Nurse Ellerbrock: A School Nurse Versus a Pandemic


Emily Rose

Ms. Brie Ellerbrock, the school nurse at LRHS, joined our community two months before the pandemic hit.

Ms. Brie Ellerbrock started working for Lakeland Regional High School in the winter of 2020 – just in time for the school to close down for the COVID-19 pandemic.  As Ms. Ellerbrock says, “I very much enjoy working at Lakeland, but I look forward to more “normal” times.  Since I started here in January 2020, and the pandemic shut-down occurred in March, many adjustments by everyone had to be made because there was so much unknown.  I feel the support of the administration and faculty has been very helpful in navigating this situation and I appreciate it.” 

Ms. Ellerbrock feels as though it is more difficult to be a school nurse during the pandemic, mostly because there is no direct contact with the students. She says she “misses the daily interaction and hopes that we get back to ‘normalcy’ soon.” 

Ms. Ellerbrock thinks that the best thing to come from this pandemic is the appreciation for our families and friends who helped us through this. She shared that the most difficult thing about working as a school nurse during this pandemic was “the fears of getting the virus, but more concerning was not to pass it on to my family.” Although Ms. Ellerbrock shares the same fear of the virus that many of us do, she said,  “I would rather be in school than be virtual because being in person is more meaningful to me, and I miss that.”

The Lancer asked Ms. Ellerbrock what her role is as a school nurse during this time, seeing as though students cannot come into school if they’re sick. She said, “My role as a school nurse included touching base virtually and on the phone with students and parents to offer information and encouragement as needed.” 

On top of her nurse duties, Ms. Ellerbrock is finishing her master’s degree online after school. She also stated that she contacts the public health nurse of Wanaque and Ringwood to talk about the fluctuating case numbers and what we, as a district, can do to stop the spread of the coronavirus. 

Before working at LRHS, Ms. Ellerbrock was a school nurse for nine years at a middle school in an urban district in Hudson County. The middle school she came from was large, with over 1,100 seventh and eighth grade students. 

Nurse El has left the school community messages of advice and encourage throughout the pandemic. (Courtesy of LRHS Live Feed)

Ms. Ellerbrock has been is working to help the community in every way possible. Being a nurse during a pandemic is most definitely difficult, and we applaud Ms. Ellerbrock for all she has done for LRHS.