Student Health Care

The student health service is available to all students attending upper secondary schools, vocational colleges and universities of applied sciences for a continuous period of two months. The student health service is free to all students enrolled at an educational institution in Espoo, regardless of where you are domiciled.

The health service maintains and promotes your’ physical, mental and social well-being and offers them support with their studies and professional training. The service is designed to foster your life management skills and highlight the positive impact a healthy lifestyle can have. Don’t hesitate to contact us!

 

Contact information and appointment booking

When you need an appointment to see the student health nurse or the school doctor, contact the student health nurse on by telephone, Wilma message or email.

You can also see the student health nurse without an appointment at a drop-in session. To find out the times for the drop-in sessions at your educational establishment, get in touch with your nurse.

Online booking

Through our online services, you can check, reschedule, confirm and cancel your student health care appointment. If you have used Espoo health services before and are studying at Laurea Otaniemi, Laurea Leppävaara, Metropolia Leppävaara or Omnia Espoo campus, you can lakso book a new appointment online. Online services can be found on www.espoo.fi/e-healthcentre.

Appointments must be cancelled no later than 3 pm the day before. You can cancel online or send an SMS to the nurse.

 

Health check-ups and dental care

Dental care

All 17-year-olds will receive a letter asking them to make an appointment for a dental check.

All students eligible for City of Espoo student health services, regardless of their domicile, are entitled to one dental check at Espoo health centre during their studies. We ask that you bring proof of your student status with you to the appointment.

All dental care at the health centre is free for under 18-year-olds. Further information on dental care: www.espoo.fi/dentalcare.

Health check-ups

If you are enrolled at a vocational college or upper secondary school, you will be offered statutory health checks during your studies. The health checks are carried out by the nurse and doctor. As a rule, you will see the nurse in your first year of study and the doctor in your second year. If required, you will also be offered additional health checks.

If you are studying at a university of applied science or adult education centre, you will be invited to attend a health check based on a health questionnaire.

Investigations carried out as part of the health check can vary year to year and are determined by the year group you are in.

Online health questionnaire

You will be sent in your first year of study. The message contains a link to a secure and confidential online questionnaire. Your responses will only be seen by healthcare professionals working at the student health service, who have a duty to maintain confidentiality at all times.

The electronic questionnaires are designed to ensure that those needing a health check most are seen the quickest. This helps to promote student health but also supports their studies and academic achievements.

Your doctor can issue a young people’s health certificate in conjunction with the health check.

Pre-conscription health checks

If you are eligible for conscription, you are required to attend a health check before the autumn. The health check is free. A young person’s health certificate does not offer an exemption from the pre-conscription health check. If you have a doctor’s certificate from a specialist, please bring it with you to the health check and the conscription event.

If you are based in Espoo, Vantaa and Helsinki you can book an appointment through your student health service nurse. If you live inor Vantaa, you can also do it online (in Finnish).

Please make sure any cancellations are done at least 24 hours before the appointment.

If you are based in Kauniainen, the health check will be performed at your own municipality.

Medical examinations

The examinations carried out in conjunction with the standard health checks vary from year to year. Standard checks include height, weight and blood pressure monitoring as well as eye checks.

Hearing

Your hearing will be tested to 20dB using an audiometer, as required. Hearing tests are carried out if your studies expose you to high levels of noise or if you have previously had an abnormal result. If your audiogram continues to show an abnormal result, you will be referred to your local health centre for further investigation.

Vision

We will monitor you for near- and far-sightedness during your studies. If you feel that your eyesight has changed, we can arrange an additional eye check. We will not provide referrals to an optician or ophthalmologist.

Posture

We carry out posture checks in conjunction with the standard health checks. Pupils are also encouraged to take exercise that allows the entire body to work symmetrically, with a particular focus on core strength.

Laboratory tests

The student health service nurse or doctor can refer you for laboratory tests, if required.

