Wellness Checks for Teachers

Wellness Checks for Teachers
By: Wendy Ray

Bell City, MO - Most school districts require that all students go through certain screenings before they start school, but what about teachers? You don't think about them needing wellness checks even though some do; Bell City school teachers say they're a perfect example.

"I walk. I try to eat right, but it doesn't always work out. As a teacher I'm usually running everywhere," Bell City teacher Mary-Catherine Fetterhoff says. Staying healthy is important to Fetterhoff, that's why she's taking advantage of free wellness screenings offered by her employer, the Bell City school district. "We have the bone density, we check blood glucose, we have a hearing screening, vision screening, we check blood pressure, we check their weight, their height and their body mass index," school nurse Pam Lape. This is the second year Lape has put the screenings together. She says staff members picked out what health issues they wanted to target, and the screenings have found some problems. "We do have some who have found higher blood pressure and they're going to the doctor for it. There are some who do not exercise as much as they should so we started a walking program," Lape says.

Lape says like a lot of other people, some teachers get so busy they put off their own health. She thinks the screenings make them more aware of what they need to do to live a healthier life. "I think they've grown and they're feeling healthier, making healthier decisions with nutrition," Lape says.

Lape adds that most big businesses know the importance of wellness screenings and have the money to support them. She relies on local businesses and doctors who volunteer their time and also tries to find less expensive options so she can offer the wellness checks.