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Schools without nurses

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by StacyMM, May 20, 2011.

  1. StacyMM

    StacyMM Approved members

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    I can't believe I'm even considering this, but my daughter wants to go back to school (we've been homeschooling) and we were in the process of finding an alternate school for our son...so we would be looking at enrolling her in that new school, too.

    The one we like is a small private school. No nurse, no aides. They are willing to accommodate in any way they can and have offered to have everyone trained - all teachers, all office people, all subs, all specials (music, art, gym, etc.) It reminds me of our old daycare days, to be honest. The class size is limited to 10-12 students and classroom set-up would encourage observation of high/low behavior. DD is much more accurate at catching lows, although highs are generally missed.

    The teachers and administration would be able to monitor finger pokes and verify doses in the pump. We would label lunches and snacks, keep a fridge provisioned in the room, have a cell phone in the diabetes bag, be available.

    It seems so doable. And, to be honest, that scares me. I mean, she's 7 (almost 8 when school starts.) Am I really considering a school without a nurse?? I really like the school. I really don't like the local school...but they would have an in-class aide for her.

    Anyone out there that opted to use a school without a nurse? Anyone consider it but decided against it? I've thought about it so much that I have worked myself into confusion and would love to hear if others think this is crazy or workable. Feel free to speak up - I'll take opinions on both sides!
     
  2. Christopher

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  3. Nevaeh

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    Nurses aren't magical. Most of us parents aren't nurses and we do just fine. Plenty of kids go to school without a nurse. If they are all willing to be trained, you've got something good in that school.
     
  4. ShanaB

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    In Canada there are no school nurses and I think most parents would feel blessed with the accommodations this school is willing to provide. A willing and caring administration goes a long way. I say go for it :)
     
  5. Snowbound

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    We've managed just fine for 3 years without a school nurse. We put together a diabetes information package for the school and meet with them every fall to explain it to the new teachers. We try to make it a positive experience and not scare the school staff and have had a very good relationship with the school.

    We have an emergency carb supply package in teachers desk and in the office's medical station. Our son also wears a spi belt with carbs.

    They have instructions on what to do for lows, like he can never go to the office by himself if low, someone must always accompany him.

    He used to have one of the special needs aids come at lunch time to monitor his BG tests, just to make sure he didn't forget. He's old enough now we don't do that any more.

    If he is experience a high or low that he can't correct or if something happens like his infustion set gets pulled out, they call home. We're just a 5 minute drive away and I work out of the house so it's never been an issue.
     
  6. Heather(CA)

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    No offense to any of the good school nurses out there...

    The person who took the best care of Seth was NOT the nurse. If anything, the nurse was more of a pain in the bootie (Not the current one, she's good) And, if there isn't a nurse that thinks she knows everything when she doesn't, the staff there will take all of their directions from YOU. That is a good thing. :D

    I say go for it, it's not like you can't change oyur mind if it doesn't work out.
     
  7. Heather(CA)

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  8. dejahthoris

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    I think it sounds like a wonderful situation with the private school for your kids. They sound like they really will be supportive! Besides, many schools don't actually have nurses. Many of them have people called nurses who work in their clinics that are not RN's but just have some training.
     
  9. sisterbeth43

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    My D dd was older but never had a nurse at the school till she was in college and she was worthless to all the kids.
     
  10. hrermgr

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    T is in a parochial school with a nurse who visits 2x per week in the mornings. The nurse does come check on T when she's in, but all of her care is done by her teachers. We did a training for all staff at the school (principal's idea) then DH spent about a week at school for the hands on training. We get calls from time to time (and have run over for emergency set changes) but overall it's worked out so well!

    It makes such a difference when the school-regardless of private, parochial or public-will do what it takes...I often read here about the schools/teachers/nurses who throw up roadblocks or want a neat and tidy world and can't be flexible and it freaks me out! I feel blessed that we have the support we need at school and the attitude that "we'll do what it takes."

    It can be done! Good luck--I do hope it works out.
     
  11. StacyMM

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    You have all made my day! Thank you!!

    I really like the school. Really, really liked it. And, I was happy with our daycare situation at that time but after experiencing an RN in the classroom with her (last fall...they are converting it to an aide this year) I felt that I was getting too casual about everything. After 5 years everything is so much a habit that I find it hard to step out of my comfort zone and the nurse had been my comfort zone.

    Again, I really appreciate this!
     
  12. MrsBadshoe

    MrsBadshoe Super Moderator

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    The document that Christpher listed is one of the best documents around. It is a perfect guide. You can use it to help guide your school with what might be needed. If it doesn't work for you and your school you can always adjust as needed as long as both of you are in agreement.
     
  13. quiltinmom

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    DS didn't have a nurse in 2nd grade (the year he was DXed) and he did fine. The office personnel and his teacher helped him when he needed it. He won't have a nurse next year, either. I'm not too worried. The nurse at the school he is at now was sort of "deer in the headlights" when it comes to diabetes care at first. She's great, though. :)

    I would choose the better school without a nurse, personally. As long as the adults close to her are trained in what to do (if it gets REALLY hairy they'll call 911), she'll be fine. Especially since she is hypo-aware. Their education makes such a big difference...and it's not like she'll be completely on her own. I'd love to be able to send my kids to a school with 10-12 kids per class!!!

