Position: Bobby Ray Memorial Elementary school nurse
Experience: Been a nurse for 23 years, worked in Winchester in the labor and delivery wing, taught health science, anatomy and physiology, and nursing classes at Warren County High School, was an itinerant nurse for a year in Warren County Schools, and has been the school nurse at Bobby Ray since 2014.
Fun Fact: While working in the hospital, Harris learned helping postpartum mothers was her favorite part. She said you never know what you’ll enjoy in nursing until you experience it.
Q: Why did you go into nursing?
A: “It’s something I’ve always wanted,” she said, “ever since I was little.” Harris said there wasn’t another option. She originally planned to work in the nurseries at hospitals, but as a nurse, you have to be prepared to work anywhere.
Q: Which do you enjoy more? School nursing? Or hospital nursing?
A: Harris said, “After working here, I don’t want to go back to the hospital.”
She said working in the labor and delivery wing was rewarding but also stressful. She enjoyed working in the hospital, but she tells people that she has one of the best jobs in the world.
Q: What’s the most rewarding part of working in the school system?
A: “The kids,” she said. “I love to see the kids.” She said that the fix will be small, but the children still show their appreciation. “I love to hear them say ‘Thank you’ even if it’s for something like a Band-Aid.”
Q: Have you experience any crazy stories as a school nurse?
A: “Not off the top of my head.” She did say that there have been plenty of odd and funny situations like one time where a doctor told a student that they needed to see the school nurse instead. “One girl had the hiccups that made her sound like a goose,” Harris said. She also told about someone who apparently got sick because someone else ate too much.
Q: What’s a challenge of being a school nurse?
A: Harris hates when she can’t help a child. “When you can’t fix them,” she said, “it’s hard when you can’t fix every child.”
Q: How has the pandemic changed your job?
A: “This year, we’ve had less time to focus on other areas,” she said. Harris said that contact-tracing was a big issue because now when you identify a student who has come into contact, you have to notify their parent, find out who they’ve been in contact with, and contact those children’s parents, and so on. “Hopefully, next year, we’ll get to see something more normal.”
Q: How do you feel about the nursing program in schools?
A: “The options available are greater now,” she said. “If I had those classes in school, I would’ve taken them.” She feels great about the expanding opportunities for aspiring nurses.