As part of our commitment to continuing education, our healthcare division offers clinical support to our working school nurses to ensure that they continue to learn and grow in an evolving work environment.
We provide each nurse with a clinical supervisor who collaboratively works with them to follow the most current school policies and procedures, stay up-to-date on changing documentation requirements, and develop new skills for career advancement.
We’d like you to meet our DOE Nursing Supervisor, Jewel Thomas-Carrington, RN, who has over 18 years of experience working in the nursing field!
You want to know something funny? I’ve been trying to work for the company for so long! My mom works as a DOE Nurse, and gave me all this information about it, so I tried reaching out about potential opportunities and I guess the stars didn’t align. But one day I felt motivated and decided to reach out to one of my mom’s contacts directly. I was pregnant with my son, and I was reaching the point where working in-person was becoming difficult, especially during the pandemic. I asked her if there were any work from home jobs that the company was offering, and she said they had one that was a supervisory role. She told me about it and it was exactly what I was looking for. You know, some nurses would turn a job down if they’re not in the thick of things or working bedside with patients. Not me. I feel like I was meant for this role. Can I say one thing about this company? It’s one of the best I’ve ever worked for. I love every person I’m in contact with!
I start at 8 in the morning every day. Between the hours of eight and noon, I’m usually handling all the texts and calls from nurses. Some need more support than others, so I do my best to help each one individually in the best way possible. I’m also simultaneously doing training throughout the week for all the nurses working for the DOE. I train them on what to do in the schools and how to deal with certain situations. And, of course, while I’m doing all this, I’m obviously a WFH mom, so that’s a whole different aspect to the workday. Working while raising kids during the COVID situation has been quite the ride, but us moms get it done. It’s all tough work, but I love it!
Taking on this role was a completely new experience for me. Of course, I’m a nurse and understand the clinical aspects of my job, but this teaching and training position was new to me. Training other licensed RNs is something I had never previously considered, or thought I had the confidence to do.
However, I’m always enthusiastic about new challenges and trying different things, so I went into it with an open mind. 3 years later and I find myself enjoying the role more and more each day. I’m so proud of how this role has evolved and am shocked at how much I enjoy being an educator to other nurses. When I first started, I was doing a training session every few months for nurses. Today, I’m running trainings twice a week. I’ve found my voice and my confidence, and even developed a style and method of teaching that can engage all the nurses and properly explain each facet of the role. It isn’t just reading off a PowerPoint, it is being interactive, showing examples, asking questions, and addressing concerns. Being able to teach the proper practices and having other RNs say that I made something easy to learn, makes me feel so proud and always brings a smile to my face.
School nurses have a massive impact on the communities they serve because they help students and their families in so many ways. For some nurses, especially those who work in low income, immigrant, refugee, or underserved communities, they’re more than just a nurse. They are teachers, confidants, mentors, guardians, and, just as important, friends. These communities have a lot of health disparities, especially when there is a language barrier. And to be honest, sometimes the only person who can speak English for the family is the child at school. So, in turn, the nurse becomes an educator / translator for the child to help relay messages to their families. They consistently make sure that students are on top of their health and help pass long the proper information about where they can get better healthcare, find food pantries, access free clinics, etc. They also serve as excellent resources for these children to vent. Unfortunately, some of our students come from broken homes, abusive backgrounds, and impoverished neighborhoods. These nurses act as a state of stability, a source of comfort, and a guide. Being a support system and creating a safe space for these students goes a long way in helping shape these children and the communities around them.
I’m not a big fan of watching stuff twice, unless it’s something anime related. Actually, you know what? I’m going to go with John Wick. They’re great movies and the 4th movie just recently came out, so I re-watched everything again to remind myself of all that happened. Let’s go with John Wick.
Dealing with difficulties beyond simple clinical and medical problems. Every now and then, there might be a conflict between nurses or staff that you must sort out, and because I work remotely and they don’t see me regularly, it can be more difficult. Being a nurse, you expect the problems or issues to be healthcare-related, but we are also in the people business and challenges between people happen at every workplace across all industries.
It’s funny because the rewarding parts are directly related to the stressful parts. Managing interpersonal relationships and working with different people can present its own unique challenges. However, seeing my team’s gratitude and appreciation when I help resolve conflicts or am available to answer their questions quickly is rewarding in itself. It reminds me that everything I’m doing has a positive impact.
It sounds simple, but having some quiet time is my favorite way to relax. Work is always busy, and I have 3 young kids. It’s great to be able to do the school drop offs and pickups while also balancing my work schedule and managing a large team of nurses. But at the same time, this mommy / nurse needs her quiet time. With the weather getting nice, I like to hang in my garden and work with my plants or even just sit on my balcony with a nice cup of tea. I know it sounds like nothing, but at the same time it’s everything.
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