Q&A with Nurse Wendy

Q&A with Nurse Wendy

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by Lord Muro

Students and staff know Nurse Wendy as the nice lady who takes care of sick students, but there’s a side the general public doesn’t even get to see. They don’t get to see Nurse Wendy treat students with diabetes or run down Whiteman wing to treat a student having a seizure. In an exclusive interview with the Talon, Nurse Wendy talks about her average day, her inspiration, and what all she really does for the school.

Talon:  What is your exact job here at Goshen High School?

NW: I am the School Nurse. I [medically] take care of all students and staff. I also do the corporate wide training on crisis prevention and intervention techniques.

Talon:  How many years [places have you worked as a nurse] experience do you have?

NW:  Nine years, the emergency room and here.

Talon:  Do you do anything else other then treat students and staff?

NW:  I make sure that every student in the school is up to date on immunizations. I keep a count of all injuries that are in the school, be that student or staff. I work with athletics on injuries, especially head injuries and monitoring those students with ongoing injuries. I work a lot with our special needs students, I work with the cafeteria to make sure the students with allergies are given special foods. I work with guidance for students that might need extra care with mental health, I work with administration for students that may be acting out, I try to assist if there’s something medical going on. I work with pretty much every part of the school.

Talon:  What inspired you to be a nurse?

NW:  I first started in Mental Health, then decided to go back to school and become a nurse after having my children. I really appreciated the nurses and how they took care of me and I decided that’s what I wanted to do, too.

Talon:  What do you wish teachers would understand about your job?

Nurse Wendy smiles for the camera (Lord Muro/Talon).

Nurse Wendy smiles for the camera (Lord Muro/Talon).

NW:  That it’s really busy and I tend to get the majority at the same time. So, if the students are all sent at the first five minutes of class or all sent at the last five minutes of class it would make my job a bit harder. Although, I know it’s frustrating because I know how hard the teachers are working and how many things they have to do. I know they don’t always have time to read emails and look at lists and things like that.

Talon:  What do you wish parents would understand about your job?

NW:  Again, that it’s really busy, I can’t spend a lot of time on the phone. Also, for parents to make sure their contact information is updated and to answer the phone when there’s a call from the school.

Talon:  Would you say you have any restrictions with your job?

NW:  I don’t diagnose. I’m not a doctor. I help treat symptoms and find solutions when I can, but again, I’m not diagnosing.  

Talon:  What would you say is the biggest difficulty with performing your job?

NW: That there’s only one of me [light chuckle].

Talon:  What are the perks with being the school’s only nurse?

NW:  The health clinic is run the way I want it to be run.  I hold myself responsible. Also, that I have my own space and I can run it the way I want it to be run, although, within guidelines.

Talon:  What would you say to other students about your job?

NW: That I’m not a gateway to go home. My job is to keep them in school. My job is to treat sick students to keep them in class and keep their attendance up. That when you come down to the clinic, I prioritize, I triage. I may come out and ask six kids what’s wrong when I get all six at the same time, but then I’m going to take the most serious students first. The student that’s bleeding or actively vomiting, even if the student that came for a band aid came ahead of them. I am going to take the student that is the most serious first. Also, that you have to have a pass to the nurse every time.  

Talon:  Do you pay out of pocket for anything?

NW:  Yes, I pay for the water bottles, feminine hygiene products, fast acting sugars for the diabetic’s and snacks. That’s why I’ve started charging 25 cents for water bottles and 10 cents for the feminine hygiene products, only to offset my personal cost.

Talon:  What do you love most about your job ?

NW:  The kids. I love being with the teenagers all day. I love talking to them. I love listening to them snore (as a sleeping student snores noisily). My favorite part of the job is the students.

During the interview Nurse Wendy, professionally attended five other students in our 17 minute session. Thank you Nurse Wendy, I think I can speak on behalf of the school in saying your efforts are greatly acknowledged and appreciated.

Author

lshetler

GHS English Teacher

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