In a school year like none other, the work of B-P’s team of school nurses has been essential to keeping school open and safe for the students and staff at Broadalbin-Perth Central School District. Led by Lori Nellis (RN) at the senior high school, the team also consists of Jordan Lindquist (RN) at the junior high school and Chrissie Yatzor (RN) and Amy Soler (LPN) at B-P Elementary School.
Nellis also serves as the district’s COVID-19 health coordinator, which means that everyone on the nursing team chips in to monitor COVID-19 cases and quarantine requirements for all students and district employees, interpret and implement health and safety protocols from the local health department, New York state and the CDC; and report all necessary COVID-19 stats to county and state officials — in addition to their typical, non-pandemic responsibilities.
When asked to describe a typical day, Nellis replied, “There is no such thing as a ‘typical day’ when you’re a school nurse during a pandemic! Every single day is different and it’s impossible to predict how your day is going to go.”
She was very quick to give praise to her nursing teammates at B-P. “I couldn’t do this without the support of the other nurses in the district. We work really well together as a team and we always have each other’s backs. And that’s how we’ll get through this — together, as a team.”
Superintendent of Schools Stephen Tomlinson applauded the nursing team for going above and beyond to keep the school community safe this year.
“Every member of the B-P team has had to work harder and smarter this year, but the nursing staff absolutely deserves a moment in the spotlight and to be publicly recognized for their hard work,” he said. “Their diligent efforts have kept our buildings safe and our community healthy. Most importantly, their work has allowed our teachers to continue teaching and our students to continue learning.”
Once the community is able to return to “normal,” Nellis said the thing she looks forward to most is having visitors back in her office and sharing hugs with students and co-workers.
“The simple act of human touch can have a huge impact on a person’s well being,” she said. “Our interactions are really restricted this year, but it’s made me have a better appreciation for simple gestures and acts of kindness.”