in classrooms, faculty rooms, and even offices? A beanbag chair, vibrating pillow, fiber-optic lamp, or bubble wall can add to the area and create a safe haven within the room. All of these are simple steps that one can begin to create that solid wellness foundation for the staff. This balance is like the adage of building your house on a solid foundation as opposed to starting from an imbalance and building on a foundation of sand.

Please let me know how I can assist you in building your foundation on the solid ground of balanced wellness!

 

Access Angle: OrCam Read Handheld Reading Device

Gabriel Ryan, School Health Blog Writer and Contributor 

The Orcam Read Handheld Reading Device

If you have difficulty reading text, never fear, the OrCam Read is here! The OrCam Read is a smart pen that converts text from any printed surface or digital screen into audio. This device is for people with low vision, reading fatigue, reading difficulties, including dyslexia, and for anyone who would prefer to listen to the text. This small portable assistive reading device uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Optical Character Recognition (OCR).

 Key features of this product include:

  • Handheld reader about the size of a marker at 4.8” x 0.98” x 0.51”, 1.55 oz
  • Easy to use for either right or left hand users.
  • Reads text from any printed surface like magazines or books and digital screens such as a computer.
  • Bluetooth enabled allowing pairing with earphones or speakers.
  • Adjustable user settings, such as volume, reading speed, and choice of voice.
  • Bright LED light for dimly lit environments.
  • Two lasers to capture the full page or a specific block of text with the press of a button.
  • Artificial Intelligence, 13 megapixel sensor to capture fine details such as fine print.
  • Four physical tactile buttons; power, volume up, volume down, and the trigger button
  • “Smart Reading” - simply ask and listen. Retrieve and read only the text that interests you.

One of the newest features of OrCam Read is that it can be activated with voice commands by saying “Hey OrCam” followed by the command. Now, let’s talk about what is in the box! Inside you'll receive the OrCam Read device, User Guide, charger box, wired earphones, cleaning cloth, and lanyard.

The Dr. Phil show featured the OrCam Read with special guest, Schools Health’s very own Dr. Ray Heipp. Dr. Ray also created a few informational videos about the OrCam Read, such as this one, Talkin’ Tech: OrCam Read Handheld Reading Device. You can visit the School Health website to learn more about this product and to purchase the OrCam Read. Plus, for a limited time, you can try the OrCam Read for FREE! Check out this link to register for a two-week trial.