Kristi Torbenson Interview
1.Name and Title as you would like it presented:
Kristi Torbenson, RN/BSN
2.School name where you work:
I split my time between Las Sendas and Red Mountain Ranch Elementary Schools in Mesa.
3.How long have you been a school nurse?
I have been a school nurse for the past 15 years, starting when my youngest went to kindergarten. He’s a college student now!
4.Nurses have a lot of options when deciding where to work. How did you choose to work for a local school and what has kept you in school nursing so many years?
Having 3 children, and a husband with a very hectic schedule, it was hard to find a nursing job that fit our family’s lifestyle. A friend of mine told me about an opening at our local elementary school, and it seemed like the perfect fit. I have been able to continue my nursing career, while being involved in all my kids’ activities. Now that my kids are grown, I still cannot imagine leaving school nursing because I adore the students and staff that I work with.
5.What motivates you to make a difference for your students and community?
I have always been passionate about making a difference in people’s lives, which is one of the reasons I chose nursing as a career. The wonderful relationships I have created with students and staff keep me motivated to continue serving our school community.
6.What is one thing you’d like the community to know about school nurses?
There is so much more to school nursing than just putting Band-Aids on children. The focus of a school nurse is making sure that every student has what they need to learn and learn well, which often includes managing health conditions such as asthma or diabetes. School nurses care for acute and chronically ill students and develop care plans that may include medicine or procedures. We administer screenings for vision and hearing. School nurses must be ready to attend to first aid or emergency care at a moment’s notice for students and staff. We coordinate, verify, and document all state and district mandated student screenings and immunizations. Education is also an important part of our job. We train staff on emergency medication delivery, as well as educate students on several health principles. School nurses are responsible for helping our entire school population stay healthy, and we take immense pride in our job!