Health Care in Sioux Falls Schools Part 2
Parental Consent Form
I want to share with you the parental consent form for your child to be seen in the Falls Community Health Clinic located in your child’s school.
A couple of things of note.
Services provided at Falls Community Health—School-Based Health Clinic will include:
- Physical exams and immunizations.
- Routine lab tests and x-rays.
- Care for acute illness and injury.
- Assistance in care of chronic conditions—such as asthma or seizure disorder.
- Follow-up as requested by family doctor.
- Student health education.
Where do I begin?
Physical exams and immunizations – well child check-ups? I’ve never quite understood those. If my child is well, and I as a parent, the person who knows my child best, have no physical or developmental concerns, why take my child to the doctor? Oh yeah – immunizations. In this state we still have the right to refuse immunizations for our children based on religion or medical reasons. Why would the school need to do a physical exam on an otherwise healthy child?
Routine lab tests and x-rays. Please tell me what lab tests and x-rays are routine and that the school should have the right to order.
Care for acute illness or injury. Isn’t that the parents right? A hypothetical question here – if my child has an acute illness that my husband and I, after much research into treatment plans, have chosen to treat holistically, will the school be able to go against our wishes? Before you answer that question too quickly, don’t forget about the Minnesota family that chose holistic treatment in lieu of chemotherapy to treat their son’s leukemia, only to be taken to court and ordered by a judge to begin chemotherapy. The details of that case may make it an extreme example, but, has the precedent been set?
Injury – if my child is hurt on the playground and requires stitches, they will just stitch him up without my knowledge.(I will cover that later.) I’m not there to hold my child’s hand and do the things that I, as the parent, know bring comfort to my child.
Assistance in the care of chronic conditions such as asthma or seizure disorder – First of all, don’t the schools already do this on a certain level. With a doctor’s orders, they administer meds to a number of students with chronic conditions. Here, the word “assistance” makes me nervous with the same concerns as above under acute illness.
Follow-up as requested by a family doctor – I don’t get to ask the doctor any questions?
And last, but certainly not least – Health Education
Students seen in the clinic must have consent from a parent/guardian prior to receiving care. Please complete, sign, and return this consent form to the SFSD school nurse. Consent for treatment must be obtained yearly.
So once a year, I give them consent to do what they see fit for a whole year.
Providing consent allows for information to be shared with between FCH (Falls Community Health aka the City of Sioux Falls Health Department) and SFSD (Sioux Falls School District) including, but not limited to:
Contact information (parent/guardian name, address, phone number).
Insurance (Medicaid) information.
Completed school child physicals.
Summary of acute care visit.
Now, please think of the information, which is required with the acceptance of CCSS, the schools will be sharing with the data-base that the state of South Dakota is building to be able to share this personally identifiable information with the Federal Government, who is getting ready to share this information with other “stakeholders”. By the way, these clinics are built with federal grant money
If your child receives services at the SBHC, you will be contacted after each visit, either by phone and/or a visit summary, which will be sent to your home. (I put the italics on that phrase) You are encouraged to attend the visit with your child if possible. Staff from FCH can answer questions regarding the health center or health concerns you may have about your child.
You will be contacted AFTER each visit, either by phone and/or a visit summary, which will be sent to your home? I don’t think I need to elaborate on what’s wrong with that. And “You are encouraged to attend the visit with your child if possible.” To be fair, there is an option on the second page, that you can “opt-in” to be notified of services before they are received.
And did I mention they also will be providing dental services?
If my child is not feeling well in the morning, and I call the school telling them that he will not be there that day because he is sick, will it get to a point that they will tell me to bring him to school because they have a clinic there that will decide if my child is sick enough to stay home? If I call into work and tell them I won’t be in because I need to take my child to the doctor, will my employer threaten my job because I choose to take my child to the doctor and not let the school do it?
Now, I can hear many of you saying, “What’s wrong with a clinic in the school? Do you know how much easier life would be if I didn’t have to leave work to take my child to the doctor?” Trust me. I get it. I just want you to be aware of the pitfalls of the school having a clinic and your blanket permission to treat your child in the school.