Nurses at Heart of Keeping Students Safe on Campus

 

The effort to bring Sandia Prep students back onto campus safely during a pandemic has been an “all hands on deck” endeavor, but the heart of its success stems from the teamwork and friendship of three longtime registered nurses.

Last summer, Prep’s School Nurse, Lynn Jeffries, reached out to her friend, fellow nurse, and Prep parent, DeAnna Hanosh (Abigail ’23, Olivia ’25.) 

 “She said, ‘We want to get the kids back on campus, but we can’t do it without your help.’ I knew that she was going to do it in a safe way,” Hanosh explains.

Hanosh signed on. Jeffries also recruited nurse and Prep parent Michelle Treme (Sam ’23 and Eliot ’27.) 

Since late August, the three have been on campus by 7:15 a.m. each morning to staff one of three COVID-19 entry areas for students. The nurses check each student’s temperature and ensure they are symptom free, properly wearing a mask, and carrying a water bottle.

Once the morning pre-screening is done, Treme leaves, while Hanosh stays on campus all day to help Jeffries. “They wanted two of us on campus,” she says. “If a student or staff member becomes symptomatic during the day, one nurse can go into the isolation room while the other nurse is still available to care for injuries, concussions, Band-Aid needs, etc.”

Hanosh helps monitor passing periods and the lunch hour to make sure students are wearing their masks and social distancing. She also fills in when Jeffries is in meetings -- of which there are many. 

“We’re always trying to anticipate the next step -- activities, athletics, theater,” she explains. “Those things make Prep, Prep. We want to continue to do those things; it’s just a matter of, ‘How do we do it safely?’ People don’t recognize the magnitude of this. It takes a Herculean effort to make it happen.”

At the end of the day, Jeffries staffs one pick-up area, while Hanosh staffs the other. 

“I’m impressed with the fact that Prep has been able to sustain this for this long, and everyone that steps on campus is as safe as can be,” Hanosh says. “I feel very confident having my kids here and being in this environment because of that.”

Treme adds, “I’m helping because I think it is important to get our students on campus, even if it isn’t their normal experience.”

The reopening has been a learning process for everyone, but Hanosh credits Jeffries -- who has more than 25 years of experience in neonatal, pediatric, and flight nursing -- with keeping the ship afloat.

“We as a Prep community are lucky to have her,” she says. “Her ability to handle stressful situations is impressive.”