    I know how scary it is to send your child away...and your worries are justified. She'll be okay.

    Good luck!
     
  14. MamaBear

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    Our school has a district nurse who is there once in awhile, and a health aide who is there every day, and I love them. But there were a few days in the past few weeks when the health aide was out for the day and they brought in a sub health aide. The sub health aide refused to help my son, and so the school secretary dealt with his care. Granted he is 11 and can do most of it himself, but still the secretary who is NOT medically trained helped him, and stayed in contact with me over everything when the sub refused. She just needed me to stay in contact with her and offer a little guidance, everything went fine. I think as long as the staff members who are there are willing to be trained and learn, they will be more than capable of helping. It sounds like you have found a good place. Good luck!
     
  15. mmgirls

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    I trust the clinic aide more than I do the RN nurse that is only there 2 days a week.

    It sounds like you wil have a wondersuf experience. good luck.
     
  16. Flutterby

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    My daughter goes to a school with no nurse. All teachers/aids/office admin. area all trained. The district nurse I wouldn't want within 10 feet of treating my child.
     
  17. liasmommy2000

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    My dd's school does not have a nurse. We are a small school district with six buildings and no nurse on the district payroll at all. I was only vaguely aware of this when she started school as that was pre-D. She was diagnosed half way through kindergarten.

    In our district all medical care is provided by the secretaries in each school office. OR if you request it and are granted, an aide assigned to your child. Because Lia has an IEP for both ADHD and diabetes, I was eventually able to get an aide assigned to her. The aide is shared with other children so is not in the class, but goes when called via walkie talkie. She is in the lunch room with Lia.

    I label all snacks and lunch. I have made up pages of very detailed instruction. I have trained the school secretaries, the aide and several of the noon aides as back up in carb counting, treating lows and highs, glucagon etc. Lia also attends the before school care program on site and I have trained those staff members. Lia carries all her basic supplies with her in a mini back pack. It goes with her from class to class. In the office I have a big rubbermaid type box with extra supplies. We also keep a smaller box of back up supplies in the before school care room (office isn't open yet).

    IME it is very doable provided that people are willing and able to do what is needed. I have a cell phone with me at all times and luckily with my job I am able to answer it right away the vast majority of the time or within a few minutes if I'm in a meeting etc and need to excuse myself.

    ETA Lia will be leaving this school for the middle school next year. We are going to try having her do everything herself with her own cell phone to call and text me as needed and train the office staff in dealing with severe lows. I am nervous but know it will probably be fine. At the same time I am nearly in tears already thinking about her last day of elementary school and saying "good-bye" to the aide and secretaries. For six years they have taken care of her and I trust them with her D care as much as I trust my own family (who are also AWESOME). They have been absolutely wonderful in taking care of her and trust me when I say that she is high needs (has had some issues with anxiety in the past, now well controlled) and has spent more time in the office than she should due to stomach aches etc. They have doled out hugs, bandaids and insulin all with a smile and a hug yet are firm when needed. Sigh, trying not to sob now.

    Sometimes when I read about the troubles some have with nurses I am glad we don't have one. I get the medication forms signed by the doctor that basically say doses vary and consult parent. I fill out the diabetes medical management plan and the doctor signs it. I make up all the other instructional sheets. I give it all to them and they do what I say and except for one thing have never questioned what I tell them to do. And for that I got the doctor to write and sign a note and that was it.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2011
  18. PamB

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    My daughter was diagnosed at four, at the time, I lived in Canada and was told that she could not attend school unless she could perform her own blood checks as the school staff were not required to have anything to do with blood. I kept her home until grade 1 and was hesitant even then to send her. Thankfully, she had a great big sister who went to the same school and the office staff would bring her out of class to help her when she needed it.

    Now, that we have moved, we have so many issues with the school nurses and aides. Our current nurses aide even asked her if she should bolus when she was in the 30's! The title does not mean they are competant unfortunately; but the good ones are gold!

    The staff you train at the school can also assist and it also gives your child an opportunity to be treated in a more individual manner because you are doing the training!
     
  19. NomadIvy

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    Just the fact that the school is willing to have teachers and staff trained is amazing.

    My CWD is 7 but she was 6 when she continued going to the same private school that she goes to now. They don't have any nurses. We gave a presentation at the start of the schoolyear to EVERYONE in the school, except the security guard and the bus driver. They have two teachers in class -- the main one and the assistant. I insisted that the assistant be the one to be fully trained in d-care since the head teacher will be busy with everyone else. We had a few difficulties in the beginning -- but all in all everything turned out well. Everyone's doing a great job making sure she's safe. Her best "lookouts"? Her friends! She can even go on playdates now without me. It's just amazing!

    Good luck.
     
  20. coni

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    My DD is 8 and has been going to a private school without a nurse since before she was diagnosed at age 3. Things have worked out well, and I am very, very hesitant to send her to public school because based on other people's experience in this area, I don't think she would be as safe even though they would have a nurse. DD's school goes through 8th grade, and I intend to keep her there the entire time.

    If the school is receptive, understanding, and willing to do what it takes to assist your child, it doesn't matter whether there's a school nurse. The important thing is whether you think your child will be safe and properly cared for. Good luck!!
     

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