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Public Health Nursing

Program Purpose

Public Health Nursing provides health promotion, disease prevention, intervention and support services to women, children, youth and families living across the Island Health region. Services are provided to individuals, families, groups and communities in homes, schools, health units and community settings.

 

Services to Support Women and Families During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period

  • Pregnancy classes in areas where community-based prenatal classes are not available (e.g. Salt Spring Island)
  • One-to-one and group prenatal teaching and support for individuals that have specific needs
  • Prenatal teaching in school-based programs for pregnant adolescents and in Pregnancy Outreach Programs
  • Provision of pamphlets, brochures, books and videos and other resources on pregnancy and parenting
  • Telephone contact with all new mothers and follow-up home visit
  • Breastfeeding support for mothers/families requiring assistance and information or experiencing difficulties with breastfeeding
  • Postpartum depression screening for all new mothers; support for women experiencing difficulty with postpartum adjustment or postpartum depression; weekly Postpartum Depression support groups; partner information sessions as required 
  • Education and support around issues such as: Infant Care - Safety - Healthy lifestyle choices - Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder/Fetal Alcohol Effect prevention - Shaken Baby Syndrome - Low birth weight prevention - Parent support services - Dental Health - Nutrition - Hearing - Vision 

Services to Families and Caregivers of Infants and Preschoolers

  • Baby Talk, Toddler Talk, informal information, support and discussion groups for new parents and their babies and toddlers.  Various health and other topics of interest discussed
  • Child Health Conferences for basic childhood immunizations, assessment, and counselling
  • Individual screening, assessment of child’s development and social-emotional progress
  • Provision of health information to groups, daycares, preschools, and the community on preschool health and safety issues such as injury and communicable disease prevention, nutrition, and parenting

Services to Support Individuals and the Families of School-Age Children

  • Collaborate with children, youth, parents, school personnel, and community agencies to promote health and address health issues for children and youth in and out of school
  • Collaborate with school health team in identifying, planning, implementing and evaluating school health promotion and education programs and services (e.g. tobacco reduction, sexual health, injury prevention, physical activity, healthy eating)
  • Provide linkages between schools and community resources
  • Health unit-based immunization clinics for kindergarten aged children
  • School-based immunization clinics for grade 6 and grade 9 students
  • Hearing and vision screening for all children in kindergarten
  • Vision and hearing screening for children by referral
  • Collaboration with parents, school personnel, and children on children’s medical conditions, which may require emergency treatment while at school
  • Counselling, support, coordination of services, case finding for students with either short-term health care needs or long term, chronic health needs
  • Provision of teaching materials, pamphlets, videos, and posters

Communicable Disease Control

  • Information and follow-up with parents, care providers and school personnel on infestations and reportable communicable diseases
  • Provide child and adult immunization programs for selected vaccine preventable diseases
  • Education and counselling on immunization

Nursing Support Services

Nursing Support services are provided to children requiring specialized health care such as tracheostomy care, palliative care, gastrostomy feedings, etc., based on eligibility criteria.  This includes: 

  • Nursing assessment
  • Development and implementation of a health care plan
  • Training, delegation and ongoing monitoring of caregivers in schools and selected child care settings
  • Advocacy for children with special needs and their families
  • Liaison and consultation with family, health professionals, school personnel, and other service providers
  • Nursing Support Services also completes functional assessments for the “At Home” program 

Accessing Services

  • Self referrals
  • Physicians, preschool/school staff, social workers, other health professionals, family members
  • No referral form is required
  • Application form required for ‘At Home’ program assessment 

To find the health unit near you, click here.

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