New nurse notes school’s family atmosphere

Jennings-Sood: “I love getting to know students”


Grace Kowalevsky

Nurse Mrs. Courtney Jennings-Sood works at her computer in her office on the first floor of Kelly Hall.

Caroline Buhner, Reporter

As students may have noticed that over the summer many changes were made to improve the campus. When the well respected nurse, Mrs. Susan Mourouzis, left because of the new partnership with Community Health, some students may have been unsure about who would replace her. 

But after meeting with the new nurse, Mrs. Courtney Jennings-Sood, it seems evident that the school has selected another highly qualified person for the job. Jennings-Sood had no relation to the school when she applied for the open position, but she said she wanted to work in a school setting. 

She said that when she started she had no idea how special the school is. She said, “I don’t really have anything to compare it to, but even being here for a short time, I can see that really it is a family and I love the diversity and how it is promoted and supported with exchange students and assemblies.” 

This is Jennings-Sood’s first year working with the Community Health Network, which differs from her old job as an oncology nurse at the IU Simon Cancer Center. She said she decided to switch to being a school nurse to try something different and so she could have better hours and breaks to spend time with her kids, Anika, who is in seventh grade, and Niki, who is in third grade, both at Heritage Christian School. Being here 30 minutes before students arrive 

and leaving 30 minutes after school ends, Jennings-Sood gets more time to spend with her children. 

She has made several improvements. One of those includes a new location, as the nurse’s office was previously in the Shiel Student Life Center and now it is outside the auxiliary gym. Jennings-Sood said she thinks the new location works because she believes it is more centrally placed for students. Principal Mr. Dave Worland agrees. He said, “The new nurse’s office is a positive change, as the old location was not a quiet place and students could not rest easily if needed.”

While the office might be easier to locate, the nurse is no longer allowed to provide over-the-counter medication such as cough drops, Tylenol and Ibuprofen. She said that this is a Community Health Network decision to avoid student liability issues.

Since Jennings-Sood cannot give any medication other than to students who take a prescription daily, some students may wonder why she is even here. Jennings-Sood is on campus that in case of an emergency or for any situation in which she might be needed. Cases that frequently lead students to go into her office include ankle breaks or wrist breaks, mouth injuries and concussions. She also said that her office is seen as a quiet place for those students with concussions who are in need of a resting place. 

It is also a place for Type 1 diabetics to come in and get a snack if needed or give themselves insulin. A diabetic must monitor his or her blood sugar constantly and give insulin by shot or a pump for what they eat since their pancreas does not automatically deliver insulin to them.

Sophomore and Type 1 diabetic Camille Holtrey, who is a somewhat frequent visitor to the nurse, said that it doesn’t feel like a nurse’s office. She said, “I like going in there because she always brightens my day and helps me with whatever I might need. She is a great addition to Cathedral and I hope she is enjoying it as much as we enjoy her.”

Community Health also requires each school nurse in its program to have an emergency bag that contains a stethoscope, pulse oximeter, EpiPens, ice packs, emergency tourniquet, glucagon and Narcan. In simpler terms a pulse oximeter is a device that measures the oxygen in the blood and pulse, glucagon is an emergency pen for Type 1 diabetics, and Narcan is for a drug overdose. These items are all required by Community and has nothing to do with the school’s requirements, she noted.

Now that Jennings-Sood has worked here for a semester, she said, “I love it. It is so fun to hear all that goes on and help kids. I love the school atmosphere and encouraging students to learn about medicine and medical conditions that students have.” 

She said that this high school seems different from others, although this is her first year in a school setting. But she said, “You can see and feel how it truly is a family and how everyone is there for each other.” 

Worland said, “Nurse Jennings has transitioned well into Cathedral and is doing a great job caring for our students.” Jennings-Sood said she tries to attend school Masses and assemblies to get involved but it can be difficult because students may come in during that time if they are not feeling well. 

Jennings-Sood said, “I am so thankful for everyone making me feel so welcome and letting me prove that I am capable of doing this job. I hope students will come and visit me, even if there is no medical issue, because I love getting to know students.”