1. What is your background and what school are you currently a nurse at?
I kind of took the long route to nursing. My first undergrad is from Miami University in Ohio as an education major. I realized I didn’t love it, so I transferred and got my bachelor’s degree in family psychology with a minor in gerontology. While deciding my career path, I worked at Chase Bank while my now husband finished his master’s degree in Ohio. He encouraged me to give nursing a try, so I shadowed at McCullough Hyde Memorial Hospital in Ohio, and I loved it. I went to University of Rochester’s one-year nursing program. After graduating, I started working in the operating room at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse, and then I went to Upstate University Hospital in their outpatient surgery center operating room.
As my husband and I were starting a family, the hours of working in an operating room were getting difficult to manage. I saw the opportunity to work at Skaneateles High School and still be a nurse while being within the education world and also able to be with my kids. I have been there for six years.
2. What interested you in working as a nurse in an educational setting?
I still had a passion for education and saw the unique opportunity to combine my two passions: teaching and nursing. Every day, education is still a part of my job in educating the students, parents, and staff.
3. What does a typical day look like for a school nurse?
This is hard to answer because every day is different. It’s like a stand-alone urgent care that manages student and staff urgent needs like various injuries and allergic reactions.
I’m also involved with and write reports for student Individualized Education Plans (IEP) and 504 Plans, and attend Committee on Special Education (CSE) meetings. I’m a part of the school improvement team and the student behavioral intervention team. We’re seeing a lot of mental health right now. Sometimes it’s easier for a student to ask to go to the nurse’s office rather than the counselor’s or psychologist, so students filter through my office.
I pass daily medications and administer daily medical procedures for students. I make sure I’m compliant on all of the state-required physicals, screenings, and immunizations. I clear all of the students who do junior and varsity athletics. I train coaches on any medical needs they may have or on emergency medications.
My days are a mixture of everything. Some days I have a lot of meetings and some days I see a lot of students.
4. What is most rewarding about your job?
Building relationships with the kids. We’re a small enough school where I get to know them from ninth grade through their senior year. Since mental health is such a big thing right now, it’s rewarding to help the students voice their needs and get them proper help.
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