From the Nurse

The nurse's name is Debra Theg.  She is available at the Jireh SwiftSchool on Tuesday and Thursday.  She is at the Campbell School (508-997-4511508-997-4511, x. 2263) on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

 

The New Bedford Public School Nurses are integral members of the educational team and are specially qualified in the areas of preventative health, health assessment, and referral procedures. The unique contribution of the school nurse lies in the ability to provide a professional comprehensive school health program which encourages the best possible health outcomes for each student, as well as teaching health concepts, that enable students to make responsible decisions regarding their own health.  A registered nurse is responsible for the management of the school services in each school. Responsibilities of the nurse include, but are not limited to, the following:

 

Health assessments

These include providing care to the sick or injured students/staff, medication administration, referring students to physicians as needed, developing nursing care plans for children with chronic illnesses/disabilities, and participating in the team evaluation process.

 

Mandatory Screening Programs

Conduct mandatory screening programs for vision, hearing, scoliosis, height/weight and dental issues, as mandated by state law.

 

Specialized Health Care Procedures

Provides direct nursing services as needed for catheterizations, glucose monitoring, tracheotomy care, gastronomy feedings, and inhalation therapy.

 

Education and Counseling

Provides inpidualized parent/student/staff instruction related to health issues; collaborates with schools counselors as needed.

 

Maintenance of Student Health Records

Ensures that each student obtains state mandated immunizations and physical exams.

 

Communicable Disease Control

Implements universal precautions, compiles statistical data and collaborates with local agencies as needed

 

PHYSICALS

Physical exams (check-ups) by state law are required on file in your child’s health record six months before their entry into kindergarten or six months after, then the recommended intervals of kindergarten, 4th, 7th and 10th grade. Please send the nurse a copy at these intervals and any other time your child has a physical. This will keep your child’s health record up to date. 

 

HEIGHT/WEIGHT

Your child’s height and weight are done each year in the nurse’s office. This is done in a discreet manor. No one is aware of your child’s information. This information is plotted on a growth chart in their health record. If the graph shows that they have fallen about the 97% or below the 3% range the nurse is required to send you the information, if the child's doctor is not already aware of it. When a BMI (Body Mass Index) is calculated and your child falls below the 5th percentile or over the 85th percentile, the nurse will send home a letter, if the child's doctor is not already aware of it.  If your child fails to grow or gain/lose an unusual about of weight in any given year then the nurse will send you a note so you can bring this to the attention of the child’s doctor. The doctor may want to make sure there are no other related problems that are contributing to your child's weight gain or loss. 

 

DENTAL

The student’s teeth are screened on a yearly basis.  This does not take the place of the recommended 6 month check-up. The nurse will send home a three-part notice alerting you that your child needs to see a dentist, if he/she finds an anomaly.  If your child is under a dentist's care, please write that on the form and return it to the nurse. If a child has a problem, please make an appointment to see their dentist and have them complete the bottom of the form and return it to the nurse. If you need help finding a dentist, please give the nurse a call.  If your child has any dental complaints, please call their dentist.

 

HAIR

The nurse checks your child’s hair once a year for head lice and lice eggs (called nits), and more frequently if needed. I advise you to check your child’s hair weekly. As we know, lice can be spread by trying on new hats and coats, being in a movie theater, or playing with other children.  If you do discover that your child has head lice or eggs, please call the nurse and he/she will check the rest of the class.  The nurse never discloses to the students if and who had a problem. Without proper cleaning, it will be an endless battle for you.  It can’t be stressed enough that it is important to comb every last egg out of you child’s hair. The medicine you apply to kill the lice and eggs is only about 70% effective and if that last egg left in hatches the problem will start all over again.  (Please refer to the bottom of this section for more detailed information on head lice.)

 

VISION 

Vision testing is done at school each year. The kindergarteners are done before October first of each year and then the rest of the school is screened in the Spring. I can’t stress enough the importance of this follow up.  If the children are having trouble seeing, how can we expect them to do their best in school?  If you have a problem obtaining glasses or finding an eye doctor, please call the nurse. Once your child has seen the eye doctor, please send the nurse the follow up form so their health record reflects that the screening is complete and the outcome can also be recorded. At any time if your child has a problem with their vision, please consult their doctor. Do not wait for the school screening.

