A Day in the Life of School Nurse Mary Shields

Mary Shields is a fourth-year University of Virginia nursing student. Every Thursday she helps the School Nurse at Moss Nuckols Elementary look after a near-constant stream of children with coughs, upsets stomach and headaches.

What tasks do you undertake day-to-day?

Temperature-taking, examining head bumps, controlling nosebleeds and lots of hand washing!

What are some of the more serious tasks you deal with?

We deal with medications, including Ritalin, insulin injections, digestive enzymes, all of which are dispensed by the school’s nurse, Tabitha Smith. We also deal with blood sugar checks and care for chronic conditions, like diabetes and haemophilia.

Can you explain your nursing study?

Through my semester-long community health course, I am required to do 84 hours of clinical work, which includes my Thursdays at Moss Nuckols Elementary School.

Is your study what you expected?

I wasn’t really aware that the role of a community heath nurse is so huge!

What else has your role entailed?

I’ve taught middle- and high-school students CPR and the Heimlich manoeuver, and talked to high-schoolers enrolled in certified nursing assistant courses about the rewards of nursing.

Through your role at the school have you been supervised?

Everything I do is under the watchful eye of clinical instructors and experienced community health nurses.


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?

At Student First Aid we recognise and celebrate the good work of School Nurses. Each month we interview a dedicated School Nurse.

If you’re interested, please email help@studentfirstaid.com.au to arrange a quick and easy phone interview.

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