NHS nurse hon­ored

Economos named dis­trict nurse of the year

Newark Post - - FRONT PAGE - By JES­SICA IAN­NETTA jian­netta@ches­pub.com

In her roughly two-decade ca­reer with the Christina School Dis­trict, Newark High School nurse Lori Economos has turned down the nom­i­na­tion for CSD nurse of the year sev­eral times.

So this time around, ad­min­is­tra­tors kept the nom­i­na­tion process a se­cret un­til they showed up in Economos’ of­fice to an­nounce she had won the award. While Economos ap­pre­ci­ates the recog­ni­tion, she’s also not a fan of be­ing in the spot­light.

“I don’t like at­ten­tion,” Economos said. “We do what we do be­cause we like be­ing nurses and most of us are pretty un­com­fort­able with the at­ten­tion piece.”

Economos, who holds a bach­e­lor’s de­gree, mas­ter’s de­gree and Fam­ily Nurse Prac­ti­tioner Li­cense from Wilm­ing­ton Univer­sity, started her ca­reer with the dis­trict in 1998. At first she worked part-time, which Economos said was the per­fect fit for her while her kids were young. But even­tu­ally, the pop­u­la­tion at Newark High got big­ger and Economos ac­cepted a full-time po­si­tion there, a job she’s now held for the past 16 years.

But while she’s been a school nurse for a long time, Economos’ fa­vorite part about the job is that she never gets bored. De­spite her years of ex­pe­ri­ence, she still sees things she’s never seen be­fore, not­ing “in the med­i­cal field, there are al­ways firsts.”

Economos also en­joys the daily in­ter­ac­tions she has with high school stu­dents.

“I like work­ing with ado­les­cents,” she said. “They have a good sense of hu­mor and you can joke with them but yet they know if you’re se­ri­ous and you need them to do some­thing.”

Some­times many stu­dents don’t need med­i­cal help so much as they need some­one to tell them that every­thing is go­ing to be OK and that they don’t have a se­ri­ous ill­ness, she said. In the age of so­cial me­dia and We­bMD, Economos often finds her­self as­sur­ing stu­dents who are overly anx­ious or wor­ried about a sit­u­a­tion.

But that’s not to say that Economos doesn’t also deal with some very se­ri­ous med­i­cal is­sues as a school nurse. In 2012, Economos got a call that a girl had col­lapsed in a class­room with what the teacher thought was a seizure.

“I started run­ning with my bag, the whole time think­ing, ‘Don’t get too winded be­fore you get there be­cause you need your breath to speak,’” she re­called. “And then when I walked in the room and saw her, it was ob­vi­ous that her heart had stopped and she wasn’t mov­ing.”

Economos im­me­di­ately started CPR and was able to re­vive the stu­dent. Two weeks later, she got to see the stu­dent walk at her high school grad­u­a­tion.

“That doesn’t hap­pen to most nurses in school nurs­ing. But it was a great out­come for her and great at­ten­tion for school nurs­ing in gen­eral,” she said. “It was def­i­nitely one of the high­lights of my ca­reer for sure.”

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF CSD

Newark High School nurse Lori Economos poses with ad­min­is­tra­tors af­ter be­ing named the dis­trict nurse of the year.

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