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Middle schools offer free healthcare

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September 4, 2002

Albany--  During the first four weeks of the new school nurse program, more than 4,000 students and teachers have visited the middle school clinics. The program is part of a deal between the school system and Phoebe Putney Hospital. Phoebe is providing fully equipped clinics with registered nurses at middle schools.

Nurses say they never expected to see so many children, as many as 50 a day. Most of the complaints are minor, like headaches or stomach aches, and the children can be treated and sent back to class.

Merry Acres Middle School's Nurse, Kelly Carswell, says, "You find some come because of a stomach ache and really they are hungry. Before we would send them home, we are keeping them at school."

The nurses dispense the student's prescription medications and over the counter treatments that their parents approve. If any more serious medical situation arises, the nurses send the children to a doctor or hospital.

Posted at 5:50 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com