Nurses, regardless of setting, are in the unique position of being able to have a lasting, positive impact on everyone in their care. In a school setting, the nurses see students of all backgrounds and socio-economic statuses. Many school nurses go out of their way to give that little bit extra for children in need.
A stellar example of this level of caring occurred recently, leading Tami McKendall, LPN, to be awarded the Care More Spotlight. Supplemental Health Care’s Client Service Manager, Cathy Rigby, described Tami’s extraordinary act of kindness and compassion:
Tami was assigned to a new school this year and came across a young student who was clearly in need. She took it upon herself to go shopping for the young man and bought him new clothes, a toothbrush, and assorted toiletries and quietly gave them to him. When the student got all cleaned up and put on his new clothes, he ‘lit up like a Christmas tree!’
What Tami did for him wasn’t about nursing or even healthcare-related. But to this young man, having someone notice him and care about his wellbeing meant the world. Now he felt good about himself and fit in with his peers.
Clearly, Tami’s actions are the epitome of the Care More spirit and she is very deserving of this nomination and award. When asked to elaborate on this experience, Tami spoke about why she approaches all of her students and patients with this level of care and compassion.
“When I first met him, I could see the disappointment in his face because his clothes were so worn and his shoes were falling apart. I told him to come back to my office in the morning. He couldn’t have been happier; the new shoes fit perfectly, and he kept on thanking me for everything. His smiling face was all the reward I needed. I always keep in mind that there were people who helped me along the way, and I always ‘pay it forward’ every chance I get!”
Tami has been a licensed practical nurse for 21 years and has worked as a school nurse for the past five years. She chose to become a nurse because of the care she received after becoming a mother for the first time.
“As a new mom, I didn’t know anything about caring for a newborn,” she explained. “I had this AMAZING nurse that was so patient and showed me such compassion and care that I thought it was amazing. From that day on, I knew the path for me was to be able to provide that same type of care to others.”
Tami was asked what advice she would share with other school nurses, and she again showed why Care More is an integral part of who she is.
“I would just remind them that the students really need us, and showing them compassion and care goes a very long way. We should never lose sight of that when things get hard, or we are having a bad day.”
Tami also gave credit to her Supplemental Health Care recruiter, Sarah. She expressed her appreciation for the frequent communication about any changes or other things she needs to be aware of. Tami also made it a point to talk about the family-like atmosphere at SHC and how everyone cares about each other.
Congratulations to Tami for being such a great ambassador for school nurses and Supplemental Health Care. We are proud to award her this Care More Spotlight for her compassion and dedication to her students.
To read more Care More Spotlights, check out our blog. To join the Supplemental Health Care family today, contact us today or explore our open jobs to see what options are available to take your nursing career to the next level.
the shc blog