Public Health Nursing

For answers to general questions about COVID-19, call 1-833-533-9333 or visit: www.princeedwardisland.ca/covid19

Public Health Nursing delivers programs that promote, protect, and preserve the health of individuals, families and communities. Public health nurses serve Islanders at every stage of life, from infants to seniors. 

How can Public Health Nursing help me and my family?

Public Health Nurses provide a variety of services to support maternal, child and family health; communicable disease; school health; and health promotion:

 Planning a Pregnancy or Expecting a Baby

If you are planning a pregnancy, or expecting a baby there are a number of things you can do to increase your chance of having a healthy baby. It is important to have accurate information to help you make good decisions about taking care of yourself before, during and after your pregnancy. If you are planning a pregnancy or expecting a baby contact Public Health Nursing for more information on:

Prenatal Education 

Public Health Nursing offers prenatal education for expecting parents that can help individuals learn about pregnancy, labour and birth, breastfeeding, and taking care of a newborn.

We are pleased to offer a variety of learning options to best support your learning needs.

  • In-Person Classes - offer group learning and are led by a Public Health Nurse. Classes are offered in various locations across the province.
  • On-Line eClasses - offer self-learning through InJoy Health Education which includes videos, animations, learning activities and helpful information.
  • One-to-One Learning may also be available based on individual situations.

For more information or to register please contact your local Public Health Nursing office.

Immunizations

If you are planning a pregnancy or expecting a new baby, it is important for yourself, family members and anyone who will be in close contact with you or your baby to be up-to-date with immunizations.

Some vaccine preventable diseases are particularly harmful for pregnant women and their babies, so it is a good opportunity to have your immunization record reviewed to consider vaccines that might be beneficial before you become pregnant.

Vaccination and Pregnancy [PDF | 267 KB, Health Canada] - vaccination during pregnancy protects both the mother and the fetus from infections that can be severe. It even protects infants after birth, while they are too young to be vaccinated! All pregnant women should be vaccinated for Pertussis and Influenza.

Pertussis (Whooping Cough) [PDF | 379 KB] - can be life threatening for babies and young children. Pertussis vaccine is recommended for pregnant women in every pregnancy. It is also important to encourage other family members, siblings, grandparents, and any other close caregivers to be immunized. This is a free, safe, and effective vaccine which is available by contacting your local Public Health Nursing office – call early in your pregnancy to schedule an appointment. 

Influenza during pregnancy increases the risk of preterm delivery and low birth weight. Pregnant women are at higher risk of developing complications such as pneumonia. The best way to protect yourself and others from the flu is to get vaccinated each year. Public Health Nursing offers community influenza clinics across Prince Edward Island.

Nutrition

Health eating plays a very important role in a healthy pregnancy.

  • Community Nutrition Program
  • Folic Acid – is an important vitamin for the healthy growth of your unborn baby. A multivitamin with 0.4 mg of folic acid is recommended every day if you are: 
    • a woman who could become pregnant
    • planning a pregnancy
    • pregnant or breastfeeding
      • Some women may need more folic acid, if you have questions, talk to your health care provider.

Pregnancy and Maternal Mental Health

Cannabis or Alcohol Use During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Public Health Nursing may be able to help connect you to support programs or offer information to help you stop smoking or drinking (alcohol) before you become pregnant.

Other supports and Information

Public Health Nursing may be able to provide information about other community based programs available that may assist you in making healthier choices in planning your pregnancy.

Your Guide to a Health Pregnancy 

Breastfeeding Support

Health professionals and community-based organizations can offer breastfeeding support and information to you and your family before and after the birth of your baby. Public Health Nurses have knowledge and experience supporting new families with breastfeeding. Lactation Consultants can also provide one-to-one assistance.

For more information on breastfeeding your baby, contact your local Public Health Nursing office.

Birth to 8 Weeks of Age 

New Beginnings Program:  Soon after you return home from hospital with your new baby, a Public Health Nurse will call and offer a home visit to make sure you and your baby are off to the best possible start. The nurses are experienced health professionals who can assist you with breastfeeding and answer questions you may have about feeding your baby. They can also answer any questions you may have about your health, your baby's health and development, and can help you and your family get extra support if you need it. 

Best Start Program Best Start is a voluntary program, offered in your home, to provide parents with information and support to promote the healthy development of your child. The Best Start Program is administered by CHANCES Family Centre in partnership with Public Health Nursing and available for families across Prince Edward Island. Public Health Nurses offer all families the Best Start Program. Families who meet the criteria are offered a referral to the Best Start Program by Public Health Nursing.

