Nurses get new, modern office


Connor George

Showin’ off Certified School Nurses Renee Weidlich and Paula Dibert give a tour of their new facility. Dibert has been working with the school for 23 years, and Weidlich has worked at the school for four.

Connor George, Reporter

When the new B building was built, a new nurses’ office was built to accommodate the nurses. Most students have not been inside the office, and oftentimes wonder what’s actually inside. 

“The modern facilities. The facilities we have are definitely more modern than what we had in the past and work for us,” Certified School Nurse Paula Dibert said. 

According to the nurses, there are more benefits than just the new facility

“We’re together; we’re not separated because when we were separated, kids would go back and forth, or if I had lunch or she had lunch, we would have to physically close the office down,” Certified School Nurse Renee Weidlich said.

There have also been changes to the steps required to use the nurse’s office. 

“Procedure one is the teacher is to call down,” Dibert said. “That allows us to separate the kids and try to reduce transmission. Once the student comes in, they sign into the kiosk. You would sign in with your student ID number; then, there’s a whole list of complaints and you pick what’s wrong. We say one or two, you don’t need a whole litany of stuff. As soon as they sign in and they hit done, it comes up red on all of our computers. They just need to be patient, wait and someone will see them. We’re trying to get everybody seen as soon as possible.” 

The nurses have to separate students due to risk of COVID-19 infections.

“This area has to be considered clean or as sterile as possible; because if we bring a sick student in here and they have COVID-19, we have no open ventilation. We would have to physically clean this office down. We don’t have the supplies to physically clean. Also, we have kids coming in for diabetics and medicine; so when they’re coming in here, and they drop their masks for medicine, they need to be healthy. We don’t want to expose healthy children to sick kids,” Dibert said.

Some teachers have noticed that their calls go right to voicemail.

“If somebody’s on the phone, say we’re taking a call from another teacher, it will go directly to voicemail. That’s why we have the voicemail set up that they leave a message and as soon as we are off the phone we retrieve the messages,” Weidlich said.

Although some calls go right to voicemail, the nurses used to only have one phone.

“This used to be the only phone for teachers, COVID-19, anything,” Dibert said. “Our phones were so inundated with COVID-19, we couldn’t even get back to everybody and our voicemails would fill up. So what they did is we designated a COVID-19 line, so now, when a teacher calls, we’re trying to get back to them as soon as possible.”

Dibert has been a Registered Nurse (RN) since 1988, and has worked in the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit, Surgical Intensive Care Unit, Progressive Care Unit, Coronary Care Unit, Medical Intensive Care Unit, home care and respiratory, before becoming a Certified School Nurse for the high school in 1999.

Weidlich worked for the hospital in trauma, neurology and orthopedics, before working for the district at McAuliffe Heights, Juniata and Juniata Gap, before working at the high school in 2017. She has been an RN since 2007.