Nurse Abellard: Moving from Hospital to School
Stephanie Abellard started at Brooke in 2018, after working as an inpatient nurse and urgent care nurse across different hospitals in the Greater Boston Area. Ms. Abellard grew up in Mattapan and was drawn to the role of School Nurse at Brooke Mattapan in part because she wanted to serve her community. We had the opportunity to sit down with Ms. Abellard to talk about the highlights of being a school nurse and what she appreciates about being part of the Brooke team.
Could you describe what your day-to-day looks like at Brooke?
I provide care, assess, and treat students and staff. More specifically, I manage medications, keep track of state immunizations, health forms, and monitor some students with chronic health conditions. No day is ever the same!
What is your favorite part of your job?
Knowing that I can keep everyone safe and building relationships with the families and students. Especially now that I have been here five years, I have seen so many kids grow!
What is your proudest moment as a nurse here at Brooke?
My proudest moment was when I became lead nurse for the Brooke Network after two years. That felt good because Brooke was seeing me in a light that I deserve. I now have the opportunity to be a resource to the nurses at other campuses, and at times, bounce to the other schools to support there.
What makes working at Brooke different?
There is a pride in creating a space of inclusivity and diversity, which I really appreciate because I didn’t always see that.
How do you feel supported by Brooke as a nurse?
In addition to the nursing team, I am a part of the operations team at Brooke Mattapan, and they are an amazing team to be a part of. I love them. I support them, and they support me.
Do you have any knowledge about the nurse hiring shortage and the high demand for nurses?
The nurses shortage has to do with an increase in nurses feeling burnt out in the workplace. For the most part, I think a lot of us feel undervalued and underpaid in certain workplaces. This has been a known issue, and the pandemic brought it to light. I was stressed and burnt out myself, and when I took on this role I was nervous and excited to become a school nurse. Looking back now, it was the change I needed.
Do you feel valued at Brooke, and how are you valued?
I feel that I am included in the conversations. Even something so small, like including me in the conversation of my renovated bigger space was something I appreciated. I also think that Brooke values me as a nurse because I do not feel underpaid here at all!
If you were talking to another nurse, what would you tell them about what makes working a Brooke special?
You are not just considered the nurse, you are part of the educator role. It’s like you are working alongside the teachers, rather than separate. Brooke shows me a lot of love and appreciation, which is why I come back every year!