Q&A: Rose Puleo R.N. & Danielle Peckham R.N.

Actions is a new editorial feature from Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child. Each week we will spotlight the dedicated faculty and staff across the PK-12 campus who make a difference in the lives of OKS students and the life of the school. This week, we feature:

Rose Puleo, R.N., and Danielle Peckham, R.N.

Oak Knoll School Nurses

Q: Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, can you talk about what precautions our community has put in place to keep our faculty, staff, and students safe?
A: OKS has implemented many safety features to keep our community safe. Students start their day at OKS with a temp check. There are several hands free, hand sanitizing stations in all buildings as well as generous supplies of hand sanitizers and masks in all classrooms. We also have floor pads placed 6 feet apart in hallways to remind students to socially distance. All classrooms and the dining hall have plexiglass dividers to reduce the spread of germs carried on breathing vapors. Masks are worn by everyone on campus, except while eating. Classrooms are cleaned throughout the day by UV lights. And there is a cleaning team that disinfects bathrooms, railings, door handles and other surfaces throughout the day.

Q: How do you keep up with the ever-changing COVID news and latest health precautions?
A: We check for CDC, and NJ COVID-19 updates daily. We are also in touch with our local Board of Health and school doctor, Dr. L. Martinetti, for advice and suggestions. We also have a community of NJAIS nurses who we meet with (via bimonthly Zoom meetings) to share ideas and experiences.

Q: What is the most difficult part about being a school nurse during the COVID-19 pandemic?
A: Keeping abreast of all new information and aiding in the process of contact tracing when needed.

Q: What are the protocols and proper channels for members of our community who become COVID positive or think they are COVID positive?
A: First thing is to isolate yourself from other family members and friends. If you test positive or suspect you have been in contact with a COVID-19 positive person, please notify our nurse’s office during the week and the Division Heads on non-school days. We will then contact the local Board of Health who will begin the contact tracing process.

Q: As we approach the holidays, what are the most important items that you wish to reiterate and stress to our community?
A: If students and family travel to a state on the New Jersey Travel Advisory list, or out of the country, they must quarantine for 14 days upon their return to New Jersey.

Q: Do you have any insight as to what the policies and procedure might be when a vaccine Is widely available?
A: We believe that health care workers, the elderly, and those with compromised health conditions will be the first to receive the vaccine.

Q: What are you most proud about the way the OKS community has handled the pandemic?
A: The community has been so cooperative and considerate in helping to reduce the spread of the virus on campus. They have called us about suspected cases and have quarantined whenever necessary.

Q: How do you think your nursing training prepared you to handle a global pandemic?
A: Thankfully, pandemics are rare, but our nursing knowledge of community health served us well in the understanding of the virus and to how best to keep our OKS community safe.

Rose Puleo, R.N., has been working as a school nurse at Oak Knoll since 2008 when she was hired as the Adventure’s summer camp nurse, a role she still fulfills each summer. In 2015, Rose was hired to become the school’s full time nurse students in Kindergarten through grade 12 and she continues to love every minute of her job.

Danielle Peckham, R.N., was hired in 2010 to cover Kim Pinto’s maternity leave, where she expected to stay for 1 year. In 2011, however, Danielle was asked to stay as a part time nurse. Her role with Oak Knoll has evolved and this year she is now a full time nurse on campus and she too, has enjoyed every step of the way!

dr. melissa maskery