In only her third year with the Milford School District, Morris Early Childhood Center school nurse Lisa Fitler has been named Nurse of the Year for the district, which encompasses seven schools. Acting as a floating nurse between Milford schools three years ago, Lisa was asked to join the team at Morris in 2011.
Lisa is a graduate of Beebe School of Nursing in Lewes, Delaware with years of experience in a variety of nursing facilities including Milford Memorial Hospital, Beebe Medical Center and Johns Hopkins. She has earned a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in Nursing from Wilmington University and is currently licensed as a registered nurse with the Delaware Board of Nursing. Lisa is also licensed by the Delaware Department of Education as a School Nurse. Fitler has served as a nursing instructor at Beebe School of Nursing and has spent several years working as an emergency department nurse.
In addition to taking care of stomach aches, cuts and bruises, Lisa believes it is her responsibility to teach students how to prevent sickness and make decisions to improve overall health. Since Morris Early Childhood Center students are in prekindergarten and kindergarten, Mrs. Fitler is for many children their first interaction will a health professional at a personal level.
“I always try to teach them how to take care of themselves and give them the resources they need to do so,” commented Fitler. “A big part of my job at this age is teaching them about washing their hands to prevent the spread of germs, what to do when they get a scrape or bruise and developing healthy eating habits.”
A parent of a third grader and soon to be kindergartener, Mrs. Fitzler believes that her life at home allows her to connect better with her students and their parents at Morris. She continually sends out newsletters to families, offering simple health advice including ways for families to eat healthier and helpful ways to have children take their medicine.
“My role as a mother makes my job easier because I can relate to both the child and the parents,” commented Fitler. “When I help the kids at school and make recommendations for home I am able to understand where the parents are coming from and how they feel.”
As students leave the Morris Early Childhood Center for the elementary schools, Lisa hopes that they will bring with them the lessons that she works to establish within every child. She encourages them to “learn the necessities of life, not to be afraid of nurses and medical professionals and how to take care for themselves everyday.”
“At this level you are not just a nurse,” stated Mrs. Fitler. “You are a mom, clothing provider, nutrition consultant, seamstress, eyewear repairman and the list goes on.”