Vaccinations

In Finland, the national immunisation programme is administered through schools. It includes vaccines for tetanus, polio, measles, mumps and rubella. Ordinarily, the full suite of vaccinations will have been administered by the age of 15. However, if you are missing any of the vaccinations in the programme, you can arrange to have them done through the student health service.

All healthcare and equipment maintenance students are entitled to receive a free Hepatitis B vaccine. Social services and physiotherapy students are also entitled to the free Hepatitis B cover if they require it for work experience placement purposes. The vaccination is available to all students at the beginning of their studies and existing students who lack the vaccine.

If you have an underlying medical condition such as asthma, you are entitled to receive the influenza vaccine through the school and student health service. Please book an appointment with your nurse.

If you need vaccinations for travel, contact your own local health centre. The school or student health service nurse can administer hepatitis and tick-borne encephalitis vaccines you have purchased privately but you will need to make an appointment. Students embarking on an international exchange programme can also obtain the vaccinations they need through the student health service nurse.

City of Espoo staff will not be able to administer vaccinations that are not part of the Finnish national immunisation programme and that are not available to purchase in Finland.

Young Person’s Health Certificate

A Finnish young person’s health certificate confirms that you are in a good state of health and it is useful if you are applying for a driver’s license, further study or a job. The certificate is issued to all Year 8 pupils in conjunction with the health check and to further education students in their second year of study.

The certificate is valid for five years from the date of issue. Depending on your health, the validity period can also be shorter. The date of expiry is recorded at the bottom of the certificate by your doctor. The certificate can be used until the date of expiry, provided that there have been no changes to your health.

Please look after the certificate, as the school health care team will not be able to issue a replacement. You will also not be able to make an appointment to obtain a new certificate. The certificates are not available from your local health centre. There is a charge for certificates issued by private doctors.

Illnesses and accidents

In Espoo, student healthcare is delivered jointly with our health centres. In the event of an accident, we administer first aid together with other staff at your institution.

Acute illness

If you fall ill during the day, you do not need permission or a note from the nurse to go home. At vocational college, you can self-certify for three day, after which you will need to provide a note from a nurse or doctor at your local health centre to confirm that the illness is still ongoing. At upper secondary school level, the school’s own policies will determine how absence is managed.

Medical certificates for absence cannot be issued by the student health service nurse.

As a rule, it is not within the healthcare team’s remit to provide general medical care in the form of diagnostics, treatment or follow up. Where needed, we can refer you to your local health centre or a medical specialist for assessment.

Chronic underlying health conditions

It is advisable to notify the student health service nurse if you have a chronic underlying medical condition or if you are on medication. Your condition will continue to be managed by your regular health care team even after your commence your studies. However, if you become acutely unwell, for example if you are diabetic and develop hypoglycaemia, you can be seen by the school nurse. All students must carry their own medication. They are expected to administer their own medication, aided by a teaching assistant. The school cannot accept responsibility for storing medication.

Accidents

The student health service nurse, along with other staff, is responsible for administering first aid. If you have an accident during school hours, you can be seen by the nurse, if they are in attendance. The nurse will administer first aid, assess the situation, make a note of what has happened and, if required, advise you to attend your own health centre. If you are under 18, they will also contact a parent or guardian. If first aid is required, your parent or guardian is responsible for ensuring that you receive appropriate further treatment. All acute medical issues will be managed at the health centre.

An accident report must always be submitted to the school secretary following an accident. A description of the events must be included in the accident report and should be drawn up by a teacher or parent/guardian in consultation with the pupil. Students in upper secondary school will compile the report with the school secretary, while vocational college students do so with their teacher. To apply for a reimbursement of your costs, please retain all receipts.

All pupils attending school in Espoo have accident insurance in place that offers cover for public sector healthcare fees (poliklinikkamaksu). Students at Omnia are insured for their commute, time at school and any work experience placements.

Sexual health

The role of the school healthcare team is to help young people recognise their own individual and unique physical and mental development as they grow from a girl to a woman and from a boy to a man.

