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How much training for school staff?

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by stewkimmom, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. stewkimmom

    stewkimmom Approved members

    Aug 17, 2012
    Hi all---I'm new here. Looks like an awesome resource! :)

    My son is 8yrs old and in 3rd grade. He was diagnosed Type 1 at 6yrs old.
    He is on a pump and doing well.

    School this year has not been smooth. The clinic aide works Mon thru Wed and the nurse works Thurs and Friday. Both had already had 3 years of experience with Diabetes before my son was diagnosed.

    The aide resigned 2 weeks ago. The school is interviewing and hope to have a new person in place starting Aug 26th. This person will most likely have zero experience. How much training would you consider "enough" before that person is left alone to be in charge of the clinic and your child's care?

    I'm not feeling good about it AT ALL. :(

    They told me they will have a sub covering the clinic until the new person starts. Nobody with her....just an hour training. I met her the day before school started. She seemed VERY nervous, so I asked her if she felt comfortable taking care of my son. She said no. I asked her if she felt she had enough training. She said no. My husband ended up staying in the clinic the first day of school.

    The change in schedule, meal times and stress caused him to run low all morning. When he came down and just sat there, she didn't talk to him or prompt him to check his sugar, my husband had to point out to her that he's lethargic and seems confused. He was 40. She stepped back and let my husband give her a tutorial while he took care of our son. He was again low before lunch. I'm so glad we had my husband there.

    Anyway, the nurse worked yesterday and today but budget cuts wouldn't allow them to bring the sub in to train with her. Instead, she's going to be on her own next week too!

    I'm worried about the new person they hire, too. The Principal won't tell me how many days or hours they will train her before putting her in charge. He told me they "had planned to train" the secretary to be the back up person. I don't trust their idea of "training".

    We have a 504 review coming up next week. I feel like they aren't willing to do more than just the very minimum of training and that they think I expect too much.

    Any advice? What kind of training do your schools require?
  2. hawkeyegirl

    hawkeyegirl Approved members

    Nov 15, 2007
    Oh, gosh. My son is 8 years old and in 3rd grade too. We've had a fabulous nurse up until this point, when she left to take another job. For right now we have a sub nurse who is very nice and competent, and we will get a permanent full-time nurse within the next couple of weeks.

    That being said, I don't think you have to have a medical professional in there, but you definitely need someone with training! It can be done. My son went to a private preschool, and we trained his teachers how to care for him, neither of whom had any prior experience.

    Here is what I would do in your shoes: I would not rely (or let) the school do the training. I would insist on doing the training myself. (I've done all the training for all of the nurses and teachers that Jack has had.) I think we met with my son's preschool teachers twice for about 1.5 hours each time before school started. So in 3 hours, we were able to train them to operate his pump, how to administer glucagon, and how to treat lows. I created a cheat sheet for them on how to respond to different BG readings at different times of the day, and when to call me. At first, there were many phone calls, which I encouraged. Over time, they got more comfortable, and the phone calls decreased.

    It is impossible to train someone to react just as you would in every situation. The variables are too great to put everything down on paper. But you can train someone how to check BG, how to handle lows, and when to call you.

    I will say that the fact that our awesome nurse left prompted me this year to set up a system where Jack is doing more of his own care. He is doing some checking and treating in his classroom this year, without nurse involvement, and it's going really well. If your son is ready, it might be just as easy to train him in some of his care as it would be a completely uninformed adult. As a last resort, you could put in the 504 that he has a right to carry a phone and you and he can communicate at any time about what he should do. But there should ALWAYS be a person there for him to ask questions or if he needs help, and to respond if there is an emergency.

    Good luck! It is a tough situation, and I really feel for you!
  3. mmgirls

    mmgirls Approved members

    Nov 28, 2008
    what pump is he on?

    If it is the Ping I could email you a copy of 'instructions' that I put togeather it is just a few pages, that is if you need something for someone to be able to reference.

    We have the school secretary as a backup and it is mostly for her, a person that is not always doing testing and treating and giving insulin.
  4. mmgirls

    mmgirls Approved members

    Nov 28, 2008
    How has his teacher responded to everything? would you want to train his teacher and have him do some self care in the classroom? I think that might be good just because his teacher right now is the one that will see that changes in temperment with changes in BG.

    If not that is totally your choice, we do not have the teacher do anything at this point but will wotk towards it at the end of 2nd grade going into 3rd.

    Either way I would request that you be included in the training, it is much easier to get it right the first time than to come back and fix it. I would prepare information for each party involved and include what you expect from them in caring for your child. I would try to come up with scenarios to go over with them to make sure everyone is in line with a plan of care for your child.

    Good luck! and don't back down from getting what your son needs. If you need additional help call the ADA and ee about a school advocate that can help you neavigate these new waters.
  5. SFGingerBeerSoda

    SFGingerBeerSoda Approved members

    May 3, 2011
    There is no school nurse at our DDs school. Myself or husband meets with school staff the week prior to school start. We use the ADA safe at school teaching kit and last year had an ADA representative with us. I suggest getting the ADA safe at school DVD and having the new care provider watch it. Then you can meet with them and do more focused education on your child's needs. We have staff education requirements in our 504 plan.

    I agree with educating the Teacher. Our DDs teacher is IMO the best at observing her behaviors and noting lows. However, first few weeks back in school are busy for teachers and they are getting to know lots of new students.

    It is upsetting to me that the school would not ensure that their clinic staff are educated on the health issues their students are facing. Diabetes is not a rare medical condition. If you take a job in school health it is highly likely you will need to know about it. Again just my opinion and beef :)
  6. virgo39

    virgo39 Approved members

    Jan 8, 2010
    Our school nurse is great. I trained her on the operation of DD's pump, which was before first grade. Each year, she trains a couple of school staff to provide back-up care for DD and conducts a more general training session for the entire staff. So we haven't experienced what you describe.

    My advice would be to have a discussion at the 504 meeting that requires a school nurse to train the clinic aide and back-ups and provide general training to all staff. If your perception is correct -- that they want to provide minimal training and that they think you want too much -- I'm not sure how productive a discussion about the exact number and length of sessions might be.

    Instead, perhaps you can provide that you will train or participate in training, require that during the initial few weeks of the year, they will call you, or have your child call you, to ensure that the proper level of care is being provided.

    As a PP noted, the ADA has a "safe at school" program and a good Powerpoint presentation that can be downloaded. Perhaps the 504 could specify that any direct caregiver be trained using those materials?

    Good luck!

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