As a Certified School Nurse 和 Team Lead at Crystal Lake School District 47, 艾米·贝理查习惯身兼数职.
她指导学校的新护士, 护士不在时在办公室代班, 撰写医疗保险计划, 504残疾学生计划, 和 special education plans for students with other health needs.
“I love helping children 和 families find care 和 feel safe at school,她在谈到自己选择的职业道路时说. “It’s rewarding to ensure children's needs are being met at school so they can receive an education. I also love teaching children, nurses, families, 和 others about their health. I believe everyone deserves to have the best healthcare possible.”
But before she was able to begin the multi-faceted career she loves, Belrichard started her education locally at MCC.
“I attended a private college right out of high school, 但我发现自己每个周末都要回家,”她说。. “从我在水晶湖长大全球最大的赌钱网, my family 和 I thought it would be better 和更多的 cost effective to earn my associate’s degree at MCC prior to pursuing my bachelor’s degree.”
她知道她想从事护理工作, so she took her prerequisite courses in nutrition, 解剖学和生理学, 化学, 有机化学, 心理学, 统计数据, 英语和人文学科. 在获得理学副学士学位后, she transferred to Northern Illinois University (NIU) for her bachelor degree.
“The classes transferred really well,”她说。. “I was able to meet all of my prerequisites for the nursing program at NIU.”
贝尔理查获得了学士学位, then later went on to pursue a Master of Nursing in Education at the University of Phoenix so she could become more familiar with the world of educators. She is currently pursuing her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) 和 Nurse Practitioner Certification in Primary Pediatrics at Rush University 和 is scheduled to 研究生 from the program in May 2024.
“I was really proud to get into Rush's Nurse Practitioner program as it is one of the best in the country,”她说。. “I think MCC helped me with the basic foundation of my career, so I was prepared to advance into a doctoral program.”
As part of her doctoral thesis, Belrichard is studying chronic absenteeism in the school setting.
“More 和更多的 students with chronic health concerns are missing classes due to their health—but we have also seen a dramatic increase in chronic absenteeism since COVID,”她说。. “Chronic absenteeism equals about two absences per month, 看起来不是很多吗, but students with chronic absenteeism in their early education are at a greater likelihood to drop out of high school, meaning that they also have a higher chance of living in low socioeconomic situations 和 having poor health outcomes in the long run. My hope is that we can teach these kids early in life how to manage their chronic health conditions so they can be at school, 研究生, 成年后会有更多的机会.”
Belrichard also has dreams of opening a federally funded school-based health clinic in Crystal Lake, as Medicaid providers are currently few 和 far between.
“虽然我们看到需求增加, the 关闭st facilities are in Elgin or Woodstock—so for parents with transportation concerns, 很难去看医生,”她说。. “We also saw more kids using the school health office as a primary care office when their parents lost health insurance during COVID.”
When Belrichard worked in Colorado earlier in her career, she noted they had school-based health clinics where students could be seen, 治疗, 和 sometimes even return to school the same day, 从而减少总体缺勤.
“There is definitely a need for this type of program in our community,”她说。.
Through the hundreds of patients she’s seen over the years, Belrichard says she still uses lessons from those early classes at MCC in her nursing practice.
“The College has exp和ed a lot since I went there 和 now has a nursing program on top of their CNA program,”她说。. “老师们知识渊博, 和 the Anatomy 和 Physiology classroom is one of the best in the area for community colleges. 学生可以参加全日制或非全日制课程, 白天和晚上都有课程, allowing anyone to attend around their schedule. As it has exp和ed, more options 和 opportunities are available. I drive by today 和 am just amazed at how much it has changed 和 grown. 这是非常令人兴奋的!”