PLAINFIELD, NJ - Every morning Ester O. Da Silva gets an email from the Plainfield Health Department informing her of positive COVID-19 Plainfield residents. Mrs. DaSilva is a nurse with the Plainfield Public School District, and she is volunteering with the Plainfield Health Department assisting the department as an interpreter.

Mrs. Da Silva is working as a tracker for COVID-19 residents in accordance with the CDC and New Jersey Department of Health guidelines. Her job is to call the mainly Spanish-speaking residents to confirm their status and guide them on the next steps to take according to New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH).

“It's the hardest job I’ve had to do in my career as a nurse,” said Da Silva. “I know the news they are going to hear affects them, and I do it with compassion and as best I can. I am here to assist them.“

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Mrs. Da Silva conducts an interview to gather certain information required by NJDOH guidelines and after the interview, she educates the residents on Isolation and Quarantine Protocols provided by the NJDOH. She answers any questions or concerns the residents have and lets them know about resources available to them. Mrs. Da Silva also reports to the Health Department all the hospitalizations and deaths daily.

As a nurse she feels she is doing her job. “This is why I became a nurse to make sure that while a person is facing health issues they have the best information possible, which makes the patient in-charge of their own health. That is so empowering and it can really change a person’s health attitudes.”

Mrs. DaSilva previously worked for the Plainfield Health Department as a Public Health Nurse from 2016 to 2018. She is the school nurse at Evergreen Elementary School.  She has an RN Degree from Middlesex County College and a BSN from Grand Canyon University. She is scheduled to graduate this Fall with her School Nurse Certification from New Jersey City University (NJCU). Mrs. Da Silva lives in Woodbridge with her husband and two children, a 23-year-old son who is graduating from college in May and a daughter, 18, a senior in high school.

Mrs. Da Silva and another Plainfield Schools nurse, Ms. Dayra Torres are part of the Plainfield Public School's team assisting families at the Plainfield Health Department during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"As a bilingual nurse working for Plainfield Public Schools, it is my pleasure to assist those who are affected by COVID-19. Community members who do not speak English are at a disadvantage and may be fearful of seeking help and information. Using my nursing skills allows me to offer health care direction and available resources in the community. This vulnerable population is happy to speak with someone who speaks the same language as they do." -Dayra Torres, RN, MSN

Ms. Torres received her RN at Trinitas Hospital and her BS & MSN from Kean University. Her Master of Science was in Nursing with a focus on School Nursing. Ms. Torres has been a nurse in the Plainfield Public Schools for ten years. She resides in Middlesex County.

Todas las mañanas, Ester O. Da Silva recibe un correo electrónico del Departamento de Salud de Plainfield informándole de los residentes cuyas pruebas dieron positivo del COVID-19. La Sra. DaSilva es enfermera del Distrito de Escuelas Públicas de Plainfield y es voluntaria con el Departamento de Salud de Plainfield para ayudar al departamento como intérprete.

La Sra. Da Silva trabaja como contadora (tracker) de los residentes de COVID-19 de acuerdo con las pautas del Centro del Control de Enfermedades (CDC) y del Departamento de Salud de Nueva Jersey. Su trabajo es llamar a los residentes principalmente hispanohablantes para confirmar su estado y guiarlos en los próximos pasos a seguir de acuerdo con el Departamento de Salud de Nueva Jersey (NJDOH).

"Es el trabajo más difícil que he tenido que hacer en mi carrera como enfermera", dijo Da Silva. “Sé que las noticias que van a escuchar les afectan, y lo hago con compasión y lo mejor que puedo. Estoy aquí para ayudarlos ".

La Sra. Da Silva realiza una entrevista para reunir cierta información requerida por las pautas de NJDOH y después de la entrevista, educa a los residentes sobre los Protocolos de aislamiento y cuarentena proporcionados por el NJDOH. Ella responde a cualquier pregunta o inquietud que tengan los residentes y les informa sobre los recursos disponibles para ellos. La Sra. Da Silva también informa al Departamento de Salud todas las hospitalizaciones y las muertes diarias.

Como enfermera, siente que está haciendo su trabajo. “Es por eso que me convertí en enfermera para asegurarme de que, mientras una persona enfrenta problemas de salud, tenga la mejor información posible, lo que hace que el paciente siente que esta a cargo de su propia salud. Eso es muy valioso y realmente puede cambiar las actitudes de la salud de una persona ".

La Sra. Da Silva trabajó anteriormente para el Departamento de Salud de Plainfield como enfermera de salud pública del 2016 al 2018. Ella es la enfermera de la escuela primaria Evergreen. Ella tiene un título de enfermeria de Middlesex County College y un BSN (titulo de ciencias de enfermeria) de Grand Canyon University. Está programada para graduarse este otoño con su certificación de enfermera del sector de educacion de la Universidad de New Jersey City (NJCU). La Sra. Da Silva vive en Woodbridge con su esposo y dos hijos, un hijo de 23 años que se gradua de la universidad en mayo y una hija de 18 años, que cursa el último año de secundaria.

La Sra. Da Silva y otra enfermera de las Escuelas de Plainfield, la Sra. Dayra Torres, son parte del equipo de la Escuela Pública de Plainfield que ayudan a las familias en el Departamento de Salud de Plainfield durante la pandemia COVID-19. 

Para información adicional, por favor envíe un correo electrónico gmontealegre@plainfield.k12nj.us.

For more information, please email gmontealegre@plainfield.k12nj.us.