Health? WHS is all over that


Katherine Hawkins

Health? WHS is all over that.


Not only does Waterford High School support their students in academics, the school also supports their health and well being. As we all know, whenever a student feels sick, they are sent to the Nurses Office. At WHS, the nurses office consists of a head nurse and two assistant nurses with the primary responsibility of improving student’s health within school. This can be seen through mandatory scoliosis and vision testing. Athletes have the opportunity to receive sports physicals through an appointment at the nurses office. 

However, the school recently implemented a new wellness division in WHS known as the Health Clinic. The Health Clinic is located in the Counseling office and closely works with the school’s nurses to ensure effective communication surrounding patient records and overall wellness. The Health Clinic can be seen as a doctor’s office located on school grounds. The health clinic offers a variety of resources and examinations similar to the nurses office that include yearly examinations, vaccinations, and mental health assessments. Further, students can receive acute care visits for injuries or sickness and chronic care visits for asthma or ADHD and more. Not only this but counseling and substance use screenings are also offered in support of the students and staff. The purpose of this clinic is to encourage early detection and prevention through medical treatment and education. Unlike the school nurse’s office, which is available to students at no medical expense, aspects of the health clinic may require payment through insurance or other programs with the school. In order to have access to the health clinic, all you need to do is go to the WHS website under the tab “services” then “school based health center” and complete a short application which is turned into school. Once that is complete, a wide selection of services will be open to all of the students’ needs in order to maintain health, mentally and physically. Pankhudi Prasad, a WHS senior, emphasizes that “students who may not be able to pay for treatment out-of-pocket can really benefit from the health clinic because the nurses can link their insurance to treatment.” 

In a rise of health awareness across the country, laws have been passed in order to support individuals through the recent effects of the pandemic. This includes the rise in mental health awareness. For students who may want counseling, that is not the only opportunity in order to maintain mental health. In 2021, a bill was passed in Connecticut under the department of education that states that students may receive excused absences for students who may need to tend to their mental health. However, the CT department of education makes it clear that “students are limited to two days (MHW) per school year.” This means that students who may be struggling with mental health may take advantage of their schools counseling programs as well as necessary absences that are excused in order to maintain their mental health. 

To summarize the health resources at WHS, students may receive free service through the nurses office, support through the health clinic (also located in the counseling suite), and support from health resources that allows two excused mental health days. It is important to remember that reaching out for support early on can prevent problems pertaining to health later on in which students should take advantage of this resource offered at WHS.