Period of PURPLE Crying Program:  Public Health Nurses review the Period of PURPLE Crying Program which is introduced in hospital. This program from the National Centre on Shaken Baby Syndrome helps parents and caregivers to better understand normal crying, and offers information for coping strategies.

Born to Read:  During your baby's two month visit, the Public Health Nurse will provide you with a book and a Library Card. To learn more about this program, visit Early Childhood Literacy: Born to Read and Little Ones Read

Infant and Pre-School Health Clinics

Launching Little Ones Program:  You can bring your child to one of the infant and pre-school health clinics offered throughout the province. These clinics are offered at 2, 4, 6, 12 and 18 months, and 4 years of age. A Public Health Nurse will immunize your child according to PEI’s Childhood Immunization Schedule, as directed by the Chief Public Health Office. To learn more about vaccines, view the A Parent’s Guide to Vaccination [PDF | 1.72 MB].

The nurse will also assess your child’s development in areas such as:

  • growth and nutrition;
  • vision and hearing;
  • oral health;
  • gross and fine motor development;
  • speech and communication;
  • problem solving; and
  • personal/social development.

Your nurse will answer any of your concerns and provide you with current information and tips for keeping your young family healthy and safe.

Watch the Child Health Clinic Visit Video(link is external) (3:00) and the 4-Year Assessment Visit Video(link is external) (3:12) to know what to expect when you take your child to Public Health Nursing.

Ages and Stages Questionnaire:  Before your child’s 18-month and 4-year visit to the Public Health Nurse, you will be sent a questionnaire with activities to complete with your child. The nurse will review your answers with you and offer ideas for activities for your child’s age. If any concerns are noted you will be offered a follow-up appointment and the nurse can, after discussing it with you, refer you to another health care professional if it is decided that might be helpful. 

Watch the Ages and Stages Questionnaire Video(link is external) (4:22).

NutriSTEP:  When you arrive at your child’s 18-month and 4-year assessment, you will be given a short screening tool with questions about your child’s everyday eating habits. Your Public Health Nurse will review your answers with you and provide you with information that may be helpful. If concerns are identified, your nurse will offer you a referral to see a Dietitian.

School Health

Public Health Nurses provide immunizations in PEI schools according to the PEI Childhood Immunization Schedule.

Vision and Hearing Screening:  Public Health Nurses may provide vision screening and hearing screening in Island schools at the request of a teacher or parent.

Family Life Education:  Public Health Nurses are available upon request to provide accurate, age-appropriate information about family life and human sexuality to individuals or groups in schools. Public Health Nurses will work collaboratively with the Comprehensive School Health Nurses when a Student Well-being Team is in place. 

Public Health Nurses may also work in partnership with the Student Well-being Team in the school on other health matters upon request.

Community Health

Public Health Nurses work to reduce the spread of illness from person to person (communicable disease) including:

How can I find out if my immunizations are up to date?

If you received your immunizations in PEI and need to determine if they are up to date, contact a Public Health Nursing office in your area.

If you have moved to PEI from another province or country, your immunization history may be different. If you can provide your Immunization Record, a Public Health Nurse will review the Record and recommend any additional vaccines. 

How can I get a copy of my immunization record?

Immunization records can be obtained by contacting your local Public Health Nursing office. It may take up to two weeks to process your request. There is no fee for this service. 

Track your own immunization records

Download the CANImmunize smartphone app to manage your families’ vaccination records and appointments. 

This free, secure app includes PEI’s immunization schedule.

How do I contact Public Health Nursing?

Souris
Souris Hospital
17 Knights Avenue
Souris, PE   C0A 2B0

Telephone:  (902) 687-7049
Fax:  (902) 687-7048

Montague
126 Douses Road
Montague, PE   C0A 1R0

Telephone:  (902) 838-0762
Fax:  (902) 838-0803

Charlottetown
Sherwood Business Centre
161 St. Peters Road
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

Telephone: (902) 368-4530
Fax:  (902) 368-4497

Summerside
205 Linden Avenue
Summerside, PE   C1N 2K4

Telephone: (902) 888-8160
Fax:  (902) 888-8153

O’Leary
Community Hospital
PO Box 173
14 MacKinnon Drive
O'Leary, PE   C0B 1V0

Telephone: (902) 859-8720
Fax:  (902) 859-0399

Tignish
248 Phillip Street (satellite office)
Tignish, PE   C0B 2B0

Telephone: (902) 859-8720

Wellington
Wellington Health Centre
48 Mill Road
Wellington, PE C0B 2E0

Telephone:  (902) 854-7259
Fax:  (902) 854-7270

Alberton
Western Hospital (satellite office)
148 Poplar Street
Alberton, PE C0B 1B0

To book an appointment:  (902) 859-8720
 

 

Published date: 
September 28, 2022