KidCheck Plus: Partnering to Promote Health in School-age Children

Sunday, 17 November 2013: 11:20 AM

Anita Kay Williams Prickett, DSN, RN, CDE1
Jennifer B. Frank, MSN, RN, PCNS, B.C.1
Jennifer Haddox Williams, BS2
Chad L. Nichols, BS, MBA2
(1)College of Nursing, Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, AL
(2)KidCheck Plus Dept, Sight Savers America, Pelham, AL

Learning Objective 1: examine a collaborative program that partners colleges of nursing students and local school nurses to provide health screening for school-aged children.

Learning Objective 2: discuss the health implications of student health screenings in underserved communities and the role of nursing in promoting health of these school-aged children.

The school-aged child has usually completed all of their routine immunizations and scheduled well-child health visits.  In a time of financial difficulty or extreme poverty, this age group may be missing from any health promotion or illnesses prevention activities.  The school nurse may be the only access some children have for this type of care.  With the number of children per school nurse, the screenings are limited to only what is required which is usually vision and scoliosis. 

The KidCheck Plus Department, a program of Sight Savers America, is an initiative coordinating students from more than twenty different two and four year Colleges of Nursing across Alabama with school health nurses to provide comprehensive health screenings.  From September 2011 to December 2012, KidCheck Plus screened 36,552 school-aged children in 32 schools systems across the state (KidCheck Plus, 2013).

The nursing students perform health screenings on children that evaluate the child from head to toe while remaining clothed.  The school nurses and parents receive information on any abnormal findings.  Parents receive information about the state’s public health insurance plan, health informational materials on elevated or low body mass index, dental abnormalities, and elevated blood pressure.  Children with vision problems are referred to Sight Savers where eligible children receive free vision care. The school nurses work with the parents to ensure health needs are met.

Our faculty and students are able to see the impact of health promotion in the community.  Our goal is to identify common health alterations and provide more health promotion information and interventions for any identified health issues. The presentation will discuss this program and what the common health issues are in our area of northeast Alabama. In addition, we will introduce measures that we can implement to improve the quality of health in these children.