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Stacy Hensley works as teacher, nurse

Teacher shares her story on her work life balance
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Kunan Anjum
Facing her students, health teacher Stacy Hensley lectures her students during their class. Hensley has balanced a dual occupation life until recently.

Many know Stacy Hensley for her work in the educational and medical fields. Working as both a teacher and registered nurse, Hensley persevered in both workspaces despite the many other obstacles in her day-to-day life. 

When first arriving in the nursing industry, Hensley decided to work in the Cancer Treatment Center and took on the roles of both leadership and responsibility as she worked there full-time. 

“[When I started] working in the medical field in 1997, I worked as an RN at the hospital and was in total care of my patients,” Hensley said. “I would usually just have one [patient] at a time and I would manage their care and make sure that they got the prescriptions that they needed.” 

Hensley’s job moved from the Cancer Treatment Center to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and consisted of several tasks that required her to be present and prepared at all times. 

“[I] made sure that [the patients] were referred to physicians when necessary,” Hensley said. “I also worked in in-home health, [along with] physical and occupational therapy; [however], most of my job was spent in the NICU. I would have anywhere from one to four patients who all required total care.” 

After several years in the business of nursing, Hensley decided to expand her expertise to a new frontier: education. 

“I originally started my job in education as a nursing teacher in 2008. I was working at the University of Arkansas, and I taught as a clinical instructor,” Hensley said. “[Later on] they hired me to be their clinical coordinator, and [eventually] their director of nursing programs. Around this time I was still working at the NICU [but] I had to cut back on my time working at the hospital because [this new position] required a lot of my time.” 

After a while of working at the college level, Hensley decided to move on and teach medical basics at the high school level during the 2022-23 school year. 

“[Once] I started working here at Texas High, I went back to working more in the NICU at the hospital,” Hensley said. “So I would pretty much work here at the school Monday through Friday and then I would go in sometimes after school and work [on the weekends as well] until 7 p.m. in the NICU.” 

As one can imagine, in working two labor-intensive jobs daily, Hensley’s home life continues to be hectic to manage.

The only thing I would do is probably try my best to spend more time with my family.

— Stacy Hensley

“My schedule at home is pretty crazy. I have four daughters, one of them is grown and has a child of her own and then the next oldest one is in college and then I have two at home still.” Hensley said. “I have to make sure that I cook supper and clean and wash clothes and all that stuff plus all these jobs that I’m doing, and it stays pretty hectic most of the time, but I do enjoy it. I think I thrive on staying busy.” 

Over the summer and into the beginning of the 2023-24 school year Hensley decided to partially let go of her position at the NICU and focus more on her teaching career at Texas High. 

“I did that for about a full year and then finally this summer decided to give that up and not do it as often,” Hensley said. “So I’m currently just working at Texas High but I believe over the Christmas break I will be filling in for some [of the nurses] in the NICU.” 

After cutting back her time from the NICU, Hensley found a manageable balance of work and home. 

“My family life is a lot more balanced and I’m able to spend more time with my kids at home, so that’s been nice,” Hensley said. “Also having the school schedule is nice because getting off at a decent time in the afternoon instead of working until seven or eight o’clock at night has been great.”

Though Hensley’s newfound balance has been great for her family and herself, Hensley did not always have the advantage of this.

“The only thing I would do is probably try my best to spend more time with my family because I know my older two kids, I missed a lot with them because I was working so much,” Hensley said. “My advice to anyone is just make sure you make time for your family because they’re what matters.” 

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About the Contributor
Kunan Anjum
Kunan Anjum, Staff writer
Kunan Anjum is a first-year staff writer for THS Publications. Apart from newspaper, he is involved in several other groups including Robotics Club and ASPIRE. Formerly a competitive tennis player for Texas High School, Anjum has moved on to other hobbies like hitting the gym, listening to music, and walking his dog. 

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