Good Talk: Nurse Scrabis

There’s nothing she can’t handle

Richard Jensen, Reporter

Mrs. Nicole Scrabis is the new certified school nurse at NASH this year. She can be found in the Health Office located near the restrooms closest to the A-bank lockers on the south side of the building.  We were pleased to have a few minutes of her busy schedule.

This is your first year working as the certified school nurse at NASH. Is this your first year at NA?

No, I was a support nurse for three years. I’ve been everywhere from kindergarten up to twelfth grade. I was here as the support nurse for three years at NASH. My kids go to NA, which is why I chose NA.

How long have you worked as a nurse?

I have worked as a nurse for twenty-one years. It’s been nothing but kids; that is my favorite. Pediatrics is my love.

Have you always worked in the Pittsburgh area?

Yes, I’ve done everything from working with moms and babies in labor and delivery to homecare with moms and babies to children’s hospitals and all kinds of outpatient clinics.  You name it, it’s all kids.

What college did attend?

I went to Carlow University, where I got my Bachelors of Science in Nursing, and the degree also included my school nurse certificate.

As a nurse at a school, what do you do?

I help anyone who has and injury or illness, kids who need daily medications, and kids who have diabetes or seizure disorders. I do height, weight, and vision on everybody in the school. In eleventh grade, I check everyone’s hearing. I create individualized health plans and help students with individualized education plans. I go to meetings with the counselors and the principals and we talk about kids. I’m involved with everything!

What equipment and medication do you have available here?

As long as I have permission from a parent, I can give Tylenol or ibuprofen if they have any type of pain. I have Tums for the stomach. I have Benadryl and epipens for allergies. If someone were to have a drug overdose at school, I have Narcan, which I pray to god I won’t have to use though I know how to use it. I have cough drops and eye drops as well.

How would you describe yourself?

So many people tell me I am outgoing and very positive. I love my job.  I love being around the students. Eleventh and twelfth graders are my favorite.

What is the best part about your job?

My daily interactions with kids. I believe that you can do teaching every single day. Maybe someone learns for the first time that they should eat something before taking a medicine because it could irritate your stomach. Hopefully, I make a difference every day, even if you just need someone with a smile on your face.

What is the worst part about your job?

I can handle it, but cleaning puke is not the greatest thing ever. But it’s nothing I can’t handle.

You have support nurses now. Who are they?

They are Mrs. Amanda Lemon and Mrs. Allison Trent, and they are both registered nurses. They are lovely, they work throughout the district, and they help me with my general care. Maybe if I’m trying to do some paperwork or going to a meeting, they can help with supporting the students.

Would you recommend any safety or hygiene practices or methods to help avoid getting sick?

Wash your hands! Anytime you blow your nose or go to the bathroom, wash your hands. Sneeze into the elbow. Those are just a couple simple little tricks that will really help. And if you’re really sick, stay at home!

What time of year are most people sick?

Honestly, we’re going to be getting into flu season. Probably starting in October and running all the way to February, we’re going to start getting germs.

Is being sick the only reason people should visit the health office, or would you prefer if people came in all the time?

People can come see me any time. I have had students come in maybe to check weight or maybe they were just having a really hard day and they need to lie down and rest for ten minutes and collect themselves. I am here to help with anything!

Are you enjoying your new position here?

I love it! I’m having a great time.

Is there anything else you want the students to know?

I want them to know that I am here and I want to help. If there is anything I can do, please come see me!