At Mercy Health, we are proud to partner with many school districts via our school-based health care centers. In fact, one of our newest locations recently opened in the Cincinnati area at Clermont Northeastern school district.
But what exactly is a school-based health care center?
It is “a doctor’s office that’s attached to your school,” says Stephanie Eberle, one of our practice managers.
At our school-based health care centers, a nurse practitioner is available to provide medical care to students, faculty members and staff throughout the day. School-based health centers also serve the larger community by also allowing local community members to utilize these services, much like a regular primary care office.
How is a nurse practitioner different from a school nurse or health assistant?
A nurse practitioner staffing a school-based health center provides an additional level of care.
Unlike a school nurse or health assistant, a nurse practitioner can order tests and prescribe medications. They can help with immediate treatment of illnesses such as flu, strep throat, pink eye, rashes, sinus infections and minor skeletal injuries. They can also help with the management of chronic illnesses such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease.
Finally, nurse practitioners can conduct annual wellness visits, such as sports physicals, which is convenient for both students and their parents.
Do I need to make an appointment, or can I just walk in?
Students, faculty and staff of the school are often seen on a walk-in basis. If you are a community member without a connection to the school, give your local care center a call before heading over so they know to expect you. In most cases, same-day appointments are available.
Can I still use my local school-based health center if I have a different primary care provider?
Absolutely! Our school-based nurse practitioners are available to help on those days when you can’t make it to your provider’s office. If you don’t currently have a primary care provider, you can establish care with our nurse practitioners for long-term primary care.
Do parents need to be present when the nurse practitioner is treating a minor student?
If consent for treatment has been granted in advance by a parent/guardian, they do not need to be present for the treatment of their child. However, we welcome parents in our care centers and are happy to have them present during visits. Additionally, we always notify parents regarding any treatment their child receives and communicate any important information from the visit.
Learn more about the health care services we provide at Mercy Health.