Have you ever wondered what it must be like being a School Nurse? We caught up with Susan Tweedie, Lead Nurse at Stamford American International School and got the inside track.
SUSAN, HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A SCHOOL NURSE?
I’ve worked at Stamford since September 2010, and have seen its growth, not only in the student population but in the Health Center nursing team. We’ve grown from one nurse to seven and myself as Lead Nurse in six years!
WHAT IS YOUR KEY ROLE WITHIN A SCHOOL DAY?
As Lead Nurse, I ensure all nurses understand the health requirements of our school population at all times.
A typical day starts at 07.00 when we familiarize ourselves with the Sport practice already fully underway on campus, this could be anything from Swim coaching to Rugby Practice. The Health Center is an open door and we never know who will need our first aid expertise.
Typically the students start arriving at the Health Center around 8.15am and nurses will assess each student. We then communicate with their parent or guardian if the student needs to be sent home.
Throughout the day we may receive an accident or injury and again nurses assess accordingly working with external services and the internal executive to achieve the best outcome for the student or staff member.
Each Health Center has visits from so many students with different health issues in addition to unexpected call outs to attend to more serious accidents or injuries.
The nurses stay on campus until 6pm to provide first aid support for the sporting fixtures.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR ROLE?
I enjoy it when I meet a student who doesn’t speak English and the difficulty they encounter at their first visit to Health Center.
I know that as they learn English, they end up bringing their friends to the Health Center and help translating!
WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST CHALLENGING?
I find there is a big misconception about what a School Nurse does! The “ oh! you put on band aids” or “oh! that is a nice little job” gets a bit tiresome!
A School Nurse has a very diverse role within the international school setting; we provide first aid, we listen, we understand the health needs of all students, support our colleagues and parents with health advise and sometimes become a shoulder to cry on. I like to think of us as the heart of a school!
The nearest IMC Clinic to Stamford American International School is IMC Camden, 1 Orchard Boulevard.
Please call 6733 4440 to make an appointment.
For more information on Stamford American International School please call: 6602 7247