CCSD nurse Ellen Quinton loves helping students

Published 8:30 am Saturday, September 2, 2023

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Registered nurse Ellen Quinton has worked in the hospital setting, hospice care and a physician’s office. After 30 years of nursing, Quinton said she has found no better place to work than Chambers County schools.

“I don’t think I’ve ever worked at a place that I enjoyed more than I do here,” she said.

Quinton, born and raised in Valley, has worked at the Chambers County School District for four years. No matter the setting, Quinton said she has enjoyed meeting people from all walks of life and meeting their needs.

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“It’s not all about what I’m doing. It’s about what they’re going through, what their needs are,” Quinton said.

Not many employees can say honestly that their boss cares, but Quinton said she can. Lead Nurse Carla Anthony, and Nurse Loretta Cofield before her, are always quick to give advice, answer questions or come by the school if need be.

“They won’t ask you to do anything they’re not willing to do,” she said.

Quinton has also enjoyed working with her fellow nurses at Chambers County Schools. They have created a network of communication and support between them.

“Every day I go home feeling blessed that I got to meet all of them and be with them,” she said.

Over the years, nursing has seen many changes. For one thing, Quinton said when she was in school, there was no school nurse.

“It’s changed a lot, but it’s all for the better,” she said.

Quinton said the school nurses often go on field trips with students during the year. Quinton said she has enjoyed getting to be a part of field trips.

“Once in a while to put them outside in a real environment, it excites the kids,” Quinton said. “But they also are mesmerized by the things they learn out there. That was all fascinating to me.”

Last year, Quinton accompanied a student on a field trip to West Point Lake to go on a “floating classroom” trip. Students ride on a boat through the water and learn how to test water temperature and alkaline levels.

Quinton said the field trip was an exciting way for the students to learn about science outside of the classroom.

“They kind of learn in life lessons out there more than just reading it in a book,” she said.

Another way that school nursing has evolved is that there has been a stronger focus on patient concern and safety, according to Quinton.

School nurses have to build trust so that students feel comfortable to share what’s going on.

“Sometimes when they get comfortable, they will come in and talk to you and tell you things that might help you understand what’s going on with them,” she said.

Quinton serves as the substitute nurse at CCSD. She visits each school as needed and gets to know all the children in the district. She said getting to know the children has been a rewarding experience.

Quinton said she has always tried to end every day by doing the best that she can because it’s what she would want done for her.

“Some people think that nurses are always giving, giving, giving, but we receive so much too,” Quinton said.