As our school nurse, Denise works with a diverse school population of over 500 middle school students. Every day there’s a steady stream of students coming into her office. The high level of hormonal activity in middle school students as they move through life translates into bumps, bangs, bruises, and breaks. The range of hormones flowing through the school would send some normal people to the hospital; instead, Denise’s nursing expertise keeps many students out of the hospital and in the classroom.
Denise administers medications, triages complaints and injuries, and provides preventative care. Her preventative care involves heading up the postural screening for students, providing vision and hearing testing, taking height and weight, and more. The postural screening identifies students who may simply need to adjust the way they carry their backpack. The vision screening helps identify those for whom glasses are needed.
Her office is open for students to pop in to grab a fruit or milk during the morning. Her sense of humor is a valuable part of her care. Her medical expertise and depth of knowledge in working with teenagers is top notch. I’ve seen her diagnose a more complex concern when the initial complaint was a simple inquiry. In her daily interactions, she expertly sizes up the degree of care needed, getting right to the problem within minutes. She is a very caring and sensitive person ; we are very happy to have her as our school nurse.
—Nominated by Karen Dauer