Health Office

Health Services Mission: 
To support academic success and social, emotional, 
behavioral, and physical health of all students.

Welcome to the health office.  The office is staffed by a school nurse, Joanie McMahon, and a full time health secretary, Paula Haight. Joanie is on campus on Mondays and available to us by phone at any time.  Paula is in the health office every day from 8:00 to 3:30.

Health Office Information:

Duties / Procedures:                                                                                          

Working as a team, they assist students to reach optimum health enabling them to achieve their fullest potential.

        The school nurse’s role focuses on factors affecting a child’s learning in school. The nurse interprets the student’s health care needs to school staff, manages medication administration, and helps in the assessment of physical, social and emotional health. In addition, the school nurse acts as a health education resource for teachers, identifies health and safety hazards in the schools, and offers health guidance to students and their families. The school nurse has multiple building assignments and may be in a
building one or two days per week.

    A health secretary has certification in First Aid, CPR, and medication administration and is present in the school health office daily. The health secretary is responsible for care of routine illnesses and injuries, medication administration, clerical functions, and maintaining the clinic and supplies. Health secretaries communicate with the nurses for urgent concerns or emergencies via phone when the nurse is not present.

When a student comes to the health office, their complaint or need is documented. Depending on the student's need their temperature may be taken. If the student has a temperature greater than 100, the parent will be called to take the student home. The student may return to school after the fever has broken and they have not taken a fever reducing medication. If the student does not have a fever, the health secretary or nurse may have the student rest 10-15 minutes and then have the student return to class. The parent may be contacted if their student comes to the clinic several times or if there is a question or concern.  Parents and students are encouraged to contact us with any questions or concerns. You may call the health office directly at 319-558-2473 or e-mail:

Contact Us:                                                                                             

Joanie McMahon : jmcmahon@cr.k12.ia.us

Paula Haight: phaight@cr.k12.ia.us

Administration of Medication to Students:                                            

Regulation 605.3b of the Cedar Rapids Community School 

Board of Education states:

Only medication prescribed by a legal prescriber* shall be administered during the time the student is at school. A legal prescriber’s signature is required for administration of any non-prescription medication. The parent or legal guardian shall provide written authorization. The school shall have the right to contact the prescriber’s office to confirm or clarify medication instructions. All medication shall be supplied to the school in the original container, properly labeled, and shall be administered only by the school nurse or other personnel who have successfully completed a medication administration course conducted by a registered nurse or licensed pharmacist. Students who have demonstrated competence in administering their own medications may self-administer their medication with approval of the parent/guardian and of the school nurse. By law, students with asthma or other airway constricting diseases may self-administer their medication with approval of their parents and prescribing physician regardless of competency. A written medication administration record shall be on file at school and retained for one year. All medication shall be stored in a secure area unless an alternate provision is documented. Medication records shall be kept confidential.

Changes In Asthma Inhalers:                                                                       

Why did my child’s inhaler change?  Environmental concerns prompted federal laws to change the 
substance that carries the medicine out of the inhaler known as  the propellant.  This became effective
      December 31, 2008 however the newer inhalers were given out prior to this date. There have been no changes to the medication itself.  Look on your asthma inhaler for the letters HFA.  These letters
would mean you have the newer inhaler.

You or your child may notice a difference when using the new inhaler.  These may include:

  • Spray is finer
  • Taste and feel is different
  • Plastic mouthpiece casing must be cleaned regularly to prevent clogging
  • Inhaler must be “primed” prior to first use and on a regular basis
  • Several brands should be stored upright
  • Cost is higher.

Each brand comes with directions.  Ask your pharmacist or school nurse for assistance or read your  
package directions.  One standard set of directions that are different for HFA inhalers are:

  • If used occasionally, the inhaler needs to be “primed” prior to each use and the plastic case will be cleaned after each use.
  • If used daily, the plastic case will be cleaned once per week.
  • You must count the number of sprays used, some inhalers come with counters

Please discuss these changes with your child so they get full benefit from their inhalers.
Please call your school nurse if you have any questions.

About Head Lice:                                                                                                

There has been some confusion about the prevention and control of head lice in our school.  The following information is taken from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): 

What are head lice?
The head louse, or Pediculus humanus capitis is a parasitic insect that can be found on people.  Head lice feed on human blood several times a day and live close to the human scalp.  Head lice are not known to spread disease. 

Who is at risk for getting head lice?
Head lice are found world wide.  Head lice move by crawling; they cannot hop or fly.  Head lice are spread by direct contact with the hair of an infested person.  Anyone who comes in head-to-head contact with someone who already has head lice is at greatest risk.  Spread by contact with clothing (such as hats, scarves, coats) or other personal items (such as combs, brushes, or towels) used by an infested person isuncommon.  The risk of getting an infestation by a louse or nit that has fallen onto a carpet or furniture is very small.  Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice.  

Can head lice be spread by sharing head phones?
Head lice are spread most commonly by direct contact with the hair of an infested person.  Spread by contact with inanimate objects and personal belongings may occur but is very uncommon.  Head lice feet are specially adapted for holding onto human hair.  Head lice would have difficulty attaching firmly to smooth or slippery surfaces like plastic, metal, polished synthetic leathers and other similar materials.  

How long do head lice live?
Head lice and their eggs (nits) soon perish if separated from their human host.  Adult head lice can live only a day or so off the human head without blood for feeding.  Nymphs (young head lice) can live only for several hours without feeding on a human.  Nits generally die within a week away from their human host and cannot hatch at a temperature lower than that close to the human scalp.  

If you have a student that is constantly scratching their head, please send them to the health office and we will check their hair.  

Objects such as head phones that are used by someone with a head lice infestation should not need to be bagged, because they are smooth and there is no way that head lice can grasp onto them.  You can check any head phones in your class room for any stray hair left on them.  If you are worried about it, let them set in a baggie for 48 hours as that is the longest head lice can live off a human head. 

If you would like to read more about head lice or have any questions, please stop into the health office. We have a complete binder on the subject. 

HACAP and Madison Offer Free Dental Sealant for Students                

Madison School has been chosen as one of the sites for a free preventative dental sealant programby a grant awarded by the State of Iowa. Dental hygienists from HACAP and St. Luke’s Dental Health Center will be providing the sealant services at twenty Cedar Rapids schools. This free opportunity will benefit our students in grades 2 through 5, by promoting good oral health, preventing cavities in molars and avoiding lost learning time due to dental illness.

Dental sealants are a plastic coating applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. According to the CDC, they are a safe, effective way to prevent cavities among schoolchildren, by providing a physical barrier so that cavity-causing bacteria cannot invade the pits and fissures on the chewing surfaces of teeth. The procedure is completely pain free and takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. The cost of sealants in a dentist’s office can be as much as $50-$60 per tooth.

This free program will take place at Madison beginning on February 5, 2013, followed byFebruary 6, 7, and 12 depending on demand. The dental hygienist applying the sealants is Angie Wieland.  Angie will need a signed consent form from each student wanting to participate in the program.  We are asking that the consent forms be returned by Feb. 1.

 

If you have any questions, please contact the health office at 558-2788. 

Healthy Links:                                                                                                 

BAM!                                  Body and Mind.  

The School District's          Health Services Web Page.