Department consultant receives service award
Melissa Walker, a nurse-consultant at the Iowa Department of Education, received the Distinguished Public Service Award from the Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa.
Walker received the honor, in part, for her work in providing technical assistance to school nurses throughout the state for post-concussion management care. She also has served in many other capacities in bringing knowledge and action to the management of concussions.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Center for Disease Control has recognized the potential for long-term consequences of not allowing "brain rest" for healing/resolution of symptoms to occur after a mild traumatic brain injury.
“Many times, a student who experiences a mild traumatic brain injury, such as a concussion, may take one to three weeks for symptoms to resolve,” Walker said. “School nurses frequently see students in the nurse's office who have been diagnosed with a concussion present with an array of physical symptoms, such as dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, sensitivity to light, sensitivity to noise, tinnitus, headache/pressure and blurred vision, and more. School nurses provide health services and collaboration between the student, the student's family, the medical provider and licensed school personnel to promote positive student health outcomes.”
Walker, who has been with the Department for three years, had been a school nurse at West Central Valley Community School District.