Special Services School District Nurses Work to Keep Students, Staff and Communities Safe During the Pandemic
The saying is that ‘nurses aren’t made, they’re born.’ Nurses who care for our most vulnerable populations are an even rarer breed. They exhibit another level of compassion, empathy, patience and care – just ask anyone who works alongside the nurses and medical support staff in New Jersey’s county special services school districts. The calling they have to help those in need, however, has extended far beyond the walls of the schools they work in and into the community at a time when their expertise is needed most.
Bergen County Special Services School District nurses Cindy Bischoff and Karen Fritzman pose for a photo in PPE while working on the frontlines of the pandemic through the Medical Reserve Corp.
“It is both my duty and my privilege to be able to help others,” said Cindy Bischoff of being a registered nurse with Bergen County Special Services School District (BCSSSD). When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March of 2020, Bergen County became the epicenter of New Jersey’s outbreak. New Jersey schools shifted to remote learning, and Bischoff used the time away from students to help in the fight against COVID-19. “I’m so fortunate that I had the opportunity to dedicate my time to help others feel safer during a period filled with such uncertainty,” she said.
Bischoff joined Karen Fritzman, a school nurse for BCSSSD’s Woodridge Transition Center, to support the Medical Reserve Corp of Bergen County. First volunteering with testing, then contact tracing and notifications, the tasks became so great that they needed reinforcements – that came by way of more school nurses.