A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down


Madeline Powers

Fikera Gerald organizes students’ medication, while checking the expiration dates and continuing to save lives on a daily basis.

Leda Catak, News Editor

The strenuous job of qualifying as a school nurse comes with many bumps along the road. Fikera Gerald, current nurse at NC, embodies the perfect character to care for students while also giving them advice about how to care for themselves.

“I think I was always a caring spirit in a way. I always took care of people. Since this trait developed at a young age, I realized that this is the direction I want to go in,” Gerald said.

Gerald attended Marion County Technical College for practical nursing. Gerald started her career in school nursing at South Cobb High School and decided to transfer to NC after two years due to the lengthy distance between South Cobb and her home. Her unconditional love for caring for others expanded her interest to continue pursuing her career as a school nurse at NC.

Multiple factors correlate to become an ideal school nurse. Maintaining a consistently positive attitude requires patience and can sometimes deem a difficult task around feisty high school students.

“Talking to you guys [students] and getting to know you guys is my favorite part of coming to NC everyday. When I first started nursing, nursing was healthcare. You actually cared for your patient, you got to know them. As time evolved, it became a health business that I didn’t want to be a part of,” Gerald said.

Nurse Gerald interacts with her students in a positive manner, which reflects her outgoing personality, as well as her dedication for her job. She remarks on her experiences with working at various jobs in healthcare and agrees that school nursing persists as her favorite type of nursing.

“I have been doing pediatric adolescent nursing since the beginning of my career, 22 years. I love working with children,” Gerald said.

Gerald, always looking to help and care for other people, appreciates her job and impacts students daily by comforting them with education about how to protect them from getting sick. She hopes that she seems an understanding nurse that students can appreciate and reflects on the evolution of her career.

“I hope that I am able to provide the kids with knowledge and education on how to care for themselves. I hope that I am somebody they feel comfortable coming to talk to at any time. I have been through every walk of nursing I think there is,” Gerald said.

While entitling as a school nurse requires attentiveness for appropriate pediatric care, Gerald’s perspective shifts while caring for her own children.

“I have noticed that family dynamics are not always the same. I know that there are some children who are challenged, so it makes me appreciate what I’ve done as a parent. It makes me want to do more for those children who don’t have what they need. It really does impact how I see them and how I treat them; I now understand my kids a lot better,” Gerald said.  

During this time of the year, students approach Gerald commonly for severe symptoms caused by a cold. To prevent the spread of these common illnesses, Nurse Gerald explains the key factor to keep from developing infections from various germs. Take her words for it and do not get sick this holiday season.

“The number one thing you can do to prevent getting sick is handwashing. I say it, I say it, and I will say it again a million times. Wash your hands. And please, cover your cough,” Gerald said.