Eden nurses provide eye screenings for students in comfortable, familiar environment

Eden School nurses can now provide students with eye screenings in the safety and security of a familiar environment — the school nurse offices!

Nurse Saundra Pedersen performing an eye screening on a student.

The Welch Allyn Spot Vision allows nurses Saundra Pedersen and Sharon Ammirati to provide students with non-invasive eye screenings. The screenings are performed from 3 feet away, which helps students feel more comfortable compared to a traditional eye exam. The vision screener uses lights and noises to hold students’ attention and runs a report within seconds to detect any amblyopia vision issues.

A visit to the eye doctor can be difficult for our students, who have trouble sitting through an eye exam due to the eye drops, bright lights, or close contact with doctors and machines. “It’s scary for the kids sometimes,” said Saundra. “This gives us a baseline for each student, and it can be sent to the eye doctor for follow-up to determine if they need to go through the full, exhaustive eye exam.”

Before the coronavirus, the school brought in an eye doctor to perform screenings on students. However, not all of the students were able to complete the exam on the day the doctor was in. Once the pandemic began, it became even harder to find a doctor who could make school visits. For some students, this vision screener is the first time they can have their eyes checked.

The vision screener was purchased with the support of donor contributions, and Eden is currently seeking a grant to purchase additional vision screeners for the Adult Services program.

“I can’t say enough good things about this,” said Saundra.