The Student Newspaper of Lakeside School

TATLER

The Student Newspaper of Lakeside School

TATLER

The Student Newspaper of Lakeside School

TATLER

A New Era of Care: Lakeside Hires First All-School Nurse

Ms.+Joy+in+her+office
Daniel W. ’25
Ms. Joy in her office

During my elementary and middle school years, visits to the nurse’s office were a near-weekly ritual, whether for a bloody nose or a scraped knee. So, upon entering Lakeside as a freshman, I was very surprised when I discovered Lakeside’s absence of a school nurse. 

For years, the school has operated without the presence of a school nurse, a common feature in Washington state’s public schools. While public institutions are mandated to have a licensed nurse on campus during operating hours, private schools like Lakeside have their own set of guidelines. This has often raised the question, “Why hasn’t Lakeside followed suit when it comes to school nurses?” The answer isn’t rooted in oversight, but in timing. Lakeside has long recognized the importance of a school nurse and, in a significant move reflecting its commitment to student health, has now made the strategic decision to hire one. 

Ms. Joy at her desk (Daniel W. ’25)

As of last May, Joy Irvin joined the Lakeside community as a nurse for both the Upper and Middle School.

As of last May, Joy Irvin joined the Lakeside community as a nurse for both the Upper and Middle School. With prior experience working in neonatal ICU and then clinical research at Seattle Children’s Hospital, Ms. Joy is excited to explore a new avenue of healthcare at Lakeside. She shares, “I first crossed paths with Lakeside through my involvement with COVID-swabbing. My brief encounters with students and staff were kind and welcoming, and although I never imagined myself working at a school, Lakeside’s warm-hearted community and strong commitment to improvement and innovation immediately drew me in.” Conventionally, school nurses operate out of a single office, tending to students who are injured or feeling unwell. Ms. Joy, however, will be taking on two responsibilities: working Mondays and Thursdays at the Upper School and Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at the Middle School. This development marks a new and exciting chapter in Lakeside’s approach to student health, fundamentally changing how Lakeside will respond to medicine administration and emergency aid. 

In addition to providing students with health guidance and suggestions, Ms. Joy will also develop new policies to better protect the health of everyone in the school community, including managing medications on campus, assisting students with asthma, addressing students with severe allergies, and preparing for school field trips. This can be as simple as providing students with allergen-free snacks, or as comprehensive as teaching students about nutrition through a class workshop. Ms. Joy also hopes to train faculty in CPR and other important life-saving skills that could be crucial in emergencies. Ms. Joy notes, however, that “building these robust health services will take time,” and she is starting by collaborating with other school nurses to better understand how successful health services can be tailored to Lakeside. Throughout these conversations, Ms. Joy has gained an appreciation for the massive scale of operations at public schools, while also understanding the benefits of smaller-scale initiatives, particularly in their flexibility. Considering health services both at the micro and macro level will give the new program an edge, making services relevant, responsive, and accessible. In a setting as diverse as Lakeside, recognizing the need for broad systemic change while also catering to the individual health needs of students is paramount.

In a setting as diverse as Lakeside, recognizing the need for broad systemic change, while also catering to the individual health needs of students, is paramount.

Lakeside staff, parents, and students are eager to see how these changes will impact daily life at school, from heightened awareness campaigns to tangible health resources readily available to all. There is a palpable energy around campus as discussions about potential collaborations, community outreach, and expansions are underway. “I’m incredibly excited to imagine what the next five years will bring for Lakeside and our evolving health services,” Ms. Joy comments. “It’s truly a joy to be part of the team that’s helping to shape this future. The opportunity to create something that makes a difference is both rewarding and fulfilling. The future holds so much promise, and I can’t wait to see the positive changes that will continue to unfold at Lakeside.”

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About the Contributors
Tatler’s resident writer and logic puzzle creator, Angelina P., has a knack for CRISPR-Cas9 technology, Spanish television, and Balanchine ballet. When she is not begging her classmates for IMAGO submissions, you can find her reading Agatha Christie murder mysteries on the upper floor of the library.
Daniel W. ‘25 is a photographer and new Tatlerite. Outside of photography, he enjoys playing chess, hiking, and reading sci-fi books. You can find him taking care of his fish, at ultimate frisbee games in the fall, Geocaching (250 finds!!), and noncommittally joining clubs at Clubs Fair.

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