Nurses provide medical, mental resources for students during school day

Lafayette+school+nurse+Kristen+Emms+checks+Infinite+Campus+in+her+office+during+4th+Hour+on+May+4.+Emms+has+been+one+of+Lafayette%27s+nurses+for+two+years.

Juli Mejia

Lafayette school nurse Kristen Emms checks Infinite Campus in her office during 4th Hour on May 4. Emms has been one of Lafayette’s nurses for two years.

Sofia Ganev, Staff Reporter

National School Nurse day is celebrated on May 6. School nurses are the primary medical resource for children and adults during the school day. Their main focus is to provide students the necessary help to learn well. National School Nurse Day began to give school nurses appreciation and to foster a better understanding of what the role really consists of.

Kristen Emms has been the school nurse of Lafayette for two years. In 2010, Emms worked towards advancing her nursing career at nursing school. She worked at Rockwood Early Childhood Center for eight years before converting jobs. 

“Actually, when I was growing up I never even thought I would become a nurse.  I had no interest in the medical field whatsoever! I wanted to become a teacher.  It wasn’t until my senior year in college that I became interested.  My friend was in nursing school and she got me interested in it.  It was the part of working with the babies and children that really drew me in,” Emms said. 

Emms has always loved kids and working with children, which is why she advanced herself in the nursing career. With three children of her own, she has always been a very active parent and volunteer at their schools. 

“I saw this as an opportunity to really help kids medically, mentally and physically and try to give back to the school community that has given my own children so much,” Emms said.

Although Emms enjoys what she does, this year has been very stressful as a school nurse. To relieve her stress, she has been practicing deep breathing, meditating and praying. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Emms has to be concerned of who is possibly infected at the school. 

“I feel I’ve made an impact on many students. I have had some students tell me that I literally saved their life. I have also had parents tell me the same and that I have been a great resource and helped them get the care their child needed. I find this to be the best part of it,” Emms said.

Kaylin Zimmer has been the school nurse of Lafayette since November of 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Zimmer hasn’t had the chance to make any strong connections with students, but she hopes that the upcoming new school year will be different. 

Growing up, Zimmer’s father was diagnosed with a rare cancer. Which has impacted her significantly as a person. 

“Luckily, he survived that and has been cancer free for 20 years now. I have always been a very nurturing person and knew I wanted to help people and work in healthcare.  My nursing degree/career wasn’t always a first option but I now know it is what I was truly meant to do and I really love helping people with their health and wellbeing,” Zimmer said.