Did you know that nurses are available to support the health and welfare of our clients while they are on our campuses to participate in our client programs? “GDB is one of the few guide dog schools that has nurses on staff seven days a week until 9 p.m.,” says California Nurse Supervisor Andrea Ferrance. “Our clients’ ability to learn and absorb information is connected to their comfort, safety, and health. Having that nursing support can ultimately contribute to each client’s success.”
Nurse Manager Debbie Knapp has worked for GDB for more than 20 years and oversees the nursing staff on the Oregon campus. “We interview every client before they come to our campus for training to ensure we can meet their physical, emotional, and dietary needs,” says Debbie. “We also work with our chef, instructors, and other staff to make sure everyone is aware of any food allergies or health concerns the client may have.“
In general, GDB nurses support and assist clients that range in age from teens to seniors. “That age span covers a lot of time and aging,” says Debbie, noting that nurses provide clients with first aid, emotional support, and everything in between. “We’re vigilant and stay on top of everything.
A simple blister on someone’s foot could turn into a wound if not treated properly and end up being a deal breaker for their training.” Most recently, Debbie cited an example of a client who became ill with the flu while in class. “We were able to treat him, and working with his instructor team, able to give him ample rest to recover, and ultimately he was able to return home with his new guide dog,” says Debbie. “He was so appreciative. This is why I do my job.”
To join our Nursing Staff or for more career opportunities at Guide Dogs for the Blind, visit our Careers Page today.