A Minute with Mrs. Matus

Matus, LindaIn January of 1996 the Firelands Local School District began working with Mrs. Linda Matus, RN, BSN.  You may better know Mrs. Matus as one of our school nurses.

It took being a patient (while in the 4th grade) in Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati for 8 days for Mrs. Matus to realize that she wanted to work in the health field. She received her education from the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing and Health.  She started her career  in Columbus at OSU in ophthalmology and in OSU pharmacology department doing FDA drug studies for pharmaceutical companies. As time progressed, she choose to stay at home with her daughter, Lauren, and then continued her career at the FLSD.

 We have many students at FLSD that are interested in a career in the health field.  When asked, what advice would you give to students that wanted to go into nursing, her reply was:  “Get a solid foundation in science and math, read widely and strive for excellent communication skills – speaking, writing and listening.   The bachelor of science in nursing degree included liberal arts courses (English, history, sociology, psychology, statistics, physical education, etc.), and I find that I draw on them all – not just the strictly clinical care nursing courses”. 

What is a  typical day at FLSD  like for a School Nurse?  ” One never knows what will come through the door, but a typical day includes checking emergency medical and immunization records of new students, overseeing medication administration, writing health plans for students with chronic health conditions,  doing hearing and vision screenings, taking care of acute illnesses and injuries, contacting parents, ordering supplies, teaching about health, writing reports, consulting with staff, etc.   Our service population is kindergarten through retirement age, and we view our role as members of the educational team who remove non-academic barriers.  It is not unusual in the course of one day to take care of a 5-year-old with a fever of 102.2F, an adolescent struggling with social issues, an adult with hypertension  and everything in between.  And yes, we bandage skinned knees and do head lice checks, too.  By the way, I and the other nurse, Chris Osborne, are part-time employees of the Lorain General Health District.  Our services to the school district are contracted”.

What advice would you give to families:  “Parenting is a challenging journey.  If you want to do it well, you will often  feel you’re swimming upstream in our current culture and sometimes, your children will not like you.  It takes wisdom, maturity and unselfishness – be willing to grow.  Cherish the time with your children – as they say, the days are long, but the years are short.  And if you need help, in any way, there are tremendous resources.  Don’t be afraid to ask”.

Tell us about your family:  “I grew up in Cincinnati, the older of two sisters and the oldest grandchild on both sides of the family (of course, that was easy on my dad’s side as he was an only child).  Our parents are gone now, but my sister and I agree that to this day we are blessed by their legacy of a loving home.  I’ve been married to my wonderful husband, Paul, for soon-to-be 38 years.  We have one daughter, Lauren, who, when she was growing up, said she had no interest in ever being a teacher.  Today, she is a teacher at a regional campus of Miami University (Ohio) and loves it”.

For over 18 years Mrs. Matus has helped our students and staff on a daily basis. She has assisted children and adults in the worst of times offering dignity and compassion.  We appreciate her and we are thankful for all that she has done and that person that she is!