Health Office


The Rio Rancho Middle School Health Office is staffed by a full-time Registered Nurse and a full-time Health Assistant. Our goal is to not only provide first aid to students, staff, and parents, but to also encourage healthy lifestyles through education.

Tina Lovato, RN
Kristy Lindsey, Health Assistant
505-891-5335 ext 54654 or 505-962-4654

The health room is a facility where sick or injured students are triaged, assessed, treated and/or referred for further treatment. It is staffed with a State Department of Education licensed school nurse or health assistant at all times.

All efforts will be made to return a student to class if deemed appropriate by the health office staff. A student may be considered a candidate for exclusion from school or from the school bus at the discretion of the health room staff. Reasons for exclusion from school may include, but are not limited to: vomiting, diarrhea, fever of 100 degrees or greater, significant injury, or symptoms not responding to treatment.

All medication will be dispensed according to the Rio Rancho Public School medication policy and procedure:
1) Prescription medications will be dispensed in the health office when accompanied by a completed Medication Authorization form, and the medication is in its original pharmacy labeled container.
2) In the case of over-the-counter medication, the parent will provide the medication in an original sealed container and complete an Over the Counter Medication Authorization form.
A complete copy of this Policy and Procedure can be obtained via the internet at or at your child's school health office.

Students who are placed on antibiotics by their physician must remain at home for the first 24 hours of therapy.

In the case of a serious illness or accident, every effort will be made to contact the parent or guardian. Parents and/or guardians must be responsible for updating the emergency card if there are any changes to phone numbers or address/s during the school year. If the student's condition is emergent (appears to be an emergency), the Rio Rancho Emergency Medical System will be initiated through the 911 telephone system. The decision to transport a student to a local health care facility will be made by the attending paramedic, unless the parent or guardian is present.
PIMA Medical Institute offers dental cleanings, x-rays, and exams for $20. Other dental services are offered at a reasonable cost. Please contact PIMA Dental Clinic at 505-875-8555 for further information or to set up an appointment.
Phoenix, as flu season is quickly approaching we have some general information for you. The best way to prevent the Flu is to WASH YOUR HANDS, get plenty of fluids and rest, and to get a Flu shot. As always, if your child has a fever (greater than 100.4) the night before a school day, they must stay home the next day!

* What is the flu?
Influenza (the flu) is an infection of the nose, throat, and lungs caused by influenza viruses. There are many different influenza viruses that are constantly changing. They cause illness, hospital stays and deaths in the United States each year. The flu can be very dangerous for children. Each year about 20,000 children younger than 5 years old are hospitalized from flu complications, like pneumonia.

* How serious is the flu?
Flu illness can vary from mild to severe. While the flu can be serious even in people who are otherwise healthy, it can be especially dangerous for young children and children of any age who have certain long term health conditions, including asthma (even mild or controlled), neurological and neurodevelopmental
conditions, chronic lung disease, heart disease, blood disorders, endocrine disorders (such as diabetes), kidney, liver, and metabolic disorders, and weakened immune systems due to disease or medication. Children with these conditions and children who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy can have more severe illness from the flu.

* How does the flu spread?
Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might get the flu by touching something that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes or nose.

* What are the symptoms of the flu?
Symptoms of the flu can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. Some people with the flu will not have a fever.

* How long can a sick person spread the flu to others?
People with the flu may be able to infect others by shedding virus from 1 day before getting sick to 5 to 7 days after. However, children and people with weakened immune systems can shed virus for longer, and might be still contagious past 5 to 7 days of being sick, especially if they still have symptoms.

* How can I protect my child against the flu?
To protect against the flu, the first and most important thing you can do is to get a flu vaccine for yourself and your child. Vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months and older. It’s especially important that young children and children with long term health conditions get vaccinated. (See list of conditions under “How Serious is the Flu?”) Caregivers of children with health conditions or of children younger than 6 months old should get vaccinated. (Babies younger than 6 months are too young to be vaccinated themselves.) Another way to protect babies is to vaccinate pregnant women because research shows that this gives some protection to the baby both while the woman is pregnant and for a few months after the baby is born. A new flu vaccine is made each year to protect against the flu viruses that research indicates are most likely to cause illness during the next flu season. Flu vaccines are made using strict safety and production measures. Over the years, millions of flu vaccines have been given in the United States with a very good safety record.

* Is there a medicine to treat the flu?
Antiviral drugs can treat flu illness. They can make people feel better and get better sooner and may prevent serious flu complications, like pneumonia, for example, that can lead to hospitalization and even death. These drugs are different from antibiotics, but they also need to be prescribed by a doctor. They work best when started during the first 2 days of illness. It’s very important that antiviral drugs be used early to treat the flu in people who are very sick (for example people who are in the hospital) or people who are at greater risk of having serious flu complications. Other people with flu illness may also benefit from taking antiviral drugs. These drugs can be given to children and pregnant women.

