Inspired by Bellevue High School Counselors and Nurses
Chinook Middle School Nurse, Tammy Suen, MSN, RN, moved to Bellevue from Taiwan with her family when she was 16 years old. She felt the Bellevue High School counselors and the school nurse helped her adjust as a new student in a new country. This inspired her to become a nurse in the Bellevue School District where she went to school.
“I wanted to be that person to help that student, someone who feels lonely being a new immigrant or a new student in the district.”
COVID-19 Pandemic Highlights Need for School Nurses in Every School Building
Suen feels the pandemic has highlighted how important it is to have a nurse assigned to every school building as a health safety officer to manage any kind of crisis or scenario. Suen is at Chinook Middle School four days a week and says all district nurses have been swamped with COVID-19 related tasks and immunization work. COVID-19 testing in schools has helped identify positive cases and keep students learning in-person. Despite the frustrations that may come from staff and from parents, she emphasizes how amazing her job is as a school nurse and appreciates the team approach Chinook Middle School takes to keep students and staff healthy.
“I have to keep reminding myself that every day matters. Even though if I’m only there four days a week, I would do my 100 percent for those four days a week; and if I can help one single student, just, only one student a day, that counts.”
Benefits of Being a School Nurse are “Amazing”
Suen says she has found it amazing how much school nurses impact students’ lives throughout their entire school experience through graduation. She also appreciates her work schedule because it mirrors her children’s school schedule, allowing her to be a mom after work and over winter and summer breaks.
“Our students are valuable. They are our potential future leaders in the community.”
Did you know that the levy renewal coming up for a vote in February helps us employ 23 nurses, as the state funds just three full-time nurses districtwide? Learn more about the levy.
School nurses have the same schedule as their school-age children. They also impact children’s lives in a meaningful way every day. See our current job openings: