Friday, May 8, 2015

Unsung Hornets- Our District Nurses Do It All

From scraped knees to seizures, from bug bites to hearing exams, loose teeth to immunization records, our Huntsville Independent School District nurses do it all.  

Huntsville High's Nurse Williams gets some vitals.

They are some of the unsung heroes of our district, and we'd like to take a moment to honor them for National School Nurse Day.

If you love your nurse, raise your hand!
(Just kidding! This is hearing test- but you know he would raise his hand if we asked him that question!)

Our nurses have backgrounds that include experience working in home health care, in operating rooms, working with pediatricians, in emergency rooms and in intensive care units.
OK, so I see a T-H-A-N-K and then Y-O-U and then the next line is, N-U-R-S-E-S !

Longtime Scott Johnson Nurse Mary Carden and Nurse Rebecca Presley share a squeeze
at Nurse C's retirement party last February.
That bug bite feels better already!
Nurse Roberts (also known as the New Nursey- or is it Nurse C.?)
at Scott Johnson Elementary School with a client before she heads back to class.

We second that emotion!

Walgreens Senior Pharmacy Technician Alicia Page and Huntsville Elementary School's Nurse Karen Pine
They worked together to get free flu shots available for teachers and staff throughout the district.

They have all come together to work here at our schools because of their love of kids.  Being a school nurse is a unique job, and the responsibilities are different than that of a 'typical' nurse.

Some of the Tools of the Trade- You won't find "compassion" or "kindness" in a jar,
but you need plenty of those to be a great school nurse!
Think about it: when these nurses' clients (students) are sick, the clients don't always know how to describe how they feel except, "It hurts!" or, "I'm sick!"

Keeping an Eye on That Needle
Huntsville Elementary teacher Ms. BonJorno is thinking- is "the shot" part of "flu shot" really necessary?
 Our nurses hold a very special position as protectors for our kids (and our staff!), and they all relish the role in educating our kids so our kids can learn how to take care of themselves.

A welcome sign that hangs throughout the district.

School nurses never know what the day will bring.  Last year, we were at Huntsville Elementary one afternoon, when an ordinarily fun and easygoing Nurse Pine jumped into action, locked in to 'emergency mode' and saved a staff member's life.  The staff member had a seizure and Nurse Pine took control of the situation, began CPR and continued with the AED machine,  commanding the staff with specific roles to get the victim to Huntsville Memorial Hospital via the paramedics.  That memory will not be forgotten by anyone who was there.

Just a dab of ointment can feel make if feel so much better!

And our nurses are also responsible for much of the health screening that kids need to help them learn and stay healthy.  Of course, nurses represent a kindness and compassion that many of us can remember from our own childhood.  

Huntsville High's Nurse Tina Williams.

At the High School, Nurse Williams has had five children and they all have graduated, or will graduate from Huntsville ISD.  She's worked as a home health care nurse and in a hospital in Conroe, and she lives by the philosophy: Knowledge is Power.  She knows that she can help people learn about their bodies, and their health, so then they can understand how to take care of themselves and make themselves feel better.  Look for her in her office, but also around pep rallies and other events that may need a helping hand.

Tonya Cole, Nurse Assistant at Huntsville High School.

Tonya Cole is our Nurse Assistant based at the high school, but you may know her for what she really is, our District Shot Record Guru.  She loves taking care of the kids, and staying on top of all this critical information.  She's a Hornet, born and raised!

Nurse Roberts at Scott Johnson Elementary 
Nurse Roberts moved to Huntsville with her family two years ago and she started at Scott Johnson Elementary in February.  Her speciality has always been pediatric nursing, and she taught at Vanderbilt (and Sam Houston State), as well as worked as a nurse at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital and at a school in Dallas ISD.  She loves to provide care to and to teach children in how to take care of themselves.

Nurse Becky Presley works at Stewart Elementary
and is also the Lead Nurse for Huntsville ISD.

Nurse Becky Presley has made a career of her passion for children's health.  She's worked in clinics, hospitals, pediatrician clinics and other roles devoted to maternal / child health.  This year marks her eleventh as nurse at Stewart Elementary, and her third year as District Lead Nurse.  In her role as District Lead Nurse, she meets monthly with the entire nursing staff to share updates and discuss campus, clinical and district needs.  Although she is a veteran, Nurse Presley never tires of the innocence, humor and fun of children.

