School Health Services

To be leaders in promoting the health and well being of school children in order to optimize their potential for educational success.

School Health Services is dedicated to promoting wellness and disease prevention by early identification of health problems in school children that might interfere in the educational process.

Health care will be delivered through screening/medical examinations, immunizations, health education/promotion, detection and follow up of at-risk students, treatment of minor ailments with appropriate referral.

Our services will be delivered in a professional and caring manner.

The School Health service is provided by the Bahamas Government Ministry of Health in conjunction with the Bahamas Government Ministry of Education.  It is designed to ensure optimal health of school-aged children in schools operated by the Ministry of Education.  The service involves preventative health care, treatment of minor illnesses and appropriate referrals for management of potentially serious problems.

The service functions in three inter-related areas:

  1. Routine schools medical examination
  2. School Children Clinic
  3. School Nurse in Government Schools                

The School Health Programme strives to achieve nine objectives that relate to the total well being of school children:

  1. To establish good working relationships between the Schools, the Health team, Social Workers, and the home.
  2. To carry out physical and psychosocial examinations on each child in Grade 1, Grade 6 and Grade 10.
  3. To treat minor ailments and refer abnormalities for appropriate treatment
  4. To maintain a high level of immunization in school children
  5. To detect and follow-up “AT-RISK” children
  6. To conduct health education in schools
  7. To keep records of all examinations and treatments of each child
  8. To maintain appropriate dental health care programmes                                                 

Scope of Service
Nurses from the School Health Services visit schools daily during school operational hours.  The services rendered by the School Health Services include:

  1. Medical Examinations
  2. Health Education
  3. Immunization
  4. School Health Clinics
  5. Home Visiting
  6. Dental Care
  7. Minor Ailments
  8. Liaison

Medical Examinations
Routine examinations are performed on children in Grades 1, 6 and 10.  There Grades represent transitional periods in a student’s life.  The beginning of elementary school, the end of elementary school and the beginning of senior high school.  Prior to examinations by a Medical Doctor, assessments would be done and include vision screening, auditory screening, blood pressure screening, haemoglobin screening, urinalysis screening, measurement of height, and weight along with dental and oral hygiene screening. Follow-up examinations are also performed on our students with special needs (AT-RISK) during this time.

Health Education
Health Education is done at the end of each medical session with special emphasis placed on puberty, hygiene and sexually transmitted diseases.  As the need arises individual and group health education are also given during minor ailment sessions.  Health education is also rendered based on request and need by any particular school organization.

Immunizations are administered to all students within sixth grade and tenth grade as required.  Sixth graders will receive Hepatitis B and DT Booster vaccines.  Tenth graders will receive Hepatitis B as required.

School Health Clinic
The School Health Clinic is designed as a means of follow-up for students from Grades 1, 6, and 10 who would have received referrals to other agencies with the Public Health service for further management.  It also serves as a means of follow-up for all “AT-RISK” patients.

Home Visiting
Home Visits are conducted during periods when school children are away from school, particularly during Christmas, Summer, Easter and Midterm breaks.  Special emphasis is placed on all “AT-RISK” patients. Home visits are also done on children discharged from hospital to assess coping abilities of parents and children as necessary.

Dental Care
Realizing that tooth decay is the single most chronic disease of childhood, a Dental Assistant accompanies the School Health team.  Dental and Oral Hygiene screening allows for the identification and treatment of dental problems at an early stage.  Referrals are made as necessary.

Minor Ailments
A Registered Nurse from the School Health Services is assigned and is responsible for attending each school on a regular basis to treat minor illnesses and to administer treatment or referrals as required.  Individual and group health education sessions are also conducted at this time as the need arises.

Each day a member of the School Health Services team visits each of the Wards within the Rand Memorial Hospital to determine whether or not any Government School student was admitted and gather all the relevant information for possible future visits.