Pima County Public Library Hires Public Health Nurse

She’s met latchkey kids and answered teens’ questions about sex – and took advantage of the opportunity to talk to them about diabetes and high blood pressure. She helped a victim of domestic violence find safe shelter and get medical attention. She encourages library visitors to use the hand sanitizer that’s always available to reduce the spread of germs. “Everything is an educational moment,” Pogue says.

She listens to the worries of the elderly, the unemployed and the homeless who turn to libraries for help and safety, and directs them to social services when appropriate.

“It takes a nurse to put a gentle hand on theirs and say, ‘I’m here for you.’” Pogue says.

How about we do less handwringing about electronic content and spend more time developing programs like this?

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6 thoughts on “Pima County Public Library Hires Public Health Nurse”

  1. This is beautiful, especially for teens.

    So far this year my library has seen 5,698 teens (!) and many of these teens come from low income families or are homeless. This would be perfect for them.

  2. Hi
    It would be nice,but we are a long way from affording something like that. Last year we had a homeless person show up, and we handled her situation in a manner that I could only characterize as very clumsy. I asked town, state, Melibs and every organization that I could think of as to what we should have done, and as yet I have been essentially ignored. Why can’t every library have a protocol as to what to do in all situations??

  3. Thank you for sharing the information about our Library Nurse Program. This has been a fantastic nursing experience and I love working with people of all ages. There is education and interventions that a nursing can provide for every age. I look for the teachable moments, and make things happen. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions or if you are planning to start a program of your own perhaps I can offer some insight.

    Thanks again,
    Emily Pogue, RN, MSN
    Library Public Health Nurse, Pima County Public Library

  4. While it is intriguing idea to hire a nurse to work in a library, I wonder if we, as librarians, are getting too “classified” in our idea of what our jobs are?

    As a librarian at a small public library in Wisconsin, I wear many hats … after school greeter of latch-key kids, nurse who hands out band-aids and/or handles other related emergencies when they come up… social worker who makes the calls when families fall on hard times and end up trying to live out of their vehicles in our library parking lot. I enjoy all aspects of my job. It helps me know that what I do is of value — and a small part of the spectrum in helping people find the help/information they need.

    I think the main thing that libraries need to stay relevant is librarians who care and want to help. You lose that … you lose everything.

  5. I really like working with people of all age groups. There is knowledge and treatments that a breastfeeding can offer for every age. I look for the teachable times, and make the unexpected happens. Please you can e-mail me if you have any concerns or if you are preparing to start a system of your own perhaps I can offer some understanding.

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