The Talon

She’s a keeper

Freedom lands a permanent nurse in Kati Karamanis.

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She’s a keeper

Nurse Katie on duty at Freedom High School.

Nurse Katie on duty at Freedom High School.

Ryan Brown

Nurse Katie on duty at Freedom High School.

Ryan Brown

Ryan Brown

Nurse Katie on duty at Freedom High School.

Ryan Brown, J3 Reporter

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Freedom High School has a new nurse this 2017-18 school year. Nurse Kati Karamanis arrived November 7, 2017, and is an experienced and dedicated individual. She plans on making the change in Freedom’s nurse program by becoming the solid source of health care that the school needs. Upon coming across nurse Karamanis, FHS had a revolving door of potential school nurses in and out, but not one would stick around.

“People think school nursing is so easy, that it’s where nurses go to retire…” stated nurse Kati. Since her arrival she has been working to make it feel like home and is building good relationships with students and staff members all around the school. Though the school is taking a liking to the new nurse, she admits that her job is quite difficult and at times can be very scary. “To be an effective school nurse you need strong assessment skills,” said nurse Kati. “You need to be able to walk into a room full of students, scan, then locate the problem and dissolve it very quickly.” Even with a full plate, she plans to give Freedom consistency, confidence, excellent care, and it doesn’t stop there. Kati Karamanis is a trained professional certified to work with and for students with special needs and she has become very popular among them in her short period here.

Not only is she an exceptional nurse, but she is also very intelligent. Nurse Kati holds two degrees, an Associate’s degree in Nursing from NOVA and a Bachelor’s degree majoring in International Studies and minoring in Political Science from George Mason University. She has always been interested in world health. Fifteen years ago, she began nursing in an emergency room  where she picked up most of her skills and built upon her profession. Six years ago she was recruited into the Prince William County School system. She began at schools like Coles Elementary and worked in preschools for children with special needs.

Before coming to Freedom High School however, she took a break for her family, so she could handle some things at home. Then she landed at FHS and hit the ground rolling, ready to go. Karamanis said, “I feel blessed by the opportunity to work in such a school,” a feeling she’s never had about a previous school.

Although Mrs. Karamanis loves her job and is falling in love with the school she represents, it was not always like this. At age 15 she was homeless, wasn’t attending high school regularly, she had no goals, and a mother who was rarely around to help her get through her days. In time she began taking classes at Northern Virginia Community College and then worked a dead-end job in Alexandria and realized she was going “nowhere fast,” and at this point it was time for a change. At age 29 She enrolled in NOVA’s nursing program and found directions, a path to get her life on track. By the age of 31 Karamanis had demonstrated overcoming some of the most relentless parts of life, and by age 33 she had a whole family, a husband and kids and was flourishing working in the E.R.

Finally, she had realized it wasn’t enough. She was making the money and enjoying herself while doing so but, she had a family. In an E.R. the hours are rigorous, you are needed all hours of the day to be on duty ready to save lives. There was no way to devote her desired time to her family and work her passion at the same time. She then relieved her position in the E.R. for family to be the mom she could be and with that she found herself still following her passion as a school nurse where she can enjoy her work and still be home in time for dinner and quality family time.

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