(KATV) - Thanks to advancements in medicine, kids with serious medical conditions today can attend school safely - all because of the nurses who monitor and care for them.
But as Channel 7's Janelle Lilley learned, school nurses are often stretched very thin -- doing a big job for relatively little pay. And when they miss a day, who takes their place?
Many school districts struggle to find licensed nurses ready to fill-in at the drop of the hat, and when subs are called into schools they're asked to jump in and care for kids with complex cases.
Other times schools are left without a nurse altogether, and that's worrisome for some parents.
KATV sat down with one parent, Rachel Williams, who has already faced a nightmare scenario involving an unqualified school employee posing as a nurse. She believes school districts that don't start investing more in their nursing staff and substitutes are setting themselves up for disaster.
"Make a change before something happens and it's too late. It needs to be. These children's lives are in her hands. Not just the principal or school board that has to answer to it, but the nurse at that time. When that something happens, it's going to be too late," said Rachel Williams.
Tune in tonight on Nightside to hear more from Rachel, and learn more about how a nursing shortage could be compromising your child's safety at school.