5 Questions with Dawn Fontana, RN
5 Questions with Dawn Fontana,RN, Director of Nursing
1. What are the main functions of your job as Director of Nursing at PGCS?
Much of what I do as the Director of Nursing involves leadership and guidance of the nursing staff. Personally, I do not perform as many hands-on tasks as the other nurses do, such as giving prescriptions, because my role is focused on spearheading the overall direction of the department. Our goal is to keep every child healthy and safe, and so much of what I do involves establishing and maintaining the standards that guide us and also, keep the department contemporary. This being said, my staff and I work very well as a team to accomplish our goals and we would be unsuccessful if we did not work together.
2. What part of your job are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the fact that, under my tenure, the nursing department has demonstrated that we have the ability and knowledge to keep all of the children here at PGCS healthy and safe. Within our department, we have the expertise to understand and respond to the medical issues that are presented in our students. Many of the students at our school are medically fragile and the challenges presented to the nursing staff are great. I am proud of the fact that we can address these issues effectively and ensure all of the students safety.
3. How would you describe the relationship that you have with the parents of our students?
One word: Strong. We, the parents and I, have understanding and empathy that builds rapport. There is a mutual respect that we have for each other. I understand the challenges that parents go through on a daily basis; and parents can do the same for me. For many years, parents have felt comfortable using me as a resource and confiding their questions and concerns in me. Overall, I would describe this relationship as a mutual respect and understanding.
4. How is the PGCS nursing department unique relative to other school’s nursing departments?
Nursing at a public school or a school for typical children has its own challenges due to the high ratio of students to nursing staff, but the population of PGCS is very different. Because our students at PGCS are very medically involved, the level of responsibility increases for our staff. This medically fragile condition of our students makes our nursing department unique from nursing departments in other schools.
5. After working at PGCS for over 26 years, what keeps you motivated and coming back to PGCS?
I am proud to be a part of this organization and this keeps me coming back. I am proud for two reasons. First, at this school, I have the opportunity to study and practice my specific interests within the medical field of pediatrics and neurology. Second, is the leadership of our organization. PGCS, as an organization, has very high standards of professionalism and is a shining example of how an organization should be run. These two aspects make me proud to work here and make it exciting for me to come back year after year.