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Introducing our school nurses

You’ve arrived in Sweden, you’ve got your bearings in the region, you’ve settled in to the new job, you’ve enrolled at SIS – but have you registered in the Swedish healthcare system yet? Full marks if you have, but if not, you may be missing out on some valuable resources, and our School nurses Ellen and Nilo are keen that you register and help them to best help you and your family in the School. 

‘It’s important to understand the role of the nurse in Swedish schools’ explains Nilo. ‘It may be rather different to what you are used to.’ Ellen goes on: ‘We’re here to ensure that students are developing well, are receiving vaccinations and other preventative measures. We are not a regular source of treatment, though, of course, we will always help out in an emergency.’

For when you do have treatment needs, Ellen and Nilo recommend you make sure that you have registered with two important healthcare services. The first is BVC – Barnavårdcentral – child health care. Every child in Sweden is entitled to be monitored by BVC from birth to 5 years old, even if they arrive in Sweden during that time and were not born here. BVC will check child development – growth, weight, hearing, sight, and general well-being, and recommend and deliver vaccinations as part of a preventative healthcare plan. 

The School nurses will build on this during the child’s years at SIS, with regular monitoring of these factors and others appropriate to the child’s age. Any matters of concern that they identify will be raised with parents and a responsive action plan developed to deal with any conditions that need to be managed. The specific health measures change as the child gets older, but checking on vaccination status and development will be a recurrent element of the process, right through to middle school, and into the upper school if requested.

Vårdcentral – the equivalent of a Primary Care Centre or GP Practice – is the other organisation with which you should register you and your family. You can apply to your local centre where you live, or any other if it’s more convenient to have one near a place of work for example. This is where you should go for dealing with cuts, and sprains, and broken bones and the like, or if you feel you are developing an underlying health problem. Students who present with conditions in the School will quite likely be referred to the Vårdcentral the family is registered with.

If you need help to navigate the Swedish healthcare system, is a great place to start. The website is available in English and other languages, and through it you can register with a health centre, find information about vaccinations, prescriptions and other matters, as well as information on costs and entitlement. You can also call1177 for personal guidance in case of injury or illness.

Don’t leave it until it is too late is the advice from Ellen and Nilo. Make sure you are registered, and when the need does arise, you’ll find you access treatment and support as quickly as possible.

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