Nurse Esmeralda Lopez of Gibbs PreK Center

Nurse Lopez had been working at Huntsville Memorial Hospital when she learned of an opening in the district from Nurse Julie Simmons of Mance Park Middle School.  She made the move and has loved the change.  Here her clients are 3-5year olds and for some, it's their first time being out of the house on daily basis.  She's the first of our nursing staff to meet our little students.  Protecting these kids and seeing them make strides and grow up, even within a year, has become one of the most satisfying parts of the job for her.

Nurse Heather Bauer of Samuel Walker Houston Elementary.

Nurse Bauer has wanted to work to be a doctor or a nurse since she was in the fourth grade.  She began her career at Huntsville Memorial Hospital, first working as a cashier to earn money as she went to nursing school.  Later, after she earned her license, she became a floor nurse.  She enjoyed the work, but knew that she always wanted to be at a school. Now in her fourth year at Samuel Walker Houston, she says that she is one of the few people she knows that can say, "I have my dream job!"

Nurse Karen Pine of Huntsville Elementary School.

Nurse Pine loves to help others, and always has.  She was born and raised in Madisonville, TX,  but began her nursing career in Fort Worth.  There, she worked in a high risk labor and delivery unit at Harris Methodist Hospital.  After several years, Nurse Pine and her family felt the pull of home, and moved to Huntsville.  She continued her nursing career with Huntsville Memorial Hospital and Memorial Herman Family Birthing Center in The Woodlands.

Four years ago, she had the opportunity to substitute at Huntsville Elementary, where she fell in love with the children and the role she was able to play.  That substitute position turned into a full time position, and she has been ever since.

Nurse Julie Simmons of Mance Park Middle School.

Just like Nurse Bauer,  Nurse Simmons has wanted to be a nurse since she was a little girl.   Back in Minnesota where she grew up, every year her mom would record her and her siblings' plans for their future. And every year she would tell her mom she wanted to be a nurse.  Later, she began her nursing career in Bryan and College Station, eventually becoming a nurse at Huntsville Memorial Hospital.  In the hospital, she loved taking care of kids "post op" recovering from surgery and in pediatrics.  She wanted to become a school nurse so she could be close to her children, and work with healthy kids to help keep them that way.  For Nurse Simmons, it's all about "Health by Prevention," with the goal of keeping kids healthy and in the classroom learning!

Nurse Denise Henley is currently out, so we were not able to include her in this profile.  We wish her the best and hope to see her soon!

Working those phones!  Huntsville High's Nurse Cole is on the case.

Our nurses take care of our staff, too.  Nurses train our staff in emergency response preparedness, they work with local pharmacies to deliver free flu shots, promote staff health through exercise clubs and weight loss challenges and a host a variety of health initiatives that include relaxation, healthy eating and general wellness programs.

Here's a portrait of Nurse Presley from an unknown artist.

We will leave you with a quote from Nurse Roberts, who though new to the district can safely speak for all of our nurses when she says, "As school nurses, our goal is the same as teachers and anyone else serving in a role as an educator- to help our students become academically successful in the classroom and to graduate them to become responsible citizens, and we do this by keeping students healthy and in the classroom!"

A Student and Now a Teacher.
Scott Johnson Music Teacher Daena Rowe with Nurse Mary Carden at her retirement party.
Nursey was a school nurse when Mrs. Rowe was a student.

Remember these?  The nurses and the kids do!
Nurse Bauer is on the case, and cleans this scraped knee.

Nurse Pine with Huntsville Elementary's Deborah McNiel (left) and Vanettta Mills (right).
Nurse Pine is holding Ms. Mills' famous pound cake which she made for her in celebration of School Nurse's Day.

I had my vision and hearing checked and I have the sticker to prove it.

Nurse Presley was there to get her flu shot last fall!

Our district nurses agree.  What's the one thing everyone can do to stay healthy?
Wash your hands!!!!

Our recently retired Nurse Mary Carden takes the cake!
  Remember, you can have sweets in moderation. :-)

True That!
The sticker may be vintage, but the message is true today more than ever!

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