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Over 2,500 Students Provided Free Vision Screenings

DCoDPH School Nurses performed vision tests to first graders in Durham Public Schools

Post Date:03/29/2017 12:44 PM

DURHAM, N.C. – The numbers are in!  During the month of February, the Durham County Department of Public Health (DCoDPH) Public Health School Nurses provided free mass vision screenings to Durham Public Schools (DPS) first grade students.  With 28 elementary schools in DPS and one charter school, the nurses have successfully screened 2,541 students.  Of those students,

  • 2,327 vision screenings were within normal limits
  • 214 students required vision referrals to a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist
  • 16 parents declined their children’s screenings and were not included in the total number of screenings.

“Children’s eyes continue to develop up to age six.  Mass vision screenings for this age group have the potential to identify vision issues that may need referral and evaluation by an eye care professional.  Adequate vision is closely tied to a student’s ability to access educational activities,” said Cheryl Scott, interim public health nurse division director, DCoDPH.  “Our screenings were optional and completely at the parent’s discretion; however, we were committed to screening as many students as possible.”

Prevent Blindness of North Carolina recommends mass vision screenings for first grade students because amblyopia, a common children childhood vision problem can cause blindness in one eye.  It may be detected and corrected during this stage of development.

All children will receive a copy of their vision screening results.  If a child does not pass the screening, a letter with recommendations for further evaluation from an eye doctor will be attached.

For more information about DCoDPH School Nurses, contact Cheryl Scott, Interim Public Health Nurse Division Director, at 919.560.7712 or cscott@dconc.gov

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About DCoDPH School Nurse Program

 School nurses are instrumental in the identification and referral of community resources for Durham Public Schools (DPS) students’ health concerns.  There are 20 school nurse positions that include three supervisors and one team leader, and they provide services in 47 of the 53 Durham Public Schools.  School nurses are responsible for the assessment, planning, and maintenance of safe and effective medical and nursing management of students with acute and chronic health conditions.  They also provide case management for chronic illnesses and education about diabetes, medication administration, and other skilled procedures.  Working collaboratively with pediatric practices ensures that Durham’s youth are able to receive the needed health care in the school setting and are ready to learn.  For more information about the DCoDPH School Nurse Program, visit http://dconc.gov/government/departments-f-z/public-health/programs-and-services/school-health-program

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