Ratliff joins staff

Jacob Wyatt, Staff

Nicole Ratliff is a new nursing teacher at PHS, as well as at Emerald Ridge High School. She went to Clover Park Technical Institute for nursing and has been a nurse for 27 years and a teacher for five years. Ratliff has taken breaks in between to go back to assisted living.

Ratliff  explained that her course helps students gain an advantage in the field, potentially helping with life after high school.  

“It’s for nursing assistants when they graduate [high school] and take the state exam. They will be able to work in any hospital setting or nursing home and take care of patients help do basic care: check their vital signs, help them, feed, help transfer them from bed to wheelchair — basic care,” Ratliff said.

The work you need to do in this class is not easy Ratliff says.

“It is a lot of book work. You have to learn body mechanics, social needs and use hands-on skill with mannequins,” Ratliff said.

According to Ratliff, her start into teaching was not ordinary, as she was a nurse before a teacher.

“[Teaching] wasn’t planned. I saw an ad for a teacher with no teaching experience but needed nursing experience, went to an interview and got the job in 2011,” Ratliff said.

According to Ratliff, she likes her unordinary schedule, starting at ERHS for periods one, through three and then coming to PHS to finish out her day.

“It’s [her schedule]pretty good, as it breaks the day up: a group of students at ER, a group of students at PHS,” Ratliff said.

If you are interested in taking this course Ratliff says there is more than just getting paid in this profession.

“Make sure your heart is into caregiving. You do not want not go into it for a paycheck; you are going to be caring for vulnerable people who are going to look to you for needs to be met,” Ratliff said.

Ratliff says she plans to stay in the Puyallup School District as long as they’ll keep her and she hopes that will be for a while.