Healing the school

Get to know the school nurse for School Nurse Appreciation Day


Hannah Mathew

Nurse Cissy Khan (right) and assistant nurse Amy Sanchez look through information in Khan’s office on April 25. Khan has been working as a nurse for about 18 years.

Cissy Khan started off her working career trying to get into business. She started by getting a bachelor’s degree in business from Southern Arkansas University, only to be pulled into a field she didn’t enjoy. That was until one day, she shifted into school for a passion buried deep inside her — nursing.

“I’ve just always enjoyed science, biology and being in hospitals,” Khan said. “Being in the medical field has always been interesting to me. I think I’ve always been interested in medicine. It wasn’t really an opportunity that I could have coming out of high school, so I didn’t [get] to explore it at the time.”

Khan began working as a nurse in the ICU at Children’s Medical Center directly after finishing nursing school. She eventually got into school nursing because it was better for her schedule. Regardless, Khan said it gave her insight on how she wanted to impact students.

“One of my goals [has been] to get [students] to know that when you’re at the next phase of your journey, you’re able to know what a fever is, take your temperature and know when you need to stay home from work or school and be away from other people,” Khan said. “I want [students] to [leave] with some information and skills about medicine that’s very inexpensive and easy to get — things so that you can manage what’s going on in your life to the best that [you] can.”

Assistant nurse Amy Sanchez has been working as a school nurse assistant for two years, both at Hebron. Sanchez said Khan has had a positive impact on her experience.

“Working with [nurse Khan] has been really great,” Sanchez said. “I’ve really enjoyed coming to work every day and getting to know the students with her. It’s really been a good experience overall.”

Students often come to the nurse’s office for medications and help throughout the day. Sophomore Aurora Wilson, who visits the nurse’s office regularly, has had positive experiences with Khan.

“[Nurse Khan] has always been really welcome and accommodating,” Wilson said. “Whenever I go to the [clinic], I feel welcomed and that the staff care about my well-being and helping me.”

Khan has gone through a whirl of a career, but has always been open to understanding and pursuing her interests to find a career that made her feel fulfilled.

“[Being a school nurse,] there are a lot of unexpected scenarios that you come upon all the time,” Khan said. “Some people simplify it down to ‘oh you put on Band-Aids,’ but we do a lot [more than that]. Almost all school nurses, especially in this district, do lots and lots of education. [It’s a lot] of working with, not just someone who might come in here not feeling well, but their families. Finding a way to help [people in this way] has become something I really enjoy about this job.”