Jenny Sauve

A Day in the Life of Jenny Sauve, BSN, RN

   May 11, 2022

   By: Teresa DuChateau

Jenny Sauve has been a registered nurse for the past 13 years and has worked as a school nurse for the School District of Spring Valley for the past four years. Jenny works part-time for the district, averaging 16-20 hours per week. She provides nursing services to a little over 700 students in a school building that houses the elementary, middle, and high school. She supervises a full-time health aide, a part-time health aide, and three secretaries who assist with providing health services when Jenny is not present in the schools.

Elementary student sitting on cot in nurses office

During Jenny's interview she shared that during COVID she wanted to be a peaceful presence for the students and staff. This peaceful and reassuring presence could be felt in Jenny's office.  A young student rests on the cot for a few minutes while Jenny keeps a watchful eye from her desk. 

Jenny's young visitor came to the health room a few times that morning. After assessing her to ensure that there was no reason she couldn't be in school, Jenny needed to have a chat with the student to let her know that it is time to stay in class. 

School nurse leaning over to speak with an elementary student
School nurse examining student's lower leg

Sometimes it is easier to come see the school nurse with a friend. Many times, students come to see the school nurse for minor complaints that can be managed in the health room and don't warrant further interventions. But each visit to the health room must be documented in the student's school health record. 
Jenny is fortunate to have a health aide in each of her buildings, one of which was hired during the pandemic to assist with all the extra work that Jenny was responsible for. Although Jenny was hired to work 16 hours a week, during the 2020-2021 school year and parts of the 2021-2022 school year she worked between 20-40 hours a week. In this photo Jenny checks in with the full-time health aide, Missy.

School nurse talks with high school health aide
Jenny states, "This photo represents communicating with my amazing health aide, Missy. We formed such a strong bond during this pandemic. So much of what I did that was unseen was communication.... with families and staff. We had to be on the same page every single day. She was an amazing part of the last two years and I hope she knows that all that she did matters."

A big part of a school nurse's job is reassuring students that they are going to be okay. Jenny assesses a student's minor injury and as Jenny states, "provide some TLC" and send the student back to class. 

School nurse assessing student injury
School nurse examining student's eyes with penlight

School nurses many times are evaluating student's health concerns that turn out to be minor and require no further evaluation. But they don't make that assumption without assessing the child to ensure there is not a more significant health concern that needs to be addressed. Jenny checks the pupils of a student who presented to the nurse's office with a headache after being hit in the head with a ball during physical education class. 

In addition to first aid, injury, and illness assessment, Jenny's days involve care coordination. An important aspect of school nursing is setting student goals related to the student's chronic health condition and creating a health plan that the school nurse and student refer to and reevaluate throughout the school year. The photos below highlight the collaboration between the school nurse and the student. One photo shows Jenny assisting with the student to calculate the number of carbohydrates in his lunch. The other photo shows the student adjusting his insulin pen to the correct dose. Jenny will continue to work with the student over the next several years to increase his knowledge and independence in managing his diabetes. 

Student nurse working with student to determine carbohydrate count in student lunch
Student adjusting insulin pen to correct insulin dose

School nurses strive to create meaningful relationships with students. When asked what the time during the pandemic had been like for her, one of the things Jenny said was, "I hope the community sees that we love their kids and that we are trying to do our best."

School nurse kneeling in front of elementary student talking with the student

Jenny shares, in this interview clip, that she wants the Spring Valley community to know that she is a resource and advocate for their children. 

Thoughts on project

For questions regarding A Day in the Life: A Photo Essay of the Wisconsin School Nurses and the COVID-19 Pandemic, please contact the Project Director, Teresa DuChateau, at