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NEISD school nurses are life savers in so many ways

 Minerva Cortinas smiles by her clinic door at Nimitz Middle School

Minerva Cortinas starts her day ready for anything. Thirty-one years as a nurse in North East ISD have taught her to expect the unexpected. When a Nimitz Middle School staff member dealing with an allergic reaction rushed into the clinic, she knew just what to do. And her actions likely saved a life.

“A true anaphylaxis is a big emergency,” said Cortinas. “I got the epinephrine, got the oxygen ready and called 911. You do what you do not for any type of recognition because that’s not why I’m here. Like any nurse, you do what you need to do.”

Cortinas and her colleagues don’t do what they do for recognition. Providing safe, accessible health care and occasionally saving a life is business as usual. And it’s a responsibility they take seriously.

“The past year has been very challenging, even overwhelming at times,” said Cortinas. “But you do what you have to do and you find a way to keep going.”

NEISD school nurses found a way to do it all over the past year. The Health Services team added screening students and staff, contact tracing and administering COVID-19 tests and vaccinations to their regular workload. Between those crucial responsibilities, they looked after students, staff, visitors and teachers on their home campus.

“A lot of people don’t know the extent that goes into school nursing,” explained Cortinas. “Yes, health screenings are a major part of it, but we are sometimes the only medical professional our students and families see.”

Wednesday, May 12, is National School Nurse Day. Please take a moment to thank a school nurse for all of their hard work and dedication! In a school year like no other, Cortinas says a simple thank you can go a long way.

“Nurses don’t expect anything in return. That’s not why we do it. But when we do get a thank you or a card, it means a lot to us. And it means a lot more to us this year.”

Posted by Lila Stanley
Posted on 5-12-21