Keeping Us Safe

Keeping Us Safe

Pictured above:
Back: Administrative Assistant Lauren Bilecky, Kathy Castro RN, Administrative Assistant Katie Reeves, Don Lamp RN, Emily White RN

Front: Lorraine Evans RN, Sarah Klitzke RN, Administrative Assistant Jennifer Lozano
Missing: Theresa Venturini RN, Malissa Biber, LVN

The professionals of the Idyllwild Arts Health Center are crucial to the meticulous Idyllwild Arts safety plan. But they’re so busy keeping students and employees healthy that any one of them would have struggled to find a free half-hour, the time usually needed for a newsletter interview.

Instead, Health Center Director Don Lamp and his staff looked for odd moments over a period of a couple of weeks to write out their answers to the newsletter’s questions. A selection of their answers follows below.

The people living and working on campus miss seeing the faces of our Health Center staff, but weekly testing for the coronavirus gives us plenty of chances to hear their reassuring voices. We’re grateful for their essential work and pleased to give them this forum to make those voices heard.

Don Lamp RN:

What did you want to be before you became a nurse? 
In turns, an English teacher, a minister, a clinical psychologist, a vagabond poet like Jack Kerouac. My dad was a physician, and my mom was a nurse. I knew I didn’t want to be a doctor, because my dad was always at the hospital and I wanted more of a family life.

What do you like least about being a nurse?
Dealing with all the health fads and fables so pervasive these days. There is so much distrust in authority figures; good science is not honored as it once was.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in implementing the Idyllwild Arts plan for dealing with the pandemic?
The wide spectrum of public opinion from “On no, the world is ending, I need to hide in my house!” to “It’s all fake news, forget about it!” I am very proud of the COVID protocols we have put in place as a boarding school. I believe we are demonstrating best practices. 

Theresa Venturini RN

What did you want to be before you became a nurse? 
I originally wanted to be a conservation biologist.

What do you like most about being a nurse?
I like connecting with and serving others in a meaningful way. Nursing is all about just that.

What do you like least about being a nurse? 
What I like least about nursing is the occasional feeling of helplessness on meeting people who are seemingly unwilling or unable to change unhealthy and unhappy patterns that are making them sick.

What’s the biggest challenge involved in serving a community of teenagers? 
The biggest challenge with teenagers is helping them to understand how precious they are; how blessed they are, and how difficult moments pass, challenges are overcome.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in implementing the Idyllwild Arts plan for dealing with the pandemic?
The most difficult part of implementing IAA’s pandemic plan is watching the kids struggle with the unnatural distance they must maintain and knowing that some are very lonely as a result.

Malissa Biber LVN:

What did you want to be before you became a nurse? 
Being a nurse is all I have ever wanted to do.

Why did you become a nurse? 
I like to help people.

What do you like most about being a nurse?
When I learn something new about the body and its processes.

What’s the biggest challenge involved in serving a community of teenagers? 
Teens do not like to listen to those of us who actually know things. Some are risk takers and believe they are invincible.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in implementing the Idyllwild Arts plan for dealing with the pandemic?
I am a person who likes to hug. Some of these students want to come for a hug and we have not been able to do that until recently (so glad we can offer therapeutic hugs now). It also makes things more difficult, when you can’t see the expression on one’s face that gives a lot of information. Having to wear a mask takes that away.

Sarah Klitzke RN

Why did you become a nurse? 
I decided to go into nursing while studying elementary education and working in a tech theater for the musical, Quilt, a Musical Celebration, about people who had died from AIDS. It sealed my desire for serving those who are suffering from illness and injury.

What do you like least about being a nurse? 
People assume that because you are a healthcare worker, you know about every medicine or disease. Also, dislocated bones freak me out. I can deal with them, but I don’t like it!

What’s the biggest challenge involved in serving a community of teenagers? 
It’s hard to see teens make the same mistakes that I made at that age without trying to correct them and let them learn consequences and hard lessons.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in implementing the Idyllwild Arts plan for dealing with the pandemic?
I miss therapeutic touch and facial expressions. I miss giving people a hug when they need it and I miss smiles.

Emily White RN:

What did you want to be before you became a nurse? 
I always wanted to be a mother, and decided that nursing was the career that most utilized the caring and nurturing of motherhood and it would allow me the freedom to work and still raise my children.

Why did you become a nurse? 
It was a way to care for people and use my gifts of organization, and love for science.

What do you like most about being a nurse?
Helping people that are hurting and the frequent chance to teach them about their health.

What do you like least about being a nurse?
Not all health problems can be healed. 

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in implementing the Idyllwild Arts plan for dealing with the pandemic?
The separation of people by space (six feet) and wearing masks ignores our nature as social beings and has made us view others as disease vectors first, people second.

Lorraine Evans RN:

What did you want to be before you became a nurse?
I wanted to be a pilot. My dad flew as a hobby; he was my influence. I even had a private lesson with an instructor.

Why did you become a nurse? 
I wanted to work with people and not sit behind a desk all day.

What do you like most about being a nurse?
Helping people.

What do you like least about being a nurse? 
When my professional opinion is not respected.

What’s the biggest challenge involved in serving a community of teenagers? 
They’re teens! They often think they know best. 

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in implementing the Idyllwild Arts plan for dealing with the pandemic?
I don’t like masks. . . it’s difficult to read expressions.

How has the pandemic changed your feelings about being a nurse and about the place of nurses in society?
It has not changed my feelings. Healthcare workers are wonderful and more important to society than ever before.    

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