When the last of Donna Hopson's children started Kindergarten 27 years ago, she thought she should think seriously about the opportunity of working as a school nurse to have the same hours and schedule as her children. "I longed for more family time, including weekends and holidays. When all my children were finally in school, I started volunteering at their campuses and became involved with the PTO. I found the QISD staff to be so kind and caring for the children in our community," she said. It didn't take long for Donna Hopson to become a member of the Quinlan ISD family as an RN.
One of the most significant moments in her journey of being a school nurse was saving the life of a student, who had an underlying cardiac condition that had gone undetected. "I had performed CPR on many patients in the hospital, but had never expected to do CPR on a student that appeared to be a normal healthy eighth grader! It has made me passionate about teaching CPR to as many faculty members, staff, students and community members as possible," said Hopson.
When asked how she contributes to the school climate, she answered:
"Students cannot be good learners if they are hungry, upset, sick, or scared. I try to help meet the needs of our students all day, every day. I help provide for these needs with something as simple as crackers and juice for hungry tummies, a hug to help them feel better, clean clothes, or just being a good listener with tissue to help wipe their tears. Other student needs are more complicated and are met with delivering daily medications, performing procedures that are part of a disease process, rendering first aid during an injury or emergency, and much more. I perform screenings that could detect underlying health problems that could impair their learning ability. It is so rewarding to see a student get the glasses they so desperately needed. I also believe every moment is a teachable moment, whether it is something as simple as how to wash their hands properly, how to trim their fingernails, or how to care for themselves when they have a lifelong disease such as diabetes. My goal is to foster independence and self-worth. My philosophy has always been to be fair, firm, and consistent, with a lot of love". I believe the other nurses would quote me on that!"
"I have made lifelong friends and I feel truly blessed and honored to be caring for the students, staff, and families here at QISD."