By Emma Gibson
As school nurses, Jennifer Caldwell and Leslie Douglass take care of students every day. They make sure that students have what they need, when they need it.
Nurse Jennifer Caldwell explained what she does everyday as a nurse, and what her job entails.
“My job includes the following duties: overseeing medication administration, health care procedures and developing healthcare plans, working in collaborating with coaches, counselors, teachers, monitoring immunizations and more,” Caldwell stated.
Both nurse Caldwell and nurse Douglass have worked previously with nursing and or in a hospital.
“I was the assistant director of nurses for a rehab facility before coming to WCHS 4 years ago. I specialized in wound care and worked with a team at St. Francis,” Caldwell said.
Nurse Douglass has worked at two hospitals along with working through Whiteland Community High School for the past two years, and she continues to work at a hospital.
“I worked on the cardiac unit at Community East Hospital. I left there and went to work in surgery at Major Hospital in Shelbyville, and I continue to work in the OR on breaks from school,” Douglass said.
Not only are the nurses passionate about their careers, but they’re also passionate about the students at Whiteland Community High School.
“I love working with the students, and I like getting to know the students as they come in. A bond forms with students you see daily, whether it is a diabetic student, or a daily med kiddo. You get attached,” Douglass said.
Freshman Trinity Borders goes to the nurse often to get her blood sugar levels checked, and she stated that she has built a bond with the nurses along with the nurses being helpful.
“The nurses are very sweet and are very helpful. They help within a minute of me getting there,” Borders said.
Sick students and staff come to the office every day, so in order for the nurses to stay healthy, they use Lysol to disinfect everything in the office.
“Staying healthy can be difficult when working in health care. One of the most important things I can do to protect myself is to simply wash my hands before and after each patient contact,” Caldwell said.
Although being a school nurse has its benefits, such as working with students every day and building a bond or being able to provide students with help that is needed, there are downsides to being a school nurse.
“My least favorite part of being a school nurse is learning how hard some of our students lives are outside of school. I had no idea how bad it can be for kids,” Caldwell said.
The negatives of being a school nurse can range from noticing how hard some students lives are, to having a full Monday to Friday workweek, rather than having a condensed three day workweek.
Schools nurses, Jennifer Caldwell and Leslie Douglass, both work more than one job, and they still help anyone they can to ensure they are safe, healthy, and comfortable.