Community Warriors in Safety and Love
Egypt Middleton is the mom of a diabetic child. She’s also a community health nurse with Children’s School Services. When a diabetic third grader at Leckie Education Campus in Anacostia needed to replace a broken insulin pen, Egypt helped.
“As a school nurse, it’s not in my job description to package up a medical device and drive it to the post office so the company will replace it, but my work is all about helping families,” Egypt says. “I see this child and his mother every day. She’s working, doesn’t have a car and has other children to care for. I took this burden off her not because it’s my job, but because it was important.”
Egypt sees as many as 50 patients each school day. She soothes sick kids and administers prescriptions for ADHD and asthma. She flushes out one child’s G-tube every day at lunchtime and sets up her feedings throughout the school day. She tends to recess-related bumps and scrapes and looks out for signs of emotional trauma. Recently she led a crisis intervention when a seizure left a fourth grader unconscious.
Egypt is one of 24 school nurses and health techs from Children’s National Hospital who work in Washington, D.C.’s Ward 8. The area is east of the Anacostia River and one of the city’s poorest areas. This team of intrepid nurses refers to themselves as the “Ward 8 Warriors.”
“Nursing is all about service,” says Egypt, who grew up in the same area. “In this community, we are warriors. Our defense is compassionate care, kindness and love. It can change a child’s life.”