Angie York is a School Nurse at Shawnee Mission South High School located in Overland Park, Kansas. She takes care almost 1,600 students.
What’s the first thing you do each morning?
Get all of the medications ready because there are several students who take medications on a set schedule. I also try to read all the emails and let teachers know if one of their students is injured.
Is there a typical day?
Not really. I try my best to be prepared for the day, but there is no way to anticipate what the students will need from me on a given day. Usually I’m assessing and taking care of the kids coming in with their various issues. Then I might be called in to classrooms because someone has passed out or there is a major injury or someone is having a seizure.
Is there a common ailment?
I see a lot of headaches and stomach aches from not eating, not drinking water and not getting enough rest. Being in class for eight hours a day is hard.
How many students would you see a day?
On average around 60 or more students a day, but events like the recent Norovirus outbreak keeps me on my toes. The Norovirus is a highly contagious gastrointestinal infection. Eight students contracted Norovirus and two of them were hospitalised for dehydration. I focused on helping the students who were affected and making sure the school was thoroughly cleaned so that no one else got sick.
Do you get any downtime during the day?
I don’t really get downtime. I even eat lunch in my office. It’s just so busy. I get caught up and work on care plans for the students that have specific things going on. I am also the wellness champion which means I make sure the staff is healthy and doing well.
What’s the best part of your job?
It’s about getting to know the students. They’re becoming adults, growing and learning. Being a High School Nurse it’s not as much about the physical stuff, it’s more about your emotions, stress, and anxiety.
How does life as an Australian School Nurse compare? Would you like to share a day in your life as a School Nurse?
How do you go about helping improve the health and wellbeing of students? What’s your biggest challenge? What support do you need to do a better job as a School Nurse?
We’re creating a new feature that recognises and celebrates the good work of School Nurses around Australia. Each month we’d like to interview a dedicated School Nurse.
Ideally the questions and answers will reveal some unexpected insights that will encourage greater communication and benefit other School Nurses.
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