Nurse Clinic

Ms. Kathy O'Shea, RN, BSN

Ms. Lopez, Clinic Assistant



The deadline for twelfth-grade students to meet the new immunization requirement for the Meningococcal Conjugate (MenACWY) immunization is August 17, 2023. 
If you have questions, please visit the immunization requirements webpage.

Students who are Covid positive must stay home for 5 days from the start of symptoms and may return on day 6. First day of symptoms is counted as day 0. A mask is required for the next 5 days. Students who do not want to wear a mask or cannot wear a mask must stay home for the next 5 days or provide a negative test.

If you have any questions about Covid protocols in PWCS call the Family Support Line at 703-791-7845.

Please be mindful of the following COVID-19 symptoms:
High Risk Symptoms
Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing

Low Risk Symptoms
Sore Throat
Nasal congestion/nasal discharge
Generalized muscle aches

We are aware that Covid symptoms are similar to other ailments,

If your student is presenting with symptoms you may want to test them.

If a student has any of the following symptoms, 911 will be called immediately:
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
New confusion
Inability to wake or stay awake
Bluish or gray color of lips or skin

 Health Forms

Reg 757-2 - Allergy Action Plan

Reg 753-8 - Cancer Tx Plan

Reg 757-6 - Diabetic Health Tx plan

Reg 757-3 - Attachment I - Emergency Treatment Plan Form (PDF)

Reg 757-4 - Attachment I - Medication Authorization form for OTC and Rx meds (PDF)

Asthma Action Plan and Attachment I of Reg 757-5 - both required
Asthma Action Plan (PDF) (new/revised as of 8/2015)
Please also complete Attachment I- Waiver of liability (757-5) (PDF) - must be submitted with completed asthma action plan

When to keep your student Home or Reasons they may be sent home from school:

  1. Fever of 100.4 degrees (Fahrenheit) or over: Student must be fever free for 24 hours without medication.
  2. Conjunctivitis (pink eye), strep infections, and impetigo are all infections that must be treated with medication for a minimum of 24 hours before returning to school. Please do not send them to school sooner to prevent spread of infection to other students.
  3. Rash of unknown origin ( especially if accompanied by fever)
  4. Head injury
  5. Severe coughing or difficulty breathing
  6. Colds-a student with thick or constant nasal discharge should remain home
  7. Diarrhea or vomiting -exclude until symptom free for at least 24 hours.
  8. Stiff neck associated with fever and/or recent injury
  9. Inadequate immunizations with known disease outbreak in school.
  10. Refer to VDOH "Communicable disease reference chart for school Personnel" for other exclusion information.

Clinic Information

The school health program is to support student learning in a safe, healthy environment. You can help ensure the health and safety of all Patriot High School students by:

  • Notifying your school nurse of any health concerns or chronic health condition that may affect your child's school day.
  • Following PWCS regulations when requesting medication to be given to your child during the school day.
  • Providing current emergency contact information for your student, keeping the emergency card updated at all times.
  • Notifying school personnel if your child is absent due to a contagious illness.
  • Keeping sick students at home and supporting school staff in keeping well children in school.
  • Notifying PE teachers directly if your child has any PE restrictions.
  • Encouraging good hygiene/hand washing practices at home and school.


General Health Information

Allergies versus a Cold

You've got a runny nose, a cough and congestion. So have you caught a cold or is it allergies? Unfortunately, it's often hard to tell -- even for doctors. But here's information that may help. Read on to learn more about the causes and treatments of cold and allergy symptoms.

What Are Colds and Allergies?

Colds are caused by hundreds of different viruses. When one of these viruses gets into your body, your immune system attacks it. Some of the effects of this immune response are the classic symptoms of a cold, such as congestion and coughing.

The germs that cause colds are contagious. You can pick them up when an infected person sneezes, coughs, or shakes hands with you. After a couple of weeks, at the most, your immune system fights off the virus and you should stop having symptoms.

Allergies are caused by an overactive immune system. For some reason, your body mistakes harmless substances -- such as dust or pollen -- for germs and attacks them. Your body releases chemicals such as histamine, just as it does when fighting a cold. This can cause swelling in your nasal passages, a runny nose, coughing, and sneezing. Allergies are not contagious, although some people may inherit a tendency to develop them.

Differences Between Colds and Allergies by Characteristic
Characteristic Cold Allergy
Duration three-14 days Days to months -- as long as you are exposed to the allergen
Time of Year Most often in the winter, but possible at any time Any time of the year -- although the appearance of some allergens are seasonal
Onset of symptoms Symptoms take a few days to appear after infection with the virus. Symptoms can begin immediately after exposure to the allergen

Differences Between Colds and Allergies by Symptom

Symptom Cold Allergy
Cough Often Sometimes
Aches Sometimes Never
Fatigue Sometimes Sometimes
Fever Rarely Never
Itchy, watery eyes Rarely Often
Sore throat Often Sometimes
Runny or stuffy nose Often; usually yellow mucus Often; usually clear mucus

Although there are some differences, cold and allergy symptoms overlap quite a bit. The most important difference is that colds usually don't last longer than 14 days. If you still have symptoms after two weeks, see your doctor. These may be allergy symptoms or a sign of another problem.

Prevention and Treatment of Colds and Allergies

Because the causes of cold and allergy symptoms are quite different, preventing them requires different strategies.

To prevent allergy symptoms, avoid substances you're allergic to, called allergens. So if you're allergic to pollen, for instance, avoid going outside on days when the pollen count is high. Here are some common allergens:

  • Pollen
  • Mold
  • Animal dander
  • Dust mites
  • Cockroaches

To prevent cold symptoms, prevent the cold-causing virus from getting into your system. Keep your distance from people who have colds. Wash your hands often. To protect others, always cover your mouth and nose (with a tissue or your sleeve, rather than your hands) when sneezing or coughing.

There is no cure for either the common cold or allergies. But there are ways to ease the cold and allergy symptoms.

To treat either cold or allergy symptoms, you can try:

  • Antihistamines, which block the effects of histamine, a natural substance that causes symptoms such as congestion and a runny nose
  • Decongestants, which reduce swelling in the mucus membranes of the nasal passages, making you feel less stuffy

If you have any medical problems, or take other medicines, talk to your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medicines.

To treat allergy symptoms, your doctor may prescribe:

  • Nasal steroids, which reduce swelling in the nasal passages, relieving congestion and other symptoms
  • Allergy shots, called immunotherapy, which involves being injected with a small amount of the substance to which you are allergic. Over time, the dose is increased. By exposing you to greater and greater amounts of the allergen, your body may develop a tolerance to it and not cause symptoms.

To treat cold symptoms, you may also try:

  • Taking over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, such as Advil or Aleve, or Tylenol, to treat fever, aches and pains
  • Getting extra rest
  • Drinking plenty of fluids


Voices of Meningitis is a Meningococcal Disease Prevention Campaign form the National Association of School Nurses in collaboration with Sanoti Pasteur

What is meningococcal meningitis? Meningococcal disease, which includes meningtitis, is a serious bacterial infection that strikes between 1000 to 2600 Americans each year. Although rare, meningococcal disease can cause meningitis (swelling of the brain or spinal cord) or meningococcemia (blood infection). Vaccination is a safe and effective way to help protect preteens and teens from this potentially devastating disease.

To get the facts, visit the 16 Vaccine website for more information.