* What are some of the other ways I can protect my child against the flu?
In addition to getting vaccinated, take – and encourage your child to take – everyday steps that can help prevent the spread of germs.
This includes:
* Stay away from people who are sick.
* If your child is sick with flu-like illness, try to keep him or her in a separate room from others in the household, if possible.
* CDC recommends that your sick child stay home for at least 24 hours after his or her fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. The fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.
* Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Throw the tissue in the trash after it has been used.
* Wash hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
* Keep surfaces like bedside tables, surfaces in the bathroom, kitchen counters and toys for children clean by wiping them down with a household disinfectant according to directions on the product label.

* What can I do if my child gets sick?
Talk to your doctor early if you are worried about your child’s illness. If your child is 5 years and older and does not have other health problems and gets flu-like symptoms, including a fever and/or cough, consult your doctor as needed and make sure your child gets plenty of rest and drinks enough fluids. If your child is younger than 5 years (and especially younger than 2 years) or of any age with a long term health condition (like asthma, a neurological condition, or diabetes, for example) and develops flu-like symptoms, they are at risk for serious complications from the flu. Ask a doctor if your child should be examined.

* What if my child seems very sick?
Even children who have always been healthy before or had the flu before can get very sick from the flu.
Call for emergency care or take your child to a doctor right away if your child of any age has any of the warning or emergency signs below:
* Fast breathing or trouble breathing
* Bluish or gray skin color
* Not drinking enough fluids (not going to the bathroom or not making as much urine as they normally do)
* Severe or persistent vomiting
* Not waking up or not interacting
* Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
* Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
* Has other conditions (like heart or lung disease, diabetes, or asthma) and develops flu symptoms, including a fever and/or cough.

* Can my child go to school, day care or camp if he or she is sick?
No. Your child should stay home to rest and to avoid giving the flu to other children or caregivers.

* When can my child go back to school after having the flu?
Keep your child home from school, day care or camp for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone. (Fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) A fever is defined as 100°F (37.8°C) or higher. These everyday steps are a good way to reduce your chances of getting all sorts of illnesses, but a yearly flu vaccine is always the best way to specifically prevent the flu.

For more information, visit or or call 800-CDC-INFO
Whooping Cough
Pertussis or whooping cough is a contagious respiratory disease that is spread through coughing or sneezing. The infection starts out with symptoms like a common cold with a runny nose, congestion and cough and possibly a fever. After 1-2 weeks a severe cough begins and the person becomes short of breath after a coughing spell and makes a whooping sound while trying to take a deep breath after coughing. Sometimes the coughing is so sever that the person may vomit or turn blue.

This fall there have been a few cases of whooping cough in New Mexico. The best way to protect your family from pertussis is through immunization. The vaccine names include Dtap or Tdap. Very young children are not fully immunized from pertussis unless they have completed the whole series of immunizations. Protecting yourself and other family members against whooping cough is the best way to protect young children.

If your child is diagnosed with pertussis, it is important to notify your school nurse. If you have questions about pertussis or if your child is displaying symptoms of pertussis you should contact your health care provider or the NM Department of Health Sandoval County Health Office at 867-2291, ext 1711.
Medication Alert

Do you give your child a multi symptom over-the-counter medication when he/she is sick? Do you give your child fever/pain medication in addition to the multi-symptom medication? I you said "YES" then you may be overdosing your child on acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprophen (Motrin or Advil). Accidental overdoses are on the rise because parents are double-dosing their children. Please remember to read your medication labels BEFORE giving your child the medicine. Make sure you are giving your child the age-appropriate amount of all ingredients!

What's causing your sniffles? We'll give you a clue. Let us help you spot a cold from the flu, and allergies too.

Transmitted through touch.

  • Results from contact with individuals or objects.
  • May begin slowly, two or three days after infection with the virus.
  • Usually starts with a sore throat, followed by sneezing and a runny nose.
  • May experience a yellow or green nasal discharge, congestion, or a slightly elevated temperature.
  • Hacking cough, fatigue, and weakness are common.
  • Symptoms generally last two days to a week.

Transmitted by air.

  • Just being in a room with germs. Headache, dry cough, and chills often signal sudden onset.
  • Muscle aches, often in the legs and back, or a high fever.
  • May experience extreme fatigue—a "knocked out" feeling.
  • Respiratory symptoms such as nasal congestion and sore throat are common.


  • Symptoms: Runny nose with thin, watery discharge; sneezing; congestion; wheezing; itchy nose, throat, and eyes
  • Onset: Symptoms begin almost immediately after exposure to allergen(s). If allergies are seasonal, symptoms occur at the same time every year. If allergies are perennial, symptoms are present year-round.
  • Duration: Symptoms last as long as you are exposed to the allergen.

This information is provided by the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology.



Lovato, Tina
Lindsey, KristySend email to contact  
Business:   505-962-4654