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School Health and Nursing Services

Vision

Provide Services to Assure Optimal Student Success

Mission

Although parents hold the main responsibility for the health of their children, the primary mission of the Charlotte County Public School Nurse is to promote and enhance the educational process for children and youth by assisting them to improve or adapt to their health status. The nurse is located within the school to promote wellness and disease prevention by early identification of health problems that might interfere in the educational process. As provided in the school setting, health services include identification of health problems, preventative health, which includes education, health maintenance, health screening, necessary therapeutic intervention, and first aid.

Through nursing assessments and screening programs, school nurses will prevent or identify student health problems and intervene to promote the well being and academic success of all students. School nurses will assist parents and students in the management of health needs and the coordination of care in the home, school, and community.

Click on a topic for more information:

H1N1 Swine Flu

There is no charge for the H1N1 Vaccine. To view the schedule, click here.

H1N1 Swine Flu Vaccination Information Sheet (pdf)

Letter to Parents (pdf)

Symptoms have been generally mild but can be more severe in people with other health issues such as asthma or diabetes.

For up-to-date information about H1N1 Swine Flu visit http://www.myflusafety.com or call 877.352.3581.

At this time, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following to reduce the spread of influenza in schools and child care programs:

Contact your healthcare provider if you are experiencing cough, fever and fatigue, possibly along with diarrhea and vomiting.

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HPV (Human Papillomavirus) Vaccine

What You Need to Know

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States.  There are about 40 types of HPV.  About 20 million people in the U.S. are infected, and about 6.2 million more get infected each year.  Most HPV infections do not cause any symptoms, and go away on their own.  HPV is important mainly because it can cause cervical cancer in women and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women around the world. 

The HPV vaccine is an inactivated (not live) vaccine, which protects against four major types of HPV. This vaccine is routinely recommended for girls 11 to 12 years of age. 

The amendment to HB 561 requires that schools provide information concerning the relationship between HPV and cervical cancer, a vaccine is available which prevents HPV infection.  It is recommended that it be given to girls before they enter grade 8 beginning with the 2008-2009 school year.

How Can I Learn More?

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Immunizations

Florida Statute 1003.22 requires each child entering a Florida school for the first time to present a certificate of immunization from a licensed practicing physician or the county health department prior to entry into school. Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students must have current immunizations and physical examinations before registration. Seventh grade students have five (5) school days to become compliant with immunizations or they will be excluded from school. Other students including children enrolling under emergency or homeless conditions will be allowed thirty (30) days from the registration date to present the certification requirement. All immunizations must be recorded on the Florida Certificate of Immunization (Form 680).

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Meningococcal Disease

Meningococcal disease, commonly known as meningococcal meningitis, is a potentially fatal bacterial infection that can cause severe swelling of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) or a serious blood infection (meningococcemia). Teenagers and college students can help reduce their risk of contracting meningococcal disease by being vaccinated.

For information about Meningococcal disease, please Click Here.

Para la información sobre enfermedad Meningococcal, chascar por favor aquí.

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MRSA

Staph (staphylococcus aureus), is a common bacterium found on the skin and in the noses of healthy individuals. 

MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) is a specific type of staph which is resistant to antibiotics. Since 2002, outbreaks of a new form of MRSA have been reported among healthy individuals, particularly among athletes participating in contact sports.  This type of infection is community associated, and is called CA-MRSA.

Early lesions often appear similar to spider bites.  There may be soft tissue infection which presents as a boil, abscess or cellulitis.  If  parents suspects their child may have any of these symptoms,  they should seek medical evaluation and notify the school if the child is positive for CA-MRSA.  The child may attend school with the lesion covered.

MRSA is not a reportable issue for the Florida Department of Health unless there is a “cluster” outbreak.  A cluster outbreak is if more than 3 students are found to be positive for CA-MRSA in a specific setting.

The very best prevention for CA-MRSA is good personal hygiene—especially hand washing—and not sharing personal items.

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Pandedmic Flu

Influenza viruses affect the nose, throat and lungs. It occurs annually, usually in winter. Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, runny nose, and muscle pain. The flu is spread directly from person to person by droplets from the nose or mouth, for instance during coughing or sneezing.

Avian flu, or bird flu, is caused by avian influenza viruses, which occur naturally among birds usually found in ducks and chickens who live in Asia. The virus has not yet developed the ability to easily pass from person to person. While influenza viruses are common, we will need to be more cautious to follow prevention techniques if the bird flu should develop into a spreadable virus.

Pandemic flu is flu that causes a global outbreak, or pandemic, of serious illness that spreads easily from person to person.

The Charlotte County Health Department advises you follow these simple practices.

  1. Don't spread your germs:
    • Cover your nose & mouth with a tissue when sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose (or cover sneeze with your elbow).
    • Throw out used tissues in the trash as soon as you can.
    • Always wash your hands after sneezing, blowing your nose, or coughing, or after touching used tissues or handkerchiefs.
    • Wash hands with warm water & soap - or with alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    • Wash hands often if you are sick.
    • Stay home if you are sick, especially if you have a cough & fever.
    • See your doctor as soon as you can if you have a cough & fever, and follow their instructions. Take medications as prescribed & get lots of rest.
  2. Don't pick up germs from others:
    • Wash your hands before eating or touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
    • Wash your hands after touching anyone else who is sneezing, coughing, blowing their nose or whose nose is running.
    • Don't share things like towels, lipstick, toys, cigarettes or anything else that might be contaminated with respiratory germs.
    • Don't share food, utensils or beverage containers with others.
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Screenings

Florida state statute 381.0057 mandates school districts to provide health appraisals for the identification and management of actual or potential health problems which include but are not limited to nursing assessments, vision, hearing, scoliosis, and growth and development screenings. The purpose of the screenings are not to diagnose, but to separate those screened into two groups, those with no apparent problem and those who need further evaluation to determine if treatment is necessary. Screenings will be conducted within the first semester of the school year. Students enrolled in 1st, 3rd and 6th grades will be screened for growth and development (body mass index). Students in Kindergarten, 1st, 3rd and 6th grades will be screened for vision deficiencies; students in Kindergarten, 1st and 6th grades will be screened for hearing deficiencies; and 6th graders will also be screened for scoliosis.

The possible identification of deficiencies during the screenings will result in a referral letter to parents requesting further investigation by a licensed medical professional. It is the parents' responsibility to follow through on the referral process.

If the well being of the child is at stake, and if repeated contacts with the parent fail to produce a response, the case may be referred to a Charlotte County Public School Social Worker for review.

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