Note from the Editor: This is an article in a series called "Wethersfield Heroes," where our students work to highlight and honor those in our community going above and beyond amidst the tumultuous year. If you know someone that you would like to nominate as a Wethersfield Hero, please contact Mr. Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By: Grace DeMonte
In the time of a global pandemic, healthcare workers should be appreciated-- especially school nurses. Kathleen Maffuid is a school nurse at Emerson Williams, recently having transferred from WHS. She first attended Clemson University, obtaining a business degree, then attended UConn for a nursing degree.
Mrs. Maffuid says “I went into the medical field because I really wanted to help people and enjoyed studying science and anatomy. I didn't know I wanted to be a nurse immediately though and had started pursuing other possible career opportunities before I finally entered nursing school.” She started her career working in the medical/surgical unit of the hospital, then transitioned into school nursing because she wanted to work in public health.
Every day working as a school nurse is different, but always busy. Some students have daily medication administration needs, some have ongoing injuries that need to be monitored, and others see the nurse for spontaneous injuries or illnesses. Every student that visits the health office needs to be documented, along with parent phone calls.
School nurses also perform annual vision, hearing, and scoliosis screenings depending on grade level. Along with treating students, school nurses also have a lot of emails and daily communications to catch up on. Despite this, Mrs. Maffuid says “What I enjoy most about my job as a school nurse is being able to be a part of the school community and to provide care to the students and staff”.
COVID-19 has had a big impact on school nursing. Mrs. Maffuid says, “Conducting contact tracing due to a positive case in the school is time consuming as it requires lots of phone calls and emails to communicate with staff members and parents”. Her advice on how to stay covid-free is firstly to get vaccinated and to get your booster shot. She also says to stay home if you aren’t feeling well and “practice the three W's (wear your mask, wash your hands, watch your distance) when in public”. Otherwise, students should try to get enough sleep, eat healthy, and get at least 30 minutes of exercise/activity daily.
School nurses have been overwhelmed with responsibilities recently, and everyone should appreciate the work they do now more than ever. They don’t always get much recognition, but school nurses do a lot to protect students and Wethersfield is very grateful for them.
Mrs. Maffuid is a Wethersfield hero because of all the hard work she does to ensure the safety of all students and staff members. Next time you visit the school nurses, be sure to thank them and let them know they’re appreciated.
Written, edited, and produced by Wethersfield High School students, covering all news and events.