78 Photo Essay: Kristy Cox

Nurse serves alma mater well even without the ruby red slippers

Words by Lindsay Brewer|Image by Blakeney Clouse

“There’s no place like home.” Five words uttered by Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz that encompass the workplace environment for Cordova school nurse Kristy Cox. “Working at my alma mater feels like home to me,” Kristy shares. “Cordova is a very close community. Being here has brought back a ton of good memories.”

Taking a moment to recall her own days as a Blue Devil student, Kristy recalls a plethora of extracurricular school activities from softball and powderpuff football to being the first ninth grade homecoming queen and the drum major. Her Cordova pride runs deep, which enhances her current role as school nurse, a position she has served in for the last three years. 

While she shares responsibilities with another school nurse, she does rotate between Cordova Elementary, Bankhead Middle, and Cordova High Schools. The majority of her role is caring for students with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, and food allergies. She monitors these students and administers the medication they need during the day.

The scope of Kristy’s job is much larger than what she learned in nursing school. The Bevill State Community College graduate relishes the relationships she builds as a school nurse that she might not cultivate in other nursing environments. “For me, I’m a relationship person so I love being able to form a bond and have a relationship and know what’s going on in the kids’ lives on a daily basis,” Kristy shares. 

In such a close-knit community, Kristy has found that she is better able to care for students who come to her when she knows what is going on with them outside of school. Sometimes students visit her office when they need a listening ear or a little extra love. “These students are my kids at work,” Kristy says. “I love them, and I’m going to treat them just like they’re my own kids. When they’re sick or hurt, it hurts me. Even when they’re not sick, I love seeing them do good things, like our cheerleaders going to nationals. I’m proud and happy for them anytime they do something good or accomplish something. I wish them well in all that they do.”

For Kristy Cox, being a school nurse is so much more than administering medication, keeping up with immunization records, organizing vision and scoliosis screenings, and checking health information forms. Serving at her alma mater allows her to invest in the community she loves—the one she calls home. For her, serving as a Cordova school nurse proves Dorothy was right. There really is no place like home. 78

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