NCH Health Matters January 2017

NCHand Collier County Public Schoolswork together to care for our school-aged children

T o ensure that our school-aged children are receiving the best medical care during school hours and at after-school activities, NCH has been working with Collier County Public Schools (CCPS) to provide nursing services to students. The program has been in operation for about 20 years, according to Christene Parker, MSN, BSN, RN, a 25-year veteran of school nursing and school health services, who currently serves as the NCH Director of the School Health Program. “We serve 50 Collier County Public Schools, with 47,000 students with 55 staff members including seven Certified Athletic Trainers, an Athletic Trainer Coordinator and two School Nurse Coordinators,” said Parker. Staff members manage the care of students with acute and chronic medical conditions. Program staff members continually monitor the current health of the students as a whole, as well as every school’s environment to identify and prevent the spread of viruses and other communicable diseases. “Our goal is to improve and maintain student health so that children can be in the classroom learning,” explained Parker. “We also ensure compliance with national guidelines and the CCPS guidelines for school health services.” School nursing has evolved to include duties and responsibilities far more

cuts, etc. Nurses also participate as team members in developing individualized health plans and Emergency Action Plans (EAP) for students with chronic medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, life-threatening allergies and seizure disorders. The EAP includes doctors’ orders and the strategies and actions necessary to maintain students’ health. The school health team stays abreast of new developments in medicine and in the school system through attendance at regular monthly meetings. “We have speakers such as Jeff Welle, RN, from the Florida Department of Health, who recently gave an update on the Zika virus,” said Parker.

How Can School Nurses Help Your Student

• Medication administration (daily or as needed) • Assess, evaluate and make nursing diagnosis • Perform nursing procedures such as gastric tube feedings • Perform health, vision and other routine screenings and make referrals • Provide acute medical care • Develop individualized healthcare plans and write emergency action plans • Maintain immunization records and ensure compliance with immunization regulations • Maintain proper communication with administrators and teachers • Provide education for the teachers and other school staff

complex than simply taking a student’s temperature. “It involves assessment, evaluation and making a nursing diagnosis to identify the problem a student may be experiencing,” said Parker, stressing the importance of following up. “We also contact parents concerning treatment and care and make referrals to appropriate resources.” School healthcare staff members collaborate with the Collier County Department of Health to ensure necessary health screenings at each developmental stage, including vision screenings for example. “Asthma is generally the number one reason for absenteeism in schools across the country,” said Parker. “The chief complaints directed to school healthcare staff members are often tummy aches and headaches.” She adds that school nurses see a variety of common health conditions such as athlete’s foot, contusions due to falls, loose teeth,

Christene Parker, NCH Director School Health Program

The NCH Heart Institute Welcomes an Electrophysiologist to the Cardiac Care Team

I n October, the NCH Healthcare System welcomed Dinesh Sharma, MD, MPH, Electrophysiologist, in the role of Medical Director of Electrophysiology. He brings his skills and expertise in electrophysiology to the multi-disciplinary team of interventional cardiologists, cardiologists, and cardiovascular thoracic surgeons and dozens of compassionate and skilled colleagues at the NCH Heart Institute. Dr. Sharma complements the continuum of care provided by this cardiac team, which is highly renowned and recognized in Florida for its expertise and success. He completed his Electrophysiology training at Mount Sinai Medical Center, NY and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, CA, both of which are prestigious institutes in the field. He is board certified in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology and was inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha, an honor medical society, in recognition of his highest level of patient care and professionalism. Dr. Sharma is well published in Journals such as The Journal of American College of Cardiology (JACC) and Heart Rhythm. He specializes in treating heart rhythm disorders and procedures such as atrial fibrillation (afib) ablation, ventricular tachycardia (VT) ablation, supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) ablation, pacemaker and defibrillator implantation, and left atrial appendage occlusion for stroke prevention. “I commonly treat patients who experience palpitations, flutter, fainting or near fainting spells, heart failure, stroke, in those who may not associate this with an underlying cardiac condition. After a comprehensive evaluation, treatment plans are customized to each individual. Dependent on the patient, diagnosis, age, risk factors, and coexisting medical conditions, medications may be initiated over procedural interventions such as ablation or device implantation,” says Sharma. “I find the field of Electrophysiology to be very rewarding as it cures some chronic diseases and has improved the quality and life expectancy in some patients. The field is also at the forefront of technological

advances in medicine, but at the same time, Electrophysiology requires listening carefully to the patient in order to diagnose the underlying rhythm problems, which I thoroughly enjoy,” he adds. Dr. Sharma educates his patients on their

Dinesh Sharma, MD, MPH, Electrophysiologist

condition as well as treatment options. The key is to establish with a Cardiologist and/or Electrophysiologist early for evaluation and diagnosis. “It is important for your physician to establish a baseline and then monitor your condition and/or symptoms in follow-up intervals,” he explains. “I am happy and excited to serve the Naples community,” says Sharma.

Dinesh Sharma, MD, MPH, Electrophysiologist, NCH Heart Institute sees patients at the NCH Downtown Hospital campus located at 399 9th Street North, Suite 300. For more information call (239) 624-4200.

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