It may be the calm before the storm. The flu storm that is. For school nurse Holly Bartlett, RN, ADN there are rare lulls in her year. The opening months of school are busy and hectic with paperwork and student, faculty and staff visits. A window arrives, if lucky, of a week or two before the onslaught of aches, pains, chills and fever. If anyone is ready for all the challenges of nursing the Archbishop Williams community it’s Holly.
A pediatric nurse since 1994 and our school nurse since 2014, Holly handles a gauntlet of duties: monthly DPH reports, concussion management, mandated screenings, medication, allergy, chronic and acute disease management. Nurse Bartlett is also on the Crisis Management team and is the liaison for the Interdisciplinary Team. She is an instructor for faulty and staff with regards to health care procedures and the Health Manger for all school field trips. It’s a good thing that nurses no longer wear tiny, white caps. If so, it would be impossible to fit under her cap all the responsibilities that routinely fill her day. As Holly shares, “The number one challenge tends to be time. There are not enough hours in the day to do everything that needs to be accomplished.” Like so many in her profession, Holly feels she was “called” to a nursing career. She reflects that “I listened to my gut and pursued a career in healthcare as it has given me many opportunities. Whether it’s simple things such as a bandage and a smile or more complex like a concussion, I can make a difference in a student’s life. Every day is exciting knowing I have the opportunity to nurture, teach, and have a positive influence.”
Mention to anyone in our school community the name of Ms. Bartlett and a smile appears. As a North Carolina native, Holly’s drawl and southern charm is a balm for what ails her patients when they first walk into her office. A visit, long or short, is an experience of expertise and compassionate healthcare. Having approximately 1000 visits each year explains how remiss our school would be if Nurse Holly was not at her desk each day meeting the demands of the school community. And Holly is happy to welcome her new nursing colleague, Aiana Chaffee, RN, to assist her in giving professional care. “AWHS is like family which makes coming to work a joy”, says Holly and there is a joy here knowing we are entrusted in her capable hands.