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School nurses fight back in California

Discussion in 'School and Daycare' started by Jeff, Aug 26, 2007.

  1. Jeff

    Jeff Founder, CWD

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  2. Nancy in VA

    Nancy in VA Approved members

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    That is just sad.

    They are saying that "non qualified" people - well, we parents aren't nurses but we take care of our children day-in and day-out.

    I hate this kind of pissing contest where they are putting children's lives and their education in the balance.

    Its reasons like this that I choose to homeschool!
     
  3. WestinsMom

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    I second that! We started homeschooling after I felt I was being harassed by our administrator and teacher's aid in charge of diabetes care for my son. She was type 1 herself and an absolute bare to deal with. She said, "I'm not into the shot thing!" What?! You are diabetic yourself!

    All it takes is someone to care for our children and take directions from us. If it comes from a loving place, all should work out fine. These people are there to care for our children not their own agendas.
     
  4. Nancy in VA

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    You are right Michelle. I was speaking with the wife of the pastor at church today - we just started attending there and Emma isn't actually going yet (the summer is tough because they don't have the same teacher and I don't want to have to keep going over it with different people).

    Anyway, this woman runs a small preschool out of her home. I told her that I was starting to have conversations about next year because I wanted to find a place for Emma but that she is diabetic. She was quick to say she was willing to learn what was required to take it on and, oh by the way, she takes 2 1/2 year olds as long as they are potty trained - so I think I'm shifting the potty training into high gear and as soon as we get her stable on the pump, I'm calling her back. It was such a refreshing attitude.
     
  5. livacreature

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    I might not be very popular for this. There are many sides to this issue. The first being compulsary education. If a parent is unable to take off work, yet their young diabetic child must be enrolled in school, but the school is unable to provide for the welfare of the child, what is the solution? We all know that people must work in the US to recieve (maybe) health benefits from their employer to provide for their child's medical need.
    At the same time, I can understand the hesitatation of teachers or other parties to take on the responsibility of injections and testings of someone elses child. My mother is a teacher and has been in that situation with a child in another class, and it made her very uncomfortable (mostly the injections on a sliding scale). She knew that miscalculating could put the little boy in a grave situation. She did it, but she was very relieved when the family moved because of her fear of error. Plus, the little boy was only two, and didn't like anyone to do his shots but his mom, so she was in fear of hurting him everytime she did an injection (I was diagnosed as an older child, so she never did shots on me). I am really sympathetic to both sides of the coin. Parents can't do it because they need to work, and teachers should be informed of what to do in case of an emergency, but should not be placed in the position of nurse. They should understand glucogon and how to use it. They should understand the need for snacks, and grant freedom to test and take bathroom breaks. I work part time as a reading teacher at a middle school, someone asked if I would take on a child at lunch time, and I had to say no. I felt bad, but one, the child was 11 and i feel that is old enough to be doing ones own shots and testing your own blood sugar. Two, I am there to teach reading, not fill a position that the school has empty. The child was also male, with a preference of his injections being on his thighs and butt. I am not even putting myself in a situation for allegations of misconduct to be made. I have no medical background, I'm just diabetic myself. The mother made me feel like the most heartless scum of the earth, but alas, the child (at 11, i'm not saying young ones should be able to do their own) learned to do his shots and test his blood, so I think it worked out. He can now be autonomous and more independent from his mom.
    I think that schools should be required to have nurses on staff. Many have thousands of students, without someone there at all times to moniter the numerous health concerns. That is the only real solution to the problem. To address the shortage, maybe they should raise pay, subsidize education, or something to that effect. The situation with school nurses is unfortunate and something should be done. However, the answer is not bringing teachers on board to fill those shoes. If they volunteer, fine, but there is a lot of pressure from the administration for teachers to do this, and I don't think it is right.
     
