This is a question that has been asked by a number of pupils, parents and staff. It is one that merits a detailed answer and I will endeavour to provide this below, together with some details on the operation of our Health Centre which has been provided by our Health Centre Manager, Mrs Rak Kaur.
Enabling every pupil to flourish at Marlborough College Malaysia is a considerable challenge but one we are fully committed toward. A key aspect of pupils flourishing is giving them the guidance and framework to be healthy in body and mind. Our Health Centre plays a crucial part in this. You may have noticed that we no longer use the term Sani. This ‘rebranding’ is to reflect our commitment to a proactive and preventative approach to health rather than solely reacting to illness. We are extremely grateful to our Health Centre for all they do to help our pupils (and staff) to flourish.
The Health Centre is located beside Court and is staffed by our seven fully trained nurses. The team in the Health Centre are fully involved in the life of the College and play a major role in promoting positive health for all pupils and staff, as well as treating pupils who are unwell. Primary care and routine treatments are carried out in the Health Centre, however, the nurses spend a significant amount in various locations around campus giving guidance and treatment to maintain good health.
During school days, there is a duty nurse who attends to all pupils as required around the campus, in the Prep and Pre-Prep schools and also on the field. In the first instance, pupils will be assessed and treated by a First Aider who may call the duty nurse to attend if needed. The majority of the staff members in Marlborough College Malaysia are certified First Aid providers.
In the event that a day pupil requires further treatment by a doctor or at a hospital, parents will be contacted and advised to make arrangements for this. However, in the event of an emergency, the school will arrange for transport or an ambulance will be called, and a member of staff will accompany the pupil to hospital. Under these circumstances, parents will be contacted and informed of action and asked to meet at the hospital.
For boarders, all Hospital Outpatient treatment and other appointments are monitored by the Health Centre and transport arranged by Health Centre staff. A Dame will normally accompany the boarders to hospital and doctor appointments. Remedies, including over-the-counter medicines (OCMs) such as Paracetamol, are provided by the Health Centre under controlled conditions.
The operation of the Health Centre promotes wellbeing so pupils are aware of health risks and are encouraged to make choices which set them up for healthy and fulfilling lives. This is evident from the care within the Centre, the input our Health Centre staff have into Wellbeing lessons, First Aid activities, assemblies, various trips, activities, games sessions, fixtures and in the posters they have displayed around campus to promote healthy habits.
In many instances, illness is a physical manifestation of psychological issues, for example headaches and stomach pains can be due to stress or feeling of overloading, rather than symptoms of a physical illness. Often our nurses discuss with the pupil how stress can manifest itself as physical symptoms, they identify the root cause and give the pupil coping strategies, rather than medication. Most often, headaches and tiredness are due to dehydration, and the nurses will discuss the relevant physiology with the pupil and explain the importance of hydration, normally negating the need for any medication.
We believe that our rebranding of Sani to Health Centre, shows a clear commitment to modernise perception of health, encourage positive thoughts of wellness and change the focus on illnesses per se.
Our move to one Health Centre generally allows nurses to work closely together as a team rather than work in relative isolation; although at times the nurses are located in Pre-Prep, Prep and boarding houses depending on the activities taking place.
The Health Centre Manager visits our boarding houses on a weekly rotation basis to coordinate and deliver talks that encompasses aspects of positive health and pupil well-being. Positive health education is also offered as activity sessions and in classroom learning sessions by the Health Centre Manager.
We believe that mental health should be recognised as equally important to physical health in the development, delivery and provision of health care. Mental health and physical health are inextricably linked. The nature of this relationship is two-way, with mental health influencing physical health and vice versa. A number of medical conditions have been linked to stress, such as irritable bowel syndrome, asthma and migraines. Likewise, stronger immune function has been associated with high levels of social support and resilience.
In recognition of this, our College Counsellor, Mrs Cathy Stronach, is based in the Health Centre and is a crucial member of the team which works together to help our pupils (and staff) to flourish. Although based in the Health Centre, Ms Cathy is a regular visitor to Prep School, boarding houses, assemblies and all around site as she extends care to all. There are clear communication channels across the entire College between the Health Centre team, Pastoral and Academic Managers, that enable us to nurture healthy bodies and healthy minds across the campus.
In summary, we have one Health Centre as we believe it is better to be proactive in our approach to health rather than being reactive. We focus on developing habits which will keep people well whilst also treating those who are poorly at any time. This can only be effective if there is a highly trained team who provide treatment with a smile and recognise the value of positive relationships. We are very fortunate to have such a team and value all they do in helping our pupils to flourish in college and in life.