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School Spotlight - Patricia Hiner
school spotlight - patricia hiner.jpg
Patricia Hiner

Patricia

Hiner


Position: Nurse at Morrison Elementary and sexual risk avoidance teacher grades 7-9.


Experience: Always worked with kids, pediatrics, NICU, and school nursing.


Fun Fact: Nurse Hines is from the small town of Hosston, Louisiana. She said she has no plans of returning. “I don’t have to worry about alligators eating my pets,” she said about living in Tennessee.


Q: How’d you know you wanted to work in healthcare?


A: “I knew when I was a kid that I wanted to be a nurse,” said Hiner. “I used to dress up as one.” 


Q: How’d you know you wanted to be a school nurse?


A:  Since she worked in pediatrics for the majority of her career by the time she moved to McMinnville, she said that working in a school with children made sense. She started at Eastside, but with filling in for other nurses and working with the school system, she’s worked in every school in the county at one point.


Q: What’s the hardest part of working as a school nurse?


A: “You are the only medical person in the building,” she said. Nurses have to take care of usually around 400 students and 50 faculty.  “You are the only healthcare person in the vicinity.”


Q: What’s the biggest change since the pandemic?


A: “First, we had to figure how to do school safely.” She said that children learn better when they’re at school, and the pandemic flipped that upside-down. Usually they would only send students home if they were sick, but now every symptom has to be considered.


Q: What’s an average day?


A: Usually, she helps with children’s morning medicine, and around one or two students come in saying they don’t feel well. “A large part of the day for school nurses is helping students manage their chronic health conditions,” she said, “like asthma, diabetes and seizures.”


Q: How’d you become a teacher in sex education?


A: She’s always had a passion for teaching as well. “I’ve been teaching sex risk avoidance for five years,” said Hines. She went to sit in a class for training and got the job the same day. Now, she travels to schools to teach sex risk avoidance while also being a school nurse.


Q: Do you have any crazy stories from being a nurse at school?


A: “Broken arms.” She said that broken arms are a very common injury among children. “As a parent, I never knew I hated monkey bars until I became a school nurse.” She has been called to the playground on numerous occasions and can usually tell it’s a broken arm very quickly. She also said, “One kid jumped off the stage and sprained his ankle.”


Q: What’s the best part of nursing?


A: “I work at a pre-K through 8th grade school,” Hines said. She says seeing children grow and getting to know them through their years is very rewarding.