 

HEARING

Hearing is done by the first of October for the kindergarten population.  In the Spring, we do the hearing test for grades 1, 2 and 3. The hearing test is not done again until your child reaches the seventh grade. If at any time your child appears to have a hearing problem, please consult their doctor. Do not wait for the school screening.

 

MEDICATION POLICY

  • The New Bedford Public School’s Health Department Services Department encourages that medication be administered to your child before or after school, if possible.
  • When ANY medication is needed during school hours (including over the counter medications), there must be a completed physician’s order and a completed parental permission form with the medication, or it cannot be give at school.
  • Medication must be delivered by an adult to the school in the original pharmacy labeled container.
  • Medications are not to be accepted in things such as a plastic bag. 
  • Please contact the school nurse for the proper forms that must accompany all medications.
  • NO CHILD IS PERMITTED TO BRING THEIR OWN MEDICATION TO SCHOOL.

 

GENERAL GUIDELINES

  • Keep your child home from school if your child has a contagious illness such as strep throat, flu or chicken pox. If your child has had a fever within the past 24 hours; if your child is vomiting, or has diarrhea; if your child has red/pink eyes or has drainage; if your child has head lice; or if your child does not have proof of all required immunizations
  • Cough drops are NOT allowed in school.  They are considered candy and present a choking hazard. There are 8 and 12 hour cough medicines that work well and should be given before school. Check with your child’s doctor or pharmacist to see which one is right for your child.
  • With the cold weather come the chapped lips. Lip gloss is allowed in school, however, please remind your child, as we do, that there is no sharing of lip gloss.

 

Please note that the above list is a guideline. The nurse reserves the right to dismiss students who, in their professional opinion, are too ill to be in school.  Please notify the nurse when your child has had a physical exam, or if your child is out of school for an extended period of time. 

 

HEAD LICE AND EGGS

Head lice must be treated before your child can return to school.  Nits (eggs) are a sign that head lice have been present in the past.

 

This checklist is to help you combat head lice:

  • I used the treatment shampoo according to the directions on the box.
  • I checked all family members and treated them if needed.
  • I washed all the following items in hot water (using a dryer also helps):

All clothes the child has recently worn, coats and jackets recently worn, hats, scarves and baseball caps, cloth barrettes, headbands, hair elastics, sheets, blankets, pillowcases, bedspreads, afghans, and sleeping bags, used towels and facecloths, pajamas and robes worn recently.

 

Because lice can live off the body for a couple of days:

  • I have vacuumed rugs, couches and upholstered chairs, pillows and mattresses, car headrests and seats.
  • I have soaked combs, brushes, headbands and plastic barrettes in hot water for 15 minutes.
  • I have stored stuffed animals in a plastic bag for two weeks.

 

Some nits(eggs) can live through the shampoo treatment. In 8-10 days these eggs will hatch and the lice problem will begin again. If one egg survives, that single louse can lay up to 120 eggs during its lifetime of 40 days. 

 

Therefore:

  • I have a nit comb.
  • I separated the hair into small sections.
  • I started at the scalp and combed hair out to the ends.
  • I wiped the comb clean with a cloth after every pull through.
  • I washed or threw away this cloth when done.
  • I vacuumed around the area where this was done.
  • I especially checked for nits at the top of the head, behind the ears, and at the back of the neck.
  • I rechecked my child’s head every day for a week and combed out any eggs found.

 

Finally:

  • I have re-treated the child in a week (if these were the instructions on the box of shampoo).
  • I have called the school nurse with any questions or concerns
  • I have asked for help if I am not sure what an egg or lice look like.
  • I have checked items such as bike helmets, headphones, costumes/head
  • I have taught my child not to share hats, hoods, brushes, barrettes, etc.

 

Remember that lice can affect anyone, so discuss this with the parents of your child’s friends so they may check their children.  This is a lot of work, but it only takes ONE egg or head louse to cause a problem.

 

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