Cleveland City Schools have better access to medical care - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Cleveland City Schools have better access to medical care

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Getting medical care is now a lot more accessible for students in the Cleveland City School System.

Holly Whaley says "So they are not leaving the comfort of their own school, not having to go to a doctor's office."

Thanks to a new telemedicine program,  Mayfield Elementary School nurse Holly Whaley is able to link directly to Nurse Practitioner, Natalie Pollard, through the computer.

Reyne Pohl says "It takes the guess work out of that school nurse, she doesn't have to wonder if that child has allergies or strep, she can do that test in her officer under the direction of this program."

Holly Whaley says "We can do flu tests, strep tests, we can do urinalyisis, normal childhood illnesses, ear infections and things like that."

The program, which is administered through Children's Hospital at Erlanger, just started in January, and Holly says they recently saw a big jump in visits as it catches on.

Holly Whaley says "Our stethoscopes link in together, she puts hers on I mine on, what I'm hearing with the child, she's hearing the same thing.  She can see and hear everything I can see and  hear."   

Holly and those who work with this program say with this program there are a a lot fewer missed days of school and work....and it doesn't matter whether you have insurance which can make a big difference a lot of their families.

Holly Whaley says "They accept children with no insurance which saves parents a lot of money, a lot of worries that their children aren't going to be able to be seen if they are very sick."

While this is seen as the future of medical care for students, Natalie is quick to point out while she can diagnose a lot of routine ailments with technology through the computer, it doesn't replace a trip to the doctor's office in certain cases.

Natalie Pollard, Adult Nurse Practitioner, says "It is definitely the future of health care, I don't think it will ever replace going to the doctor, but I think it supplements it."

That supplement can make a big difference when it comes to the overall health of students, their school, and the community.
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