Local Oklahoma Students Can See Doctor Without Leaving School Building

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LEFLORE COUNTY (KFSM) -- Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center has partnered with Poteau and Howe School Districts to offer students a more convenient way to see a medical professional.

The telemedicine program will allow sick students, with the help of a school nurse, meet with an EOMC nurse practitioner through a video teleconferencing system.

It's the first of its kind service in Oklahoma, with EOMC being the first hospital in the state to implement the Telehealth program.

"It's an opportunity to have a clinical person evaluate them while they're here without having to leave school and without their parents having to leave their jobs and come and take them to the doctor," said Dr. Don Sjoberg, superintendent of Poteau Public Schools.

Once the telemedicine conference is connected, nurses will be able to measure vital signs and assess a student's condition.

"We can listen to the heart and the lungs, look in the eyes and the ears and the nose, and really do an assessment," said Tiffany Griffis, the chief nursing officer at EMOC. "[It's] kind of an EMT type of assessment of the patient and just a general patient appearance type thing."

Parents must sign their children up to be able to use the service.

A family's insurance company will be billed for using the service, but students without insurance will still be seen.

Brenda Carpenter, director of student services of Poteau Public Schools, said this service is simply an added convenience for families within the district.

"That's really the purpose of this, was to serve students, serve kids who don't have another opportunity to see a doctor," Carpenter said.

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