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Design team creates new normal for school nurses

The first school nurse’s office designed for the post-COVID world has opened Landing Elementary School in Glen Cove, NY.

The NursePod is a modular structure designed by a local team in response to government health guidance on reopening schools in a safe and healthy way.

By relocating the nurse’s office outside the school building, students and staff can be better protected when a child exhibits COVID symptoms during the school day. Its modular design also helps schools avoid lengthy and costly building construction issues and frees up interior space crucial to social distancing.

“We are incredibly excited to see the NursePod go from a concept to a real-life structure that can help the Glen Cove City School District keep kids safe from the spread of COVID-19,” said Michael Mark, a Long Island architect who partnered with developer Michael Scott and interior designer Irene Yim to create the NursePod.

“We were concerned that school nurse’s offices simply were not designed for this new world in which we find ourselves. Our goal is to ease the concerns that school administrators, nurses, teachers, staff and parents have in the what-if scenario where a child might display symptoms during a school day. We also care about a child’s emotional wellbeing,” added Mark.

“In the event where they might display symptoms, we must care for them in a safe and compassionate way while maintaining that child’s confidentiality to prevent any stigma and bullying.”

NursePods are constructed offsite and transported to the installation location where a crane lifts them into place.

The creators worked with local fabricators and manufacturers to build and deliver the first units to the Glen Cove City School District on Long Island and are currently working with other school districts to deliver more of the units in the coming months.

The NursePod offers two isolation rooms to provide a safer working environment for the health personnel or school nurse while maintaining supervision of the ill student. Each isolation room is painted with microbicidal paint which kills germs on contact within two hours, and a negative air pressure exhaust system, which vents potentially infected air out of the NursePod with no recirculation into the adjoining spaces. LED UVC emitters on the ceiling of all rooms clean and sanitize the spaces continually. Each unit is 467 s/f

The main reception room includes a nurses’ station with desk. A unisex bathroom and a separate lab station with hand-washing sink and touchless water bottle filler complete the space for a facility that can serve all the needs of school nurses.

Picture top: Michael Mark, Irene Yim and Michael Scott outside the NursePod at Landing Elementary School

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