The Public Health Nurse (PHN) completes an assessment to assists in identifying client needs for a positive pregnancy outcome. Early referral can assist the nurse in connecting the expectant woman, and her family, to the appropriate resources such as nutrition, smoking cessation, and other services such as childbirth education services and Healthy Baby Clubs to support a healthier birth outcome for her child. Referrals are accepted from a variety of sources, including self referral.
Our prenatal support program, BABIES, will provide you with the most up-to-date information about pregnancy and life with a new baby. We offer services to meet your education and support needs during this time.
For more information, call your public health nurse - Public Health Nursing Office List
Childbirth Education Program
The goal of the childbirth education program is to provide the expectant parent(s) with support, information, and resources on pregnancy, delivery, and care of the infant. For maximum benefits, childbirth education should be started as early as possible in pregnancy. Referrals are accepted from a variety of sources, including self referral.
Upon receipt of a referral from the discharging hospital, the public health nurse will assess families utilizing a standard risk assessment tool. The follow-up provided by the nurse in this program is focused on improving the outcomes for all children and families. Services include: guidance with care of the baby; individual and family counseling on nutrition, infant feeding, child safety, family adjustment, and family planning; discussion of immunization and scheduling of Child Health Clinic visits; emotional support of the mother and promotion of her well-being; discussion of concerns and questions raised by parents; and referrals to other service providers and community supports as necessary. This program provides services from birth to school entry, depending on the needs of the family.
Public Health Nurses offer parenting support to families in a variety of programs such as
Child Health Clinics and Preschool Health Checks
Drop in parenting education and support program (known as B.U.R.P.S.) for families with children up to 12 months of age. These sessions provide parents with access to information and education by a public health nurse as well as the opportunity to share experiences and socialize with families in their community with children of the same age. * Note: BURPS is not available in all areas of the region. The program is offered based on need and capacity to deliver.
Health Checks Program
The goal of the Health Checks Program is to promote healthy growth and development of infants and preschool children. The program is provided by the Public Health Nurse in a clinic setting, and is divided into two stages.
A) Infant Health Check at 2, 4, 6, 12 and 18 months including: immunization, physical examination, developmental screening, health information-including nutrition, growth and development, parenting skills, safety, and dental health.
B) Preschool Health Check- between 3 years 9 months and 4 years 2 months, including: hearing; vision; speech; developmental screening; and health information-including nutrition, growth and development, parenting skills, safety, and dental health.
The role of the public health nurse in the school community is guided by the Quality School Health (QSH) model and consists of:
participation and development of school health wellness committees
health promotion and education
delivering provincial immunization programs
consultation and referral depending on the assessed needs of the school community
Public Health also implements a Healthy Students Healthy Schools initiative to facilitate the implementation of the Provincial School Food Guidelines, increase physical activity rates, decrease smoking rates and exposure to second hand smoke, by school age children/youth. The purpose of this initiative is to promote consumption of nutritious foods at school, ensure that all children in grades K-7 have the opportunity to participate in at least 20 minutes of physical activity during each school day, ensure smoke free school grounds and provide access to smoking cessation services.
Eating for Learning
Studies show that well-nourished children are able to concentrate longer and perform better at school. Children are ready to learn and are more alert when they eat a variety of healthy choices according to Canada's Food Guide.
Did you know children usually have about 20 minutes to eat lunch at school?
Foods from the four food groups in Canada's Food Guide give the nourishment kids need to grow and learn. A balanced lunch includes at least one choice from each food group. Get your kids involved in planning what will go in their lunch. They have probably learned about Canada's Food Guide in class!
To find out more about a school lunch your kids will munch Click here
At these clinics Public Health Nurses provide information, education, support and guidance on healthy lifestyle practices to individuals 16 years of age and over. The goal is to decrease risk factors associated with the development of chronic disease by promoting healthy behaviors and enabling clients to take more responsibility for their own health.
*Note: Lifestyle clinics are not available in all areas of the region. The program is offered based on need and capacity to deliver.
Community Health Promotion
Public Health Nurses work with community assessment data and the process of community engagement, to determine the needs and priorities for community health education. They are available to provide health promotion services to community groups in a variety of settings where people live, work and play. The goal of community health promotion, is to ensure that communities have access to the information they need, to enable them to make healthy choices and in turn, protect their health and the health of their community.
Public Health Nurses utilize the community development approach to engage communities in identifying community assets and/or gaps at the community level. They work with communities to create awareness of population health trends, and build partnerships at the community level to strengthen and support health and well-being. The goal of community development is to empower communities to work together on initiatives that enhance and support positive health outcomes in the areas of physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental health.
For more information, call your public health nurse - Public Health Nursing Office List.