By Natalie Conrad
Herald Staff Writer
GOOSE LAKE —
School nurses do a lot more than bandage cuts and bruises and Northeast Nurse Barb Randolph is living proof.
Randolph was selected as the 2013 Iowa School Nurse of the Year by the Iowa School Nurse Organization for her willingness to go above and beyond simple tasks, providing exceptional caring service to each and every Northeast student for the past 32 years.
“We could not run this school district without the help she provides,” Superintendent Jim Cox said. “We could not operate without a nurse of her quality.”
With vast years of experience at the district, Randolph has been able to treat the second generation of many families in the area. She said she enjoys working closely with the families of students that have special needs, from peanut allergies to epilepsy. Her duties also include student health plans, Medicaid reimbursement claims, immunization records, drug testing, medication administration and employee health files.
After being nominated for the award last year and missing the cut, Randolph was determined to try again. The application requires a lengthy explanation of how the nurse applies standards of practice and professional performance. Randolph had no problem gathering nomination letters, with overwhelming support from principals, teachers and parents.
“Being a rural district, she is often the first level of healthcare that some of these kids get,” Elementary Principal Diane Schumacher said. “No matter what time of the day or how busy she is, no matter if it is in the middle of her lunch or in the middle of a crisis, whenever a student asks for help, Barb drops what she is doing and provides immediate assistance.”
In addition to daily duties, Randolph is constantly educating herself on the latest trends and changes in healthcare. She is at the forefront of many state initiatives including the Healthy Kids Act and a new project examining body mass index. She also provides dental screenings, flu shots and vision testing. In all the different things she does, Randolph has one solid goal.
“I just want to give the kids the best possible care in school to allow them to remain in school and get the best learning opportunities possible,” Randolph said.
Randolph will be honored at the ISNO Annual School Nurse Conference in Ames on April 18-19. She will also be recognized with an Excellence in School Nursing Award at the 2013 National Association of School Nurses Annual Conference in Orlando, Fla., from June 27-30. Despite the significant award, Randolph still considers herself nothing extraordinary.
“I am just a regular school nurse like everyone else,” Randolph said. “I do the best job I can do.”
While Randolph may be humble, the district cannot stop singing her praises and will be hosting a local reception for her on National School Nurse Day, May 8, to celebrate this achievement.
“I could not ask for more in a school nurse than what I have been privileged to witness in Barb Randolph,” Schumacher said. “Her generosity of spirit is truly a gift that has enhanced our school district and provided needed care to all of our students and staff.”