Photo: Tim Fischer/Midland Reporter-Telegram
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Name: Kristie Maguire
Campus: Lamar Elementary
Position: School nurse
Number of years with Midland ISD: 8 years
What is your favorite moment in the nurse’s office?
Any medical condition can be seen in the nurse’s office. Students with chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, seizures and serious food allergies are just a few examples, in addition to students having some sort of medical issue after arriving at school. Teachable moments are endless. Every student visit involves an element of health education, as do many conversations with parents. Things can be very basic, like how to take care of yourself when you are hurt or not feeling well, when to call the doctor and when to stay home from school. Often, they can be very complicated, such as dealing with a new diagnosis of Type I Diabetes.
The best moments are those when a student leaves my office understanding how to better cope with the element that is affecting his or her health. Kids leaving with a smile on their face and ready to return to class feeling better make my day.
Why did you choose a career in education/health care?
Being a nurse allows me to extend love to others through patient care….my most favorite patients being children. My patient relationships lead to changing of perspectives, giving hope and increasing coping mechanisms with health conditions.
How have you moved beyond basic nursing and found innovative ways to care for students?
My school nursing practice is based on building relationships with students and their families. Knowing students leads to a better understanding of medical needs and how to best assist in dealing with or resolving health problems. I intentionally model kindness and compassion through my assessment skills and nursing interventions. The genuine connections with students and their families help to maintain a trusted medical relationship in the school setting.
What is the one lesson you want to impart to every student who enters your office?
I want to empower students to initiate basic self-care and make good decisions about their health. Even the youngest students can learn how to do simple tasks such as clean wounds and apply bandages, while older students can learn how to make a salt water gargle to help a sore throat. Kids are capable of understanding the “why” we do the things we do. Students are interested and love participating. I often hear “school remedies” being discussed among students while in the waiting area. It’s important that we give students early opportunities to navigate the pursuit of health and wellness in hopes these positive behaviors will carry forward to adulthood.
How do you inspire your peers, colleagues and others aiming to make a difference in Midland ISD?
The school nurse role supports all the education endeavors on campus. The primary mission is to keep students in class, because students can’t learn if they are not in class. Collaboration with the campus education team is critical in building relationships and planning on how to best meet the needs of students.
What are your professional goals for the future?
My goal for the upcoming year is to assist with the transition back into school. Because of COVID-19, a variety of unique health needs will be present and require thoughtful execution of new strategies and behaviors to safeguard staff and student wellness while still maintaining an enriching learning environment.
What is the greatest challenge to being an educator/nurse in Midland today?
The greatest challenge is that not every problem can be solved in the nurse’s office. Many times, children come into the clinic with very adult problems such as being homeless or receiving chemo. My greatest hope is that every interaction will lead to better coping and ability to live life to the fullest potential.
What support can Midlanders provide you and other educators?
The influence of Midlanders on our education system is crucial during this unprecedented time of COVID-19 and economic hardship. The continued support of families in their ability to provide the basics of living remains of utmost importance. MISD has been so blessed by the creativity, generosity and strength of our community.