Nurse Erika Almquist

Cole Gamache, Staff Writer

As the world has come to a halt with the pandemic, school nurses have continued to work harder than ever. Erika Almquist is one of two new nurses who is facing health and safety challenges related to COVID-19.

Almquist has been involved in the nursing field since her college graduation. She earned her master’s degree at Boston College and began working as a family nurse practitioner. She also worked in El Salvador as a community nurse, teaching health at a youth correctional facility. 

“It was basically a juvie that I worked in,” Almquist said with a laugh. 

Almquist went on to explain that she mostly only saw kids who needed help with small issues, yet this experience widened her skills that she’s still uses to this day. 

Before coming to ARHS, Almquist worked at Emerson College as a school nurse.

Almquist’s in-person interactions with people at Algonquin have been positive so far, leaving her with a good first impression of the school.

“There’s a lot of joy in high school,” Almquist said.

COVID-19 has affected Almquist’s role as a school nurse. 

“Even though there are fewer students coming into the office, there’s more paperwork in the background going on to make up for that,” Almquist said. 

Almquist explained that she and school nurse Heather Allen have really worked hard in making sure kids feel safe to come into their office by making separate rooms for students with different symptoms.

“I think it’s important for students to know we’ve worked hard to be able to treat both students with non-COVID symptoms and those with them,” Almquist said. 

More than anything Almquist wants students to feel comfortable coming to the nurse during this challenging time that understandably makes some students anxious.