Waterbury School Nursing
“Waterbury School Nurses and Public Health Aides ensure that our City’s 23,000 school children are healthy, safe and ready to learn.”
The City of Waterbury was an early adopter in 1904 of the School Nursing Innovation. The Waterbury Department of Public Health has been providing school nursing services ever since 1904, to ensure that Waterbury school children are healthy, safe and ready to learn. Our Registered Nurses provide comprehensive school health services to 23,000 students, preschool through high school, at 38 Waterbury Public, parochial and private schools. Services are provided within the laws of the State of Connecticut Department of Education.
School Nursing in the City of Waterbury is an exciting and rewarding specialty nursing practice focused on supporting the health, safety and education of youth aged 3-21. To explore this career pathway, apply here:
School Nurse I
School Nurse II
School Nurse III
School Medical Advisor
Melissa Amicone, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC
Onsite Medical Director - Community Health Center, Inc.
School Medical Advisor - Waterbury Health Department
Melissa Amicone, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, serves as the School Medical Advisor for the Waterbury Department of Health. She is a board-certified family nurse practitioner with more than 10 years of experience, including four years in the position of on-site Medical Director for the Community Health Center Inc.'s CHC of Waterbury practice. She has been serving underserved communities and individuals across the lifespan as a primary care provider working within Federally Qualified Health Center settings for the past decade. Dr. Amicone has a thorough understanding not only of health care and disease prevention, but also of the upstream factors that influence health and wellness. She is passionate about examining social determinants of health within the community and working to eliminate barriers to health equity.
Dr. Amicone earned a Master of Science in Nursing at Columbia University with a focus on epigenetic factors that influence health states, including diabetes, hypertension and obesity. She earned a Doctorate of Nursing Practice form Quinnipiac University where she examined variables influencing vaccination rates among immunocompromised individuals. Dr. Amicone has also earned a Bachelor in Science from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Connecticut.
School Based Health Centers
Waterbury Health Department and the Waterbury Public Schools collaborate to ensure that high-quality medical care, behavioral health and oral health services are available to students by means of School-Based Health Centers (SBHC). Currently, SBHC services are available to students at the following Waterbury Public Schools:
- Wilby High School/North End Middle School
(Medical, Behavioral Health and Dental Services)
- Crosby High School/Wallace Middle School
(Medical, Behavioral Health and Dental Services)
- Driggs Elementary School
The medical care, behavioral health and oral health services are provided at the SBHCs by Community Health Center, Inc. (CHC)
The CHC staff are licensed health care providers who work with school nurses to provide expanded medical, behavioral health, and dental services to students during the school day. They work in conjunction with the student's primary care provider, to support their health care needs.
To enroll your child in a SBHC located in Waterbury, visit: https://www.sbhc1.com/
For more information about CHC, visit: https://www.chc1.com/what-we-do/our-services/school-based-health/
Specialty Services for Students with Asthma
Asthma is the number one chronic illness of students in the Waterbury School District. During the 2017-2018 school year, there were 4,332 students diagnosed with asthma in Waterbury schools but as of March 2018, there were only 168 Asthma Action Plans and only 1,264 asthma inhaler orders on file for these students. The Waterbury School Nurses administered asthma rescue inhalers to students 10,241 times and nebulizer treatments 260 times during the school year.
For the 2018-2019 school year, the Waterbury School Nurses standardized around the use of Asthma Action Plans to ensure quality care for each student diagnosed with asthma. As of December 2018, there are 4,082 students with a diagnosis of asthma in Waterbury schools and as a result of standardization, the Waterbury School Nurses now have on file 840 Asthma Action Plans detailing care for each student with asthma, as well as 96 asthma inhaler orders.
- Standardization has highlighted that 120 students with asthma have an Asthma Action Plan or an inhaler order on file with the School Nurse, but the parent/guardian has not provided the prescribed inhaler, placing the student at increased risk in the event of an asthma attack.
According to the CDC, all people with asthma should have an asthma action plan. An asthma action plan (also called a management plan) is a written plan that is developed by your doctor to help control asthma. The asthma action plan outlines daily treatment, such as what kind of medicines to take and when to take them. The Asthma Action Plan describes how to control asthma long term AND how to handle worsening asthma, or attacks. The plan explains when to call the doctor or go to the emergency room.
If your child has asthma, all of the people who care for him or her should know about the child’s Asthma Action Plan. These caregivers include other family members, babysitters and workers at daycare centers, schools, and camps. These caretakers all can help your child follow his or her action plan.
To address this, the Waterbury School Nursing program has introduced the following measures to better care for students with asthma:
1. New Standard Form: Asthma Medication Authorization & Asthma Action Plan
The Waterbury School Nurses have standardized around the use of a Connecticut Department Public Health form specifically designed to help provide quality care for students with asthma. The new form combines authorization by the student’s health care provider for up to 3 asthma medications in school with an Asthma Action Plan.
If your child has asthma, please be sure that your healthcare provider uses this form when prescribing asthma medications for use by your child in Waterbury schools. This form will provide the Waterbury School Nurses with the information needed to provide your child with quality care while at school.
NEW ASTHMA FORMS: Your healthcare provider should use this combination Asthma Medication Authorization & Asthma Action Plan.
2. Easy Breathing© for Schools
The Waterbury School Nurses are implementing the Easy Breathing© for Schools Program which was developed by asthma experts at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. Easy Breathing for Schools is a nurse-centered school-based asthma program designed to identify students with asthma who are at high risk for adverse outcomes and to assist school nurses in better managing those students including by means of an Asthma Action Plan.
The goal of the program is to improve asthma control and reduce asthma-related school absenteeism.
The Easy Breathing for Schools program focuses on four main components:
- Identifying students at risk for asthma problems during the school year by using a student asthma survey
- Assessing asthma control by implementing an Asthma Control Test™
- Assessing the technique students are using with their inhalers by incorporating an inhaler technique checklist
- Communicating with clinicians and families through an asthma referral checklist
Forms and Resources
In accordance with Connecticut General statutes, each student enrolled in the Waterbury school system is required to have a health assessment by a legally qualified practitioner of medicine (physician or osteopath licensed to practice in the United States), or by an advanced practice registered nurse, or Physician Assistant licensed to practice in Connecticut according to the following schedule:
- Prior to initial entrance into preschool programs
- Prior to initial entrance into kindergarten
- In grades 6 and 10
- For transfer students, prior to initial entrance into the Waterbury schools
- For ungraded students, prior to initial entrance and whenever a health assessment is required for students of the same age cohort as the ungraded student
To locate a healthcare provider for needed school physicals and immunizations, please see:
Area Resources for School Physicals & Immunizations
USE THIS FORM FOR ALL REQUIRED SCHOOL PHYSICALS & FOR ALL SPORTS PHYSICAL
Pre-K Early Childhood Health Assessment (For Pre-K3 and Pre-K4)
Grades K, 6 & 10 Health Assessment Record/Health and Education Sports Permission Form
FOR ASTHMA MEDICATIONS, PLEASE USE THE FOLLOWING FORM
Asthma Medication Authorization and Asthma Action Plan
USE THIS MEDICATION FORM FOR ALL OTHER NON-ASTHMA MEDICATIONS
Authorization for the Administration of Medication by School, Child Care and Youth Camp Personnel
LINKS FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE WATERBURY SCHOOL NURSES
Waterbury School Nurses BMI Data Analysis 2013-14 & 2014-15
Waterbury School Nurses Journal 2017
Waterbury School Nurses Magazine 2015
School Nursing Supervisors:
Hope Fenn, RN
Meghan Griffin, RN
Natalie Hellerich, RN