Table of Contents
The Booker T. Washington High School Care Center is an incredible proposal aimed at improving delivery of healthcare services for students and other people at the school. However, in order to justify this undertaking, there is a need to establish significance of having a high school care center considering that an existent emergency department is located not too far away from the school. What services will the care center provide for the school and the students? How will the school care center improve the quality of life at the school? Which students are likely to benefit from the care center? How will it fit in the school environment? Will the care center add value to the school in general? The main question is what specific value would the care center add to the school? In order to answer all these questions, the literature review will focus mainly on understanding the needs of a high school and the significance of a care center within a school.
Defining A High School Care Center
According to Vincent (2011), high schools usually have infirmaries, which are defined simply as small health care facilities meant for attending to the sick or the injured within a given institution. Therefore, an infirmary is rather small and thus limited in its capacity. An infirmary functions as an intermediary by offering emergency care services before a patient can be transported to an actual hospital for further medical attention. Almost every public institution has a medical facility that resembles an infirmary, rather than a clinic. Despite having qualified personnel, infirmaries are often short-handed and ill-equipped and thus would not be of much help in an event of a severe injury or an outbreak (Vincent, 2011). This brings up the question of what a high school care center is and how different is it from a usual infirmary. First of all, the main differences between an infirmary and a health care center are their size and capacity in terms of staff and equipment. Health care centers are usually larger and better equipped with more qualified staff since they must have a larger capacity (Vincent, 2011). Therefore, in order to qualify as a health care center, the facility needs more space, more equipment and more staff. With the definition out of the way, it is important to understand the kind of medical emergencies that are probable in a high school setting. It would be futile to advocate for development of a school health care center without proof of demand for health care services within the school.
Medical Needs within a High School
As Abdulrahman, Harden & Mennin (2016) puts it, high schools are often a hub of activities that may be mostly mental but also involve some level of physical indulgence. Furthermore, Abdulrahman, Harden & Mennin (2016) note that high school populations are quite diverse in terms of age, ethnicity, medical conditions and physical capabilities among other factors. Thus, there are three major circumstances under which medical care would be mandatory and even life saving within a school. These include sports-related accidents in a field or court, lab accident and medical emergencies related to various health conditions of the students (Abdulrahman, Harden & Mennin, 2016). Outbreaks can also be a serious concern within a school, due to possible problems like food poisoning or water contamination.
Shope, Aronson and American Academy of Pediatrics (2013) define an accident as an unforeseen often unpleasant event, with bad outcomes in most of the cases. Within a high school setting, students and even teachers may get hurt in various situations. Football, baseball, and netball as well as swimming and many other sports that involve physical activities often have a chance of a physical injury either by the student or by coach. In the lab, students also conduct a number of experiments that have a probability of resulting in a physical injury. Burns and irritations are quite common in high school laboratories as the students learn to handle various chemicals in course of their studies. In most cases, these accidents pose no real threat to health. However, in case when an injury is severe, most schools rely on the ambulance services to transport the injured to the nearest emergency department for more demanding treatment. With a well equipped and adequately staffed health care center, it is possible to have even the severe cases of injuries treated within the school, thus minimizing the need of transporting the injured to an ER.
Sprigings & Chambers (2008) argue that schools are supposed to be fair in their admissions and at the same time safe for all of the students. Consequently, a school should be sufficiently equipped to cater to the medical emergencies related to various chronic ailments. Cases like asthmatic attacks may be easy to deal with in an infirmary but there are more sever situations associated with conditions like leukemia, diabetes, ulcers, heart conditions, kidney problems and many other health conditions that require specialized care within minutes from manifestation of acute symptoms (Sprigings & Chambers, 2008). In such a scenario, an ER may be too far or too busy to be of adequate help for the student. In order to ensure that the students are safe and that they remain alive after dealing with severe medical challenges at school, there is a need to develop a comprehensive health care center located within the school.
In addition, Hendricks (2008) states that medical emergencies sometimes bring a school to a halt owing to the tension and fear associated with having an ambulance rushing a student out of the school to an ER. With a facility within a school, students in need can be attended to without interrupting school activities or causing tension amongst the colleagues. Most students with medical conditions attend schools that are located near an ER or those that have an easy and quick access to an ER. With a medical care center within the school, these students would be more at ease about their situation in the event of a medical incident and thus they can focus more on their studies.
Stanhope & Lancaster (2008) established that outbreaks happen all the time and they range from flu and food poisoning to more serious pathogens that demand various levels of medical attention in order to contain and treat them. In some cases, students fall sick while at school and they cannot go home on their own or at the time for one reason or another. In such cases, a student would have to stay at the school or go to an ER. Often, the best option in such a situation is to go to an ER station considering that their state of health could be worsening. If the child’s parents cannot are unreachable, taking them to the ER could be a major burden to the school, especially in terms of getting someone to stay at the hospital with the sick student (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2008). However, without adequate resources, containing an outbreak at a school may also be impossible, especially if the school only has an infirmary with a few staff members and limited room. It thus follows that a health care center would be the best solution for such a problem.
Most high schools operate with only an infirmary, necessitating numerous trips to an emergency room of the nearest hospital in the event of any accident or medical emergency. Besides eliminating the need for these trips, a care center ensures that students with chronic medical conditions feel safe and at ease in school. The center would also ensure that any outbreaks would be effectively contained within the school rather than having to rush the students to an ER or sending them home. Generally, a health care center in a school has a lot of benefits and is thus a good idea for the Booker T Washington High School.