School system celebrates 20th anniversary of school health services

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For the last two decades, the Fayette County Public School System’s School Health Services Department has supported and enhanced educational success by improving and protecting the health status of students through prevention, maintenance, and education.

Debbie King, the school system’s school health services coordinator, implemented the program in 2000 after initially working as a school nurse because her children were in the school system. Years later after her children graduated, she says, “I stayed for the school nurses. I think school nursing is a unique opportunity to touch the lives of every student in our school system.”

Three school nurses have been with the program since its inception and remain dedicated to ensuring the health of students across the county.

Nirmada Hall, who currently serves as the school nurse at Spring Hill Elementary, says what keeps her coming back after 20 years of service is her love for working with and helping students and staff stay healthy.

“The best thing about being a school nurse is no two days are the same, each day brings new challenges,” Hall says.

One of Hall’s most memorable moments as a school nurse was the day she got a note from a student as he left for middle school stating, “It’s nice to know someone besides your parents care for you.”

After 18 years as a school nurse in Fayette County, Traci Ennis, hopes to continue to make an impact in the lives of the students she encounters on a daily basis.

Ennis, who is the school nurse at Whitewater High, says being a school nurse is all about the little things, “It’s the small steps of progress or the smile on the always angry student’s face, or the sweet note they leave you days after you have helped them.”

Rising Starr Middle’s school nurse, Pam Kimbro, recently just reached her 20 years as a school nurse in Fayette County.

“The best thing about being a school nurse is the camaraderie between everyone, and I love the students; they are respectful, helpful and well mannered,” Kimbro says.

A student telling her that she is kind is always a memorable moment for Kimbro.

Although she has reached her 20 year mark, Kimbro’s motivation has stayed the same, “Over the years, I’ve stayed as a school nurse for the students, who just want to have someone they can trust to help them with anything they need, whether it’s a nursing issue, need a counselor, administration involvement, etc.  I also stay because of the staff; we all work together to provide for their needs.”

Since its inauguration, the school system’s School Health Services Department has grown from a few school nurses servicing the entire school system to now having a licensed school nurse at every Fayette County public school clinic; that’s 26 nurses caring for approximately 25-100 students per day with illnesses, chronic health conditions, and injuries.