Tracy McCullough is a School Nurse at Frenchtown Elementary School in Trumbull, Connecticut.
Is Frenchtown your first job as a full-time School Nurse?
Yes, though I had been a substitute nurse in the Trumbull school system for about four years. I was a dialysis nurse at St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury, and I switched to school nursing for the family friendly hours.
What’s your typical day like?
There’s a steady flow of traffic in and out of my office. My patients include students who need help managing medical conditions like asthma and diabetes, some with fevers and a bunch with stomach aches. Other visitors pop in with for everything from rashes to a scraped finger. Whatever they walk in the door with, I take care of - from vomiting to bloody fingers.
How do you handle students with diabetes?
Someone like Jayson is pretty good at checking his blood sugar and administering his insulin shots. Three times a day - four times on the days he has gym - he heads to my office. He’s not even afraid of the needles. But he sometimes needs help. That’s what I’m here for.
How many students do you take care of?
There are about 650 students at Frenchtown, and I see about 45 of them on a regular basis. Some are students like Jayson, who need regular services. Others are the frequent flyers who always manage to develop an ailment during their least favorite subject. Though I’m sympathetic to those students, I try to help them cut down on their visits.
Do you take care of most everything?
I can do something for most of the students who come into my office, even if that something is to simply give them a reality check.
A reality check?
One time, two students came in from recess, one holding his arm and the other holding his leg. One says to me he thinks his arm is broken and he’s sure the other’s leg is broken. Can I get out the X-ray machine and check? I assured them their limbs were fine and that the procedure wasn’t needed.
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 email@example.com to arrange a quick and easy phone interview.