Health clinic opens in Pawcatuck school


PAWCATUCK, Conn. (WTNH)– School officials have high hopes for a new health clinic that opened up at a middle school in Pawcatuck.

Officials are crossing their fingers it will help shrink the absent list, keep students from being late and increase student achievement.

If students aren’t feeling too well at school, they of course see the school nurse but now there’s also this full service health center available for them.

“The nurse practitioner can do physicals, provide immunizations, flu shots,” said Tim Smith, Principal.

She can also test for strep throat and write a prescription if further treatment is needed. But the key is Pawcatuck Middle School students can come right there from class, no doctor’s appointment or waiting at a walk-in clinic or emergency room needed.

“That’s hours and hours of time tied up,” said Smith.

Principal Tim Smith says the convenience can cut down on absenteeism and tardiness, parents don’t have to take off from work and kids don’t have to take off from school to get this medical care.

“By the time they get to school to pick up their sick student, all they have to do prescription in hand get to the pharmacy,” said Smith.

Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut provides the nurse practitioner as well as a family counselor for in school mental health care.

“One of the things and one of the reasons I wanted to push so hard for this clinic in my school is that the middle school years the adolescence is a time of great stress,” said Smith.

There’s still a school nurse, social worker, and psychologist. This center just adds to those services and is open year round.

“As school nurses we see such a variety of illnesses both physical and mental. So to have another resource, medical resource in the school setting is reassuring for me,” said Jean McQuade, RN/School Nuse.

In order to use this health center students needs to be signed up first. We’re told about 28 percent of the students have signed up so far. Parents should also know signing up is free and once the students are signed up if they need it, it’s there for them.

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