Beverly Farrand, Thompson Middle School Nurse Nominated as Support Staff of the Year

As a young child, education was not a topic that was often discussed in our home. Neither of my parents finished high school; however, my father was able to secure a position in the aerospace technical field. By the time I had reached the junior high level, my older brother had already left home and married. Even though he graduated high school, he never attended college. Instead, he landed a job that taught him a specific trade. Through this type of employment, he was able to provide for his spouse’s education in the field of professional nursing. At the age of fourteen, I remember looking up to my sister-in-law in awe of her ability to juggle work and family responsibilities without tribulation. Her attitude and dedication helped form my decision to become a registered nurse.

I agree with the English proverb, “We are never too old to learn new things.” In August of 1998, I joined Quinlan ISD’s nursing staff. Nurse Coordinator, Donna Hopson, taught me many things that specifically related to school nursing. Under her direction, I learned about state health screenings, immunization requirements, and diabetic care outside the school setting, among numerous other things.

Using all knowledge I’ve gained over the past 26 years in nursing, I make significant efforts to ensure all students and staff can attend school daily while following the Texas Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control guidelines. Both staff and student attendance assist with academic readiness and school funding. Nursing assessments, attendance, and school funding go hand-in-hand. As a nurse, I combat truancy, so Quinlan ISD receives maximum financing, thus boosting the educational possibilities offered by the district.

As a school nurse professional, I strive to ensure all students are healthy, safe, and ready to learn in the classroom setting. This is done through state screenings, health assessments, necessary medical referrals, medication administration, providing emergency response, and being an advocate for each child. In conjunction with my co-workers, we assist the child to meet their maximum potential. In addition to meeting the needs of children, my job also includes taking care of staff members as well. Healthy staff members create a healthy learning environment for the students. I offer health promotions, health appraisal, injection assistance collaboration with medical professionals, and aid in understanding personal insurance, just to name a few.

Working in the school district has proven to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I have enjoyed establishing nurse-patient-parent connections, where I can understand living in their world. In many instances, I can accurately relate to their unique life situations and give special consideration to every case, whether it is positive or negative.  I have been able to ensure their basic human needs are being met; at the same time, I have been able to provide encouragement and support to those students who, like me, were not sure where the road to their adult lives would lead them.

Throughout my nursing career, I have gained many valuable experiences and offered contributions to others. Just during my tenure as a school nurse, I have had many opportunities to help enrich the lives of others. I have served as founder of the Receiving Room, which offered free clothing to less fortunate families; managed fundraisers for Thompson Middle School and authored the previously printed QISD Community Resource guide, that provides information relating to resources that are located within Quinlan and surrounding communities. I have acted as a Coordinated Approach To Child Health (CATCH) team member; volunteered as an integral part of TMS’ Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) and held various fundraisers for district employees. I have spoken at TMS career day events and acted as a team captain for the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life team, known as the QISD Pit Crew.

I have also volunteered for many other activities. With my colleagues, I have participated in health fairs; served as a preceptor to area college students; written letters to state leaders relating to school health and school finance; and participated in the community Christmas tree lighting ceremonies. Also, I am currently one of six district employees who is certified to provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training to employees and community members.