A Look at the School Nurse

A.J. Butcher, Reporter

Every school has a staff that is committed to working with the up and coming generation at West High School; each person that works in the school district is trained to deal with many different types of students in many different situations.

One of these well trained individuals is West’s head nurse Regina Pierce. Pierce has been working at West for the past two years, and she has been doing a wonderful job.

A typical day for Pierce starts early. “A typical day is that I come in, unlock my door, I have two meds before school starts, depending on what the day is things can change dramatically. Mondays and Fridays are usually pretty easy, not to crazy in the mornings, Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s, Thursday’s I usually have a message from parents or the principal or staff members asking a question about something that happened Monday or Friday. Then I usually see about 35 kids a day, with eight meds and some diabetics thrown in the middle.” Pierce is the busiest during lunch and she only receives a short break during fourth period which starts at 11:05.

Pierce has had many students come through her office; one of these students is a high school senior, Sydney McQuaide. McQuaide has been to Pierce’s office a handful of times for various reasons. McQuaide says, “I’ve been to the nurse for queasiness and to have papers signed for field trips.” Pierce makes it a point to be positive and welcoming to the students that she interacts with.

According to McQuaide, “She’s always smiling and I’ve never had a bad experience with her; I think she does her job well.” McQuaide is like any student who goes to Pierce’s office; they often go in for small things, simply the mundane, whether it be a bag of ice or medication, and Pierce is there to help.

Pierce has had one emergency incident at West in January 2016. “Last year, myself and two police officers ended up having to give CPR to a staff and shock him with an AD machine.” The person, a custodian, survived due to those life-saving efforts.

Even though Pierce often has to deal with small medical problems she is also a well trained highly skilled medical professional. Before she worked for West as the head nurse she already had her Registered Nurse license, an associate degree, and had worked for the school district as a treatment nurse for five years. She then continued on with school to receive her bachelor’s degree to become West’s head nurse.

Tim Davis has worked for West since the spring of 2008, and has had the chance to meet two of the head nurses before Pierce, only complimenting their work in past years. Davis, the cross-fit teacher, has sent many students to her office because of the nature of his class. Because of this he has had the chance to interact with Pierce frequently, “I think she’s a go getter, I like her, she’s always got a smile on her face and there’s nothing much better than that.”

Not many of the students or even the staff really understand what it takes to be the head nurse of West, but Davis sums it up rather well. “I think it’s super important to have a medical professional, who also knows how to work with kids, especially at this point in their lives, I mean you guys are running faster, jumping higher, and running into each other harder than ever before and you’re going through a lot of stuff emotionally, so I think it’s really important to have a stable medical professional in the building.” Davis says.