Be There: Nurse Tiffany Phillips honored on Nurses Day at Gentian

Be There: Nurse Tiffany Phillips honored on Nurses Day at Gentian

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - In honor of Nurses Day on Wednesday, WTVM got a rare up close and personal view from inside a school clinic in Muscogee County.

We spoke with a nurse who cares for about 45 sick students a day at Gentian Elementary School for our special education segment called Be There, our Muscogee County School District partnership on teachable moments.

Tiffany Phillips checked Sarah McLean's sugar level, a daily routine before lunch time.

After that, they were off to the lunch room to make sure the diabetic patient makes the right food choices.

Phillips recalled, "On special days when we have ice cream day, we do give them those things. We just adjust her insulin."

There is no doubt the eight-year school nurse veteran has her hands full, but her heavy dose of compassion and knowledge is priceless for parent Annie Hall.

"I don't have to worry about him; when I drop him off I am at peace," stated Hall.

Hall has a peace mind because she knows Phillips is very qualified to care for son, 10-year-old Kanye Gordon.

"She knows if he's going into crisis and he needs to eat and stay hydrated," explained Hall.

Kanye suffers with several illnesses including Sickle Cell disease and insomnia. Nurse Tiffany is there every step of the way, administering 9 pills a day to Kanye and making sure he avoids crisis mode.

Phillips is the only LPN in the district who is stationary and doesn't have to travel around to other schools.

Principal Jessica Burnett said it's nice to have Phillips on staff because not only does the school have students with medical needs, but they also medical emergencies dealing with allergic reactions to food and insects.

"We feel very fortunate and blessed to have Nurse Tiffany here...she just does a great job and it does bring a high level of comfort."

Unfortunately, all schools don't have the privilege of having a nurse on staff around the clock.

Most of the district's 10 nurses and three LPN's who service 33,000 students in the district travel between schools as part-time nurses.

The National Association of School Nurses recommends one nurse per 750 students. Darlene Shirley, Lead Nurse, said it's important for all parents to notify teachers about their child's illness.

Doctor ordered nurses who are assigned to "medically fragile" children are also on staff along with clinical aides.

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