How can a School Nurse support your diabetic child?
Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in children. Parents and schools have the same goal: to guarantee that students with diabetes are safe and able to learn in a supportive environment. Because most kids spend a significant portion of their day in school and related activities, diabetes care in school is an important part of their diabetes treatment.
A school nurse could be present all day, for a few hours, on certain days of the week, or not at all. Regardless of the situation, the school must take steps to ensure that your child is safe and receives the proper assistance they require to manage their diabetes so that they can learn.
Let us delve a little deeper into the topic of diabetes care at school and how school nurses can help.
School Nurses are leaders in students’ diabetic care
School nurses are always ready to provide accurate information and clear up any misunderstandings that may arise. They help in explaining diabetes to instructors and students, as well as answering queries about it.
They identify diabetes symptoms and provide for the child’s health needs at school, such as checking blood sugars and providing insulin injections, they also take necessary steps if the blood sugars are high or low. They also understand how diabetes affects a kid and provide “accommodations,” such as emphasizing to a youngster the importance of having a water bottle since he or she may be thirsty.
Developing and implementing an Individualized Healthcare Plan (IHP) for students is an important responsibility that a school nurse is expected to complete as part of diabetes treatment for students. The Section 504 team includes the school health authority and the school nurse; as part of the Section 504 plan, the school nurse can implement or be a part of the IHP.
They are also in charge of monitoring diabetic students, ensuring that they receive insulin as needed, and training staff and students to help needy students in an emergency by giving glucagon.
The importance of a Diabetes Management Plan
Written plans are vital for fostering understanding and maintaining a standard of care. The Diabetes Medical Management Plan (DMMP) is a written document created and signed by the student’s healthcare practitioner that includes medical orders for all aspects of the student’s routine and emergency treatment as well as the student’s ability to self-manage.
The DMMP must include emergency contact information, as well as individualized information on all aspects of diabetes management at school. It serves as the foundation for all healthcare and education plans and helps ensure the student’s diabetes needs are met appropriately in the school setting.
The Legal Framework for Diabetes Care in Schools
Students with diabetes are protected by three federal statutes and some state laws: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Diabetes is considered a disability under these regulations; therefore, it is illegal for schools and childcare providers to discriminate against children with diabetes.
Any school that receives federal funding support as well as any public institution, must manage all of the special needs of children with diabetes in a reasonable manner. The accommodations must be documented in a written plan created under applicable federal legislation, such as a Section 504 Plan or Individualized Education Program (IEP).
Tips for school nurses on how to coordinate diabetes care in the school context
Here are some school nurse tips to help school nurses coordinate diabetes care in the school context. It includes preparing the educational setting for newly diagnosed or returning students’ care, where to find training resources, how to prepare for field excursions, what information to provide to transportation, and other information.
- Review the student’s Diabetes Medical Management Plan/orders physician’s (DMMP) and secure needed diabetes supplies, equipment, medicine, and snacks with parent/guardian before the school year begins or following diagnosis.
- Check whether the student’s parents or guardians have permission to make insulin adjustments as recommended in the DMMP.
- Ensure that any changes to the student’s diabetic regimen are communicated to the parent/guardian and that the DMMP is revised to ensure the changes.
- Seek training as needed to keep the school nurse’s skills up to date and make sure they learn about new technology like the insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor.
- Establish an Emergency Action Plan for the early detection and treatment of hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) and ensure that the student has instant access to a fast-acting glucose source (regular soda, fruit juice, glucose tabs).
- Establish an Emergency Action Plan for the early detection and treatment of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and ensure that the student has rapid access to water, and insulin as specified in the DMMP.
- Instruct teachers to never send a student with diabetes anyplace alone, whether he or she is hypoglycemic or hyperglycemic.
- Identify and recruit school staff who are willing to be trained and plan for ongoing supervision and coordination programs designed to meet the unique needs of the students as mandated by the DMMP. Provide appropriate delegation of care following state legislation or as needed to ensure that competent diabetes care is always accessible for the student.
- Communicate with the parent/guardian, instructors, and other school personnel regularly to ensure the problems of the student are fulfilled and their needs are met. Provide basic diabetes and diabetes emergency response information to custodial workers who have custodial responsibilities for the student.
- Recognize that the school is responsible for providing proper training to school staff. If a school nurse requests support from a diabetes educator or another diabetic health care professional, the student’s diabetes provider can give assistance and resources. Additional assistance may be available via local pediatric diabetes centers and health agencies.
- Inform parents/guardians about their child’s rights under applicable federal laws, such as Section 504, and be a part of the team that determines eligibility for federal assistance and produces the 504 plan or other documented accommodations plan.
- Inform those in charge of transportation that a student on their route has diabetes and offer bus drivers basic diabetes training so that they know how to respond and who to contact in the event of a diabetes emergency.
- Make a plan for the school day, field trips, extracurricular activities, and ensure that a school nurse or trained school staff is available prior-and-after-school programs to provide vital care and diabetes supplies, equipment, and medicine, and accompany the child.
- Understand that becoming independent and capable of self-management is a process and that each student develops varying levels of independence.
- Realize that students who self-manage will require assistance in the event of a diabetes emergency, and a school nurse or school workers should be trained to deliver glucagon.
Finally, students with diabetes would not have to be concerned about anything
As the article ends, our final takeaways are that kids and instructors should consult with the school nurse on diabetes treatment. School nurses, who are registered nurses, understand those concerns and can assist the school in addressing the child’s health needs while at school, ensuring that pupils are safe, and that diabetes does not interfere with their education.