The care provided by teachers and staff is essential to creating an environment where students flourish. The School Nurse, Ms Eboney Franklyn or ‘Nurse Eb’, and this year’s Gap Year Assistant, Ms Amy Chambers do a fantastic job in looking after the needs of students who are feeling unwell.
Ms Franklyn started working at the School in January 2022 when the Health Centre was located in the Eric Speed Early Childhood Centre. This year, the Centre relocated to a newly renovated unit near Boarding.
“We wanted to situate the clinic closer to Secondary School, because we found that their needs required more time in the Health Centre, and I wanted to be closer to staff and be more involved to support them. They have done a great job, making it warm and inviting as much as a health center can be, and we definitely do not want the students asleep during the day, but they do feel comfortable here,” she explained.
The job is demanding, and no day is the same, “The door gets opened and the kids just come. The day can include anything from students with a headache and stomach pain, to broken bones and anaphylaxis. Some days will either be slow and others busy, and you never know what to expect,” she said. “Amongst all that, we run a school-based immunisation program for Years 7-10 and our School staff receive health and skin checks. Before Flu Season staff and boarders can have their flu vaccinations done”, stated Ms Franklyn.
At the School, the overall health of students is of highest priority. Ms Franklyn works closely with the Wellbeing Team to provide students with the support they need, “Mental Health is something we work hard to maintain and keep ahead of. Luckily, I feel like it goes back to that warm environment which the clinic provides, where kids are comfortable to come and talk about their problems and express how they are feeling. School can be overwhelming with what is required, and the Health Centre becomes a step away from school where we focus on their health and not their schoolwork.”
This year, Gap Year Assistant, Ms Amy Chambers has been supporting Ms Franklyn at the clinic. Ms Chambers used to major in health and medicine during high school and has spent many hours performing first aid at rugby games and helping paramedics. “Working with Ms Franklyn at the Health Centre, I have mostly been strapping fingers, bandaging scratches and getting out Panadol, but it has been a real experience so far,” she said.
“Amy is a godsend! When she came along, it was amazing to have someone who is just as passionate about the kids, and she relates well to them. She is also knowledgeable, which is handy when things go wrong. The School is very lucky to have a nurse here from Monday to Friday and if I am not here, Amy is a qualified staff member to be here and help the kids.” stated Ms Franklyn.
Ms Franklyn spends her mornings tending to the medical and wellbeing of boarders, “For our Boarding students, School is their home, and I want them to be able to come to me with needs and have them met. My day starts with breakfast in the morning in Boarding, where I tend to any of the boarders needs if they need any medical care. Then I go back to my office for the school day to begin,” said Ms Franklyn.