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Poison Centers

Poison Center Spotlight

Regional Poison Control Center, Children’s of Alabama and Healthy Child Care Alabama Partnership

Public education is a major focus of our center and as 96% of Alabama is classified rural, educational outreach can be challenging.  Our center is dedicated to providing quality educational services in rural underserved areas.  In order to extend our outreach and health promotion activities, we have forged an alliance with Healthy Child Care Alabama (HCCA), whose nurse child care health consultants reach thousands of children and their families in rural underserved areas each year.

HCCA is sponsored by the Alabama Departments of Public Health and Human Resources.  The program’s purpose is to support those who care for children—whether it is in a child care center or day care home, or through family, friend, or neighbor care.  HCCA has nine nurse consultants who cover 78% of Alabama’s counties.  The nurse consultants visit legally operating child care centers and day care homes throughout their service area to provide health and safety consultation and education.   During FY 2011, these nurse consultants provided 2,370 health and safety sessions to 7,214 child care providers.  As well, 18,758 children attended health and safety programs in child care settings and 75,467 informational brochures, pamphlets, or fact sheets were distributed to families.

The Regional Poison Control Center (RPCC)—HCCA collaboration utilizes a “train the trainer” program model.  The RPCC educator provides a three-hour Poison Prevention Orientation Program for the nurse consultants, which is approved for nursing continuing education. Information is provided on poison prevention principles, poison center services, and teaching tools, using a combination of PowerPoint, flip charts, look-a-like displays, and audio-visual media.  The HCCA nurse consultants incorporate these tools into their poison prevention educational programs.  On a bi-annual and as needed basis, the RPCC  furnishes the nurses with formal, refresher courses and programs on special topics, such as carbon monoxide poisoning.

The RPCC—HCCA collaboration is a vital, cost-effective approach to providing poison prevention education and center awareness in our rural underserved counties.  In essence, we have nine poison information and rural health education extenders as part of our team.  We could not come close to providing the same educational coverage within our state without the help of HCCA.