Students say the nurse’s assistant does not help at all, and upon hearing this, Sandra Valadez, the nurse’s assistant said, “I’d like to know who said that!”
Valadez is aiming to become a school nurse, or work in a clinic. She came to work as a nurse assistant at Chaparral High School (CHS) about a year and a half ago for the experience she needs to reach her goal. Valadez said, “At first I did not want to become a nurse because of all the blood, but deCastro (Carole deCastro, R.N.) and my family motivated me.”
Valadez is 27 years old and graduated from El Paso Community College. Valadez said her favorite thing about being a nurse is, “Meeting the students and talking or learning from them.”
The students are respectful to nurse deCastro and Valadez. Valadez says there has never been a rude student who came to her and deCastro. She treats the students with the same respect they give her and always gives students the option to call their parents and ask to be picked up or stay in the Health Center.
Valadez says that she treats the students with respect, but some Lobos may have a different idea in their heads. Cruz Chaparro, sophomore at CHS said, “Yes, she helps a little then nothing.” Chaparro believes that the nurse assistant does not do her job and said, “Most of the time she either just tells you to go home or gives you an ice pack.” Chaparro went to the nurse with a fractured finger and she gave him two sticks to keep it in place. Chaparro said, “A visit to the school nurse and doctor differ because a doctor has more equipment than the nurse does.”
CHS senior Priscilla Miranda has gone to Nurse deCastro for a physical and has met Valadez. Miranda and Chaparro think very differently, where Chaparro says Valadez does not help, Miranda knows that Valadez is not allowed to do much for the students at CHS, but does all that she can for them. Miranda knows that a visit to the doctor and Nurse deCastro differ because a doctor is allowed to give treatments and medication to their patients whereas a school nurse assistant and school nurse cannot. Instead of believing that Valadez does not do her job, Miranda believes she does and thinks that her job is to check the students to see if they are healthy, and provide them with care.
Valadez and deCastro are not allowed to do any surgery or treatment when a student comes in with an injury. They can’t give students any medication unless the student has a prescription from their doctor. All they can really do is tend to the injury if it is not that serious, but if the injury is serious or fatal they have to call 911, administration (to inform them that they called 911), and security to help.
One of the more serious injury’s that Valadez and deCastro have recently dealt with is shortness of breath. Once, a student came in short of breath, Valadez and deCastro had to call 911, because they could not by law give the student treatment. They tried to calm the student but they are not permitted to do anything else.
Nurse deCastro and Valadez are limited in what they can do when helping students, but even when limited, they still do a lot for the students at CHS. They talk to the students, care for them and help them in any way possible. Nurse deCastro and Valadez do more than the some students at CHS think they do.