The school nurse and doctor can provide information on

  • respecting your own body and the bodies of other people
  • increasing your self-confidence
  • protecting yourself from violence and abuse
  • your sexual rights
  • your sexuality
  • sex
  • sexual health
  • sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • contraception.

Contraception

If you would like to discuss contraception, please contact your student health service nurse. At the appointment, we will first go through a questionnaire with you. If you have no underlying medical conditions and you are basically healthy, the nurse can prescribe you with the combination pill, mini pill or vaginal ring. If these methods are unsuitable for you, the nurse will refer you to a at your local health centre.

If your usual method of contraception has failed, i.e. the condom has broken, for example, you should obtain emergency contraception. Emergency contraception, also known as the morning after pill, is available from pharmacies without a prescription. If you are under 15, you can obtain a prescription from your own health centre.

Sexually transmitted disease (STIs)

If you think that you may have contracted a sexually transmitted disease, please contact your student health nurse. Further information on sexually transmitted diseases and testing

Mental health

We would encourage you to contact your school or student health service nurse if you are feeling down, finding it difficult to sleep or preoccupied with your relationships and your situation more generally or if you are not sure whether you are able to cope. The nurse will meet with you and, based on your situation and your own wishes, can refer you to mental health services in your own local area.

An educational welfare officer and psychologist are also based at all upper secondary schools, vocational colleges and at the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. You can contact them if you feel that you need support with your learning or mental health.Laurea University of Applied Scienceshave their own dedicated educational psychologist, who is also available for support.

If necessary, the student health service doctor can refer you to a specialist.

The Nupoli Youth Clinic is a service designed for young people aged 13–22 and offers support and help with issues such as mental health, drugs and alcohol, gaming and leisure time. The parents of young people are also welcome to get in touch. All our services are provided in the strictest confidence and you do not need a referral from another healthcare professional to attend.

Student welfare

The term pupil welfare (opiskeluhuolto) is used to describe services designed to foster the pupils’ physical, mental and social wellbeing. Our key role is create a healthy and safe learning environment and to promote the wellbeing of the entire school community.

Pupil welfare concerns all staff within the school and work in this area is carried out in collaboration with the pupils’ parents and guardians. The primary objective is the prevention and early recognition of barriers to learning and other issues. The pupil welfare service is free and confidential.

Every Espoo school has in place a pupil welfare team. In addition to the school nurse, the team comprises the head teacher, psychologist, educational welfare officer (kuraattori), special educational needs teacher, guidance counsellor and teacher representatives. The team may also include pupil and parent representatives, the school doctor and other stakeholders.

The individualised pupil welfare service

The individualised pupil welfare service comprises health, psychology, welfare and individualised multi-disciplinary services.

A stand-alone team of experts can be called together to assess the support needs of individual pupils. The exact make up of the group is determined on a case-by-case basis and depends on the issues under consideration. Issues relating to a single individual can only be discussed by a team of this kind, provided that the student and, where relevant, their parent, guardian or legal representative, has given their consent.

Learning support

School nurses will attend learning support groups as required. Nurses can be invited to attend when their professional input is required to assess the student’s learning and other needs.

Addictions: Gaming and substance abuse

You can turn to the school health service team for help, support and guidance if you find that you are spending too much time on video games or your media consumption negatively impacting on your everyday life.

The student health service will always encourage you to abstain from drugs and alcohol and the topic will be discussed during your health checks. For the purposes of this topic, drugs and alcohol also include other intoxicants such as tobacco, snuff, solvents, anabolic steroids and the misuse of prescription medicines. These substances are harmful to health.

Under Finnish law, children under the age of 18 are not allowed to consume alcohol or other legal intoxicants. As their bodies are still growing and developing, children and young people are considerably more susceptible to the effects of drugs and alcohol than adults. Under Finnish law, children under the age of 18 are not allowed to consume alcohol or other legal intoxicants.

It is a good idea to discuss these issues at home with a parent or guardian. If as a parent or guardian you are worried about a young person’s alcohol or drug use, you or the young person themselves can contact the school health service for guidance and support.