Stacey Storm, Cluster Nurse, Marriotts Ridge High School
Posted: January 9th, 2018
Marriotts Ridge High School Cluster Nurse Stacey Storm takes care of students and staff inside and outside the health room.
After working as a nurse in the emergency department of the Carroll Hospital Center in Westminster for 10 years, Storm was looking for a change of pace and a respite from the long hours in a high stress environment. She also wanted the continuity of care a school position could provide. “ER patients come in and we’d send them on their way. There was very little follow through,” she explains.
While at Carroll Hospital, she was part of ENCare (Emergency Nurses Care), a program in which emergency room nurses would visit schools to talk to students about drug and alcohol use. “That began my connection to schools. I knew then that was where I wanted to go.”
Storm has been a school nurse for seven years. She began with HCPSS as a float nurse, then cluster nurse for Swansfield Elementary School and Harper’s Choice Middle School, which she did for two years. When a position opened at Marriotts Ridge, Storm jumped at the chance to work a little closer to home.
She’s glad she did, “I just love being at Marriotts Ridge. It’s such a wonderful community, the people and what we do for each other.”
Storm has been a National Certified School Nurse since 2015. She is one of only 10 nurses in the county and 59 in the state who are nationally certified as a school nurse. To earn the certification (Storm’s specialization is in community health), nurses must have a bachelor’s degree and work a specific number of hours as a school nurse. Candidates must pass an exam and maintain continuing education credits to continue the certification. Storm sought the certification so she “could provide a better level of care to our students and staff.”
Storm even helped one of her colleagues become certified. “I like being a mentor. I was one in the emergency department. I enjoy teaching and being with others and helping them grow,” she says.
Another role is helping to train and certify school health assistants for the school system. There are approximately 63 health assistants in the county. They must meet certain requirements to maintain their licensure. As the lead medication technician nurse, Storm offers classes, keeps track of progress, and helps the health assistants get through the process.
“I have grown immensely under her leadership and training and thoroughly enjoy working with her,” says Marriotts Ridge High School Health Assistant Dorothy Keehner. “She is the epitome of what a nurse should be.”
Storm and other Health Services staff provide training to all school staff. Every year, school nurses train staff in the use of an epinephrine injection (EpiPen), as well as Naloxone (Narcan) to treat opiate overdoses. All HCPSS school nurses are instructor certified in CPR and first aid. Storm encourages all school staff to participate in that training as well. Working with staff and their varied schedules, Storm has trained almost 30 Marriotts Ridge staff members in CPR and/or first aid. “I try to be creative with scheduling to make it more available for staff. Some of the teachers are coaches as well, so it is required.”
“Stacey does our CMT renewal class and is always looking for opportunities to teach. She recently developed a diabetic education class for our health assistants,” says Health Services Specialist Maureen Mehrtens “Stacey is an amazing young woman.”
Storm doesn’t only instruct staff. Student instruction doesn’t end in the classroom, and sometimes she is an unofficial teacher to students. “There are always opportunities for education in the health room, like honing in on good nutrition or managing chronic health conditions. There are opportunities to talk to students about making the right decisions about their lifestyle,” explains Storm.
The Health Services team’s first priority is the students’ health and safety. Storm advocates and consults regarding any medical related concern that may arise for a student. She works with school staff and the Student Services Team to provide resources and supports for students during a time of medical need. “The Student Services team here is wonderful. We collaborate regularly.”
“Stacey has always gone above and beyond to help out in times of need and has offered guidance, support and leadership whenever asked. She always seems to go above and beyond her job duties, reaching out for teaching opportunities whenever possible,” describes Swansfield Elementary School Cluster Nurse Doris Qano.
“I just care about people. I enjoy doing the right thing and lending a hand. I always put students first and try to get them what they need. I’m really an advocate for them,” says Storm. “I’ve always loved being a nurse and really enjoy being in Howard County and being an active part of Health Services at Marriotts Ridge.”