The Coordinated School Health program from McMinn County Schools and Practical Nursing program from Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) combined forces in November to conduct health screenings on approximately 2,000 students in the system’s elementary schools.
Results from the screenings will be going home to parents soon, and are also used to identify students with potential hearing or vision deficiencies that could affect their ability to learn.
McMinn County Schools is appreciative of the partnership with TCAT. The clinical hours the nursing students spend in the schools are invaluable to the school system, as it would be impossible to see the numbers of elementary students involved without their assistance. The Practical Nursing students, under the supervision of the Practical Nursing instructors and coordinator, test the student’s vision and hearing, conduct blood pressure readings and measure student height and weight.
School administrators note that health screenings do not take the place of regular exams. Good vision is the number one non-academic barrier to learning, and is needed throughout life to conduct everyday skills. Children should have annual eye exams because their vision can change rapidly. TennCare insurance covers the cost of eye exams and prescribed glasses, and there are additional resources for parents who can’t afford to pay for exams.
Parents who need assistance scheduling or paying for an eye exam can call 423-745-1612, ext. 1325, for assistance.