Nurse Doyle determines diligence is best defense in the face of dangerous virus

Nurse Doyle determines diligence is best defense in the face of dangerous virus

by Madeline D.

There is a new face at Duxbury Middle School, and her role couldn’t be more critical this year.

Mrs. Doyle, DMS’ new school nurse, comes to Duxbury from Sacred Heart School in Kingston. After being hired in July, Mrs. Doyle was immediately tasked with coordinating the health office’s response to an unprecedented challenge: the coronavirus.  

Mrs. Doyle says that the biggest challenge has been adjusting to new procedures. She and the district’s other school nurses worked with the Board of Health and Safety over the summer to draft DMS’ COVID-19 protocols. Mrs. Doyle commented that the difficulty of planning lies in making sense of the complicated and constantly changing state guidelines.

“Because there’s so many scenarios with COVID, it’s not something you can remember off the top of your head,” she said. “Constantly referring back to the guidance from the state and being very careful to understand what the scenario is and give the right answer—that’s the biggest challenge.”

From treating routine headaches to quarantining a possible COVID case at school, DMS must be prepared for everything.

Mrs. Doyle is used to being vigilant when it comes to protocol. As a Nurse Core Officer in the US Navy Reserves, she has continued to attend drill weekends throughout COVID, where she says many aspects of her role as Lieutenant Commander complement her job in the nurse’s office.

“A good part of the Reserves is making sure that we keep up with our training. With medicine and nursing as well, a lot of it is teaching signs and symptoms of COVID, said Mrs. Doyle. “So we’re always educating one another.”

Mrs. Doyle is grateful for the fact that Duxbury students and parents have been receptive and cooperative to all that she has to teach about our new normal back at school. New protocols can be surprising to some parents.

“For things that you would normally go home and come back the next day when you’re feeling better, you now have to call the pediatrician, go to the pediatrician’s office, then forward me the documentation. I mean, I’m asking so much and they’re doing it without any argument,” she said. “I’m more than impressed.”

As a parent of a middle and high-schooler, Mrs. Doyle realizes just how challenging the pandemic has been to families. She says that continuing to participate in the hobbies and sports that you love is important. In her case, running is an excellent way to cope with stress presented by changes these last few months. She remains optimistic and wants her students to do the same.

“Stay positive!” she said. “It’s best for your health and safety. This will all be in the rearview mirror soon.”

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