LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- The Lawton Community Health Center has established a school based health center at Comanche Elementary School to serve all students in the school district. This clinic is the only one of its kind structured like this in the state of Oklahoma. And school officials say it's going to be very beneficial.
This clinic will have a full-time registered nurse and a part-time pediatric nurse practitioner on duty Monday through Friday during school hours.
"We are located in the elementary school for ease of access, but we service the middle school, the high school, and even the alternative school," Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Samantha Gardner explained.
Samantha Gardner is the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. She says she is able to see and treat students like an urgent care clinic would.
"So if they wake up with a sore throat or an ear ache, or a belly aches in the middle of the day, and parents have signed the consent, then we are able to see them and treat them. And as long as they are not contagious, send them back to class."
"So far it's working really well. It's providing great service for our community and our parents," Terry Davidson, the superintendent, says they've received great feedback from parents.
The clinic has been in service since the first day of school for Comanche.
"Their medical needs can be taken care of much sooner. One parent told me that it was so nice for them to...they knew their child was sick...it was nice that they didn't have to get off work and to come down and get their child and make arrangements for an appointment."
Gardner says they've seen about a handful of students each day. She says while they can treat and diagnose your child, they are not taking the place of your primary care doctor.
"Instead of having to go to urgent care or a lot of offices unfortunately in our area can't get you in for a same-day sick visit, we're able to see the kids, get them in for a same day sick visit. We can even communicate with their primary care provider."
Gardner says the staff is fully certified, and if you are concerned or nervous about anything, feel free to call them.
"Stop by and visit. We're more than happy to sit there and talk with you and answer any questions you have. You can pop in. You can even come, and if you need a same day sick visit, you're more than welcome to come to join your kid for their visit."
"I really believe that we will see some educational benefits from having this on campus. And we are grateful for Lawton Community Health for helping us put this together. And we are excited about the future."
There is no charge for general nursing services. If your child needs to see the nurse practitioner, they will file that with your insurance. However, students who are uninsured will pay only $20 per visit. But no student will be denied care for inability to pay.
In other health news, the 12th annual Spirit of Survival kicks-off on Saturday, September 30th with a new event-- a bike ride of different distances for the whole family to enjoy. On Sunday, October 1st, run or walk in any of the five Spirit of Survival race events. For more information and to register please visit spiritofsurvival.com.