Never stop exploring: nurses’ courtesies offer mentorship and experience

Photo / Reed Medlock
Nurse Karla Ortiz types medical information into her computer as part of the record-keeping process.

Anna Guerra, Writer

Editor’s note: This story was written in early spring and would have been published in the print issue “Never stop exploring.”

There are many staff members and teachers at Coronado who genuinely care about their students. Two people who really deserve recognition and have made a big impact on the Coronado community are the nurses. Nurses Carmen Vela and Karla Ortiz have become well-known, not only for helping out students when they are sick but also for the bonds they build with the students.

The nurses see an average of 35 students per day and sometimes more. They often have to drop whatever they are doing when there is an emergency to run to the scene. The two nurses will work through lunch to tend to sick students. They are working constantly, whether it be helping kids with colds, remembering who to medicate and when, filing records, providing first aid, or any of their many responsibilities.

But the nurses do much more than help the sick: they are also mentors to the students. Seniors have the opportunity to be a courtesy in the nurses’ office and get to learn about medicine.

“Being a nurse courtesy has been one of the highlights of my senior year,” senior Karah Wesstrom said. “I have learned so much about the medical field, which is helping me make my decision for my major. I have also built a bond with the nurses that I will take for me forever.”

As an introduction to the class, the nurses give the new courtesies a tour of the office and explain where everything is and how to use it. They learn the procedures of how to react when a student comes in with a headaches, stomach pains, or cuts. They are also instructed on what to do in case of an emergency – grab the emergency bag and run with the nurses to the place of the accident. Through this experience, students are able to get to know the nurses and connect with them on a personal level. For some students, this is a great opportunity if they are looking to go into the medical field because the nurses provide an inside perspective.

“I love spending time with the nurses because…I really want to go into the medical field and specifically nursing,” senior Anai Peinado said.

Students also get to learn how to work well with people they may never have met before.

For some, the nurses may not just be there to help them with their medical problems but also their life problems. The nurses have built so many bonds with their students to where they feel like part of a family. Nurses Vela and Ortiz are always willing to help their students, whether it be offering some advice about friends or family or providing a quiet place to study for school. They are two highly respected women at Coronado who inspire students every day by all that they do. The nurses’ office is so welcoming that it offers many students a sense of comfort when they are feeling uneasy. The nurses have definitely made incredible contributions to Coronado and continue to do so every day.