  6. speakup4kids

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    kids in school

    I feel I must reply to the previous post. I live in California, have a diabetic child, and am on an elementary school campus every day. I work with both administrators and teachers and have seen the effects the nursing shortage has on everyone. Yes we need a nurse in every school. Would this eliminate the need for unlicensed personnel to be trained in insulin administration and diabetes care. ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! In my school alone, we have a child with leukemia, currently undergoing chemo, several children with life threatening allergies, and serious asthmatics. Add to that my diabetic son, who is oddly the only diabetic in the school of 749 children and it is irresponsible to think that there will never be more than one child with a problem at once. The reality is that my son is at risk whenever he is at school because he is not around people that are trained to recognize potential danger signs and treat them when they occur. I am there and have had to completely change careers because of this. We have a nurse 1 day a week and even she is not knowledgeable about diabetes. In an emergency, for example a lockdown where the children are not able to leave the classroom diabetic children could be in danger of high blood sugar within hours. Last year, in my area, we were in lockdown all day (7 hours) this is enough time to cause serious problems for a child with no insulin delivery. If a teacher were trained in insulin delivery, this would be a nonissue. For those that think this is way out in left field, I assure you it is not. This year already, my son who is on a pump, has had a pump occlusion and was told by his teacher to stop the noise on his pump. I was called one time, by the time I got to the school he had ketones and was visibly ill, still in class.
    While I agree that at a certain age, children should be able to take care of theselves, when you are high or low judgement is always skewed. Help should be given to any child in those circumstances. My father is 60 years old, has been diabetic for 33 years and still gets loopy when he is way high or low.
    Sorry about the rant, obviously I am pretty passionate about this!!!
    Heidi
     
  7. DylansMum

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    Well all I can say is that you guys are lucky to have school nurses at your schools, we don't have them here in NZ. Dylan who was 7 when he was dx'd, does all his prick tests himself at school under supervision from the school receptionist. The Diabetes Nurse actually came out to the school, had a staff meeting with all the teachers at the school to explain to them about Dylan and how important it was for him to be tested at the right time etc and eat his morning tea, lunch etc.
    He has had not problems and the school is great. The school receptionist does not mind at all, she often calls me at work to just check that his bgl are ok and that he is having extra insulin. They have never needed to inject Dylan, he does this himself with his pens supervised.
    His teacher reminds him every day just before the lunch bell to go up to the office and test himself. If he feels low, he tells his teacher and she sends him up to the office. We as parents would not expect the school to even have a nurse because of Dylans diabetes, he does fine as he is with the great school staff.

    Kim
     
  8. speakup4kids

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    It is kind of a double edged sword to have a nurse in school because it leads to the issues we are fighting now. I would personally prefer to have my sons teacher remind him to test and have the school take a little more active approach in his care. What tends to happen out where I am in CA is more of a nope sorry we aren't allowed to do that, that is a nurse's job, response to pretty much everything. My son does well with his care, but it is not safe for any diabetic child regardless of age to be in a situation without trained backups.
    Heidi
     
  9. DylansMum

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    I have to disagree on your last paragraph about it not being safe for any diabetic child regardless of age to be in a situation without trained backups.
    I am not a nurse, and I would say most parents are not medically trained, we are given lots of info, so regardless of our schools here not having nurses on site so to speak does not mean our children are going to be in danger. The school knows that if Dylan was to go very low (which he has on many occasions) they have their checklist, they give him his juice, glucose tablets, re-test him 10 mins later, Dylan also knows if he is not feeling well and does not hesitate to tell his teacher. Also when he has had ketones, they have rung me and I have rung the endo on call on his cellphone and there has not been a problem. They are well aware they only need to call 111 and the paramedics would be there in mins, so yes my son is safe when he is at school and he doesn't have medically trained backups.

    Kim
     
  10. speakup4kids

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    I am sorry that I came across the way I did. My point was not to say that we need more medically trained people but rather more of what you have. Informed and willing school personnel. What tends to happen out in California is that the school personnel would rather do nothing and say it is the nurse's responsibility instead of just becoming informed on what they could do to help out the child. I totally agree that medical personnel are not necessary in fact even when there is a nurse present, I usually have to tell her what to do regarding my son's care. I am tired of being told that just because someone is a school nurse they know everything about diabetes, when the reality is that often times they don't. The school secretary, or his teacher, or even the librarian who has been trained by me or a CDE will have much more knowledge than the nurse, and they want to help, these are people who volunteer to be informed.
    Heidi
     

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