Staff Secrets: Yorktown High School Nurse Victoria Sullivan

Whether the condition involves concussions, fractures or fishhooks, nothing rattles this school nurse.



What’s the most unusual case you’ve ever treated? Several years ago, a student decided to practice fly-fishing outside by the pond, and his fishhook accidentally got caught in the eyebrow of a student standing behind him. Fortunately, it just missed his eye, but it did necessitate a trip to his doctor for removal of the hook!

Have you had any adrenaline-pumping health scares at the school? An accident that resulted in a compound fracture, concussions, and anaphylaxis, just to name a few.

Do these things ever make you squeamish? After so many years of nursing, not too much makes me squeamish. Of course, nobody likes to get the stomach bug or head lice, but I don’t live in fear of these things.

Have you ever caught a student in a bona fide hooky hoax? Quite a few years ago, a student came in complaining of numbness in his legs and seemed to have great difficulty walking. After doing an assessment, I called his parent to pick him up and take him to his doctor. When I told the student his mother would be coming in for him, he jumped up off the cot and without any hesitation ran to his locker to get his things. I guess knowing he was going home “cured” him.

Do you know all of the students by name? I do try to get to know the students, but there are always a few who rarely, if ever, go to the nurse’s office.  Either they are very healthy or scared of me! Hopefully, it’s the former and not the latter.

What might parents be surprised to know about their teenagers? How mature and self-sufficient their kids can be. I have seen students with significant illnesses or injuries who take it all in stride and go on about their daily lives with no complaints. They amaze me.

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