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medical services in the school

post #1 of 106
Thread Starter 
Rumor has it that a new family is moving to my school. Apparently one of the kids is diabetic and needs shots every day, requiring a nurse to be on duty. My school has only 65 kids K-8 and our nurse is only there one day a week. The family apparently left another school because they couldn't provide a full-time nurse. I can't imagine how our school is going to be able to either.

I'm just curious: what are other people's thoughts on this situation? Should a school have to hire more of a nurse (that would be an enormous expense for this school)? Has anyone here ever had to request way more services (not considering special ed or IEPs--that's a whole other situation, I think) from a school than they originally provided? How did that go?
post #2 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecoteat View Post
Rumor has it that a new family is moving to my school. Apparently one of the kids is diabetic and needs shots every day, requiring a nurse to be on duty. My school has only 65 kids K-8 and our nurse is only there one day a week. The family apparently left another school because they couldn't provide a full-time nurse. I can't imagine how our school is going to be able to either.

I'm just curious: what are other people's thoughts on this situation? Should a school have to hire more of a nurse (that would be an enormous expense for this school)? Has anyone here ever had to request way more services (not considering special ed or IEPs--that's a whole other situation, I think) from a school than they originally provided? How did that go?
How old is the child?
post #3 of 106
If the school is a public school then they are probably required to meet this child's medical needs.

Cost or no.

If she doesn't have an IEP or 504 she needs to get one, then they will have to accommodate her needs.

free and appropriate public education for all.

-Angela
post #4 of 106
Sure, as long as the child has a 504 or IEP stating it's required.
post #5 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aries1985 View Post
Sure, as long as the child has a 504 or IEP stating it's required.
Yup.
post #6 of 106
Boy, I hope they're suing the last school since a school is legally required to provide accommodations under Section 504.

The school doesn't have to provide a nurse full time, but does have to provide a person--lvn, health aide, etc., to help the child monitor blood sugar and give the shot if necessary. And yes, I think schools "should" do it, even though they already do "have" to do it. That child has the right to attend school to, and maybe that child doesn't have a family member readily available to provide the shot.
post #7 of 106
I think each state has different laws governing what can be in the IEP or 504 but I do think diabetic children are entitled to have a nurse on staff for all hours that student is in school. In NY, those students are also supposed to have nurses (RNs) go on field trips as well.

We had a hard time getting that met (and the nurse we did have was incompetant). It's one of the myriad reasons we now homeschool.
post #8 of 106
AT a big middle school we have many diabetic students and I believe they have 504 plans. We don't have a full time nurse, but one nurse here 1-2 days a week and several low-paid "health assistants" who are trained in basics. The health assistant came on our last field trip because I had two diabetics.

Yes, I think the school should provide just as they provide special services for other medical conditions. It is expensive, but without that cost, how could all children access public schools? I guess the alternative is to have kids with special needs all together at a special school and I hear that is done in other countries, but I hope we are past that here.
post #9 of 106
At my dd's school there is a health aide that is there every day.
post #10 of 106
This is one of those subjects on which I have mixed feelings. I do believe that every child should have an appropriate education. But at times I do struggle with the amount of resources that are made available to children with special needs. It's not that I think kids with special needs shouldn't have those needs met, but when such a large percentage of resources is spent on such a small percentage of the population, it seems unfair. Especially in the case of a small school, where the addition of one extra staff person who is hired to care for only one child takes away from the resources available for the other 65 children who may not benefit from that extra staff person. In a small school, hiring a nurse or an extra paraprofessional may mean that there isn't money for an art class or for field trips.

I don't think this really has anything to do with whether or not there is adequate funding for schools, but rather how we as a society have chosen to prioritize school spending. As a society, we have decided that all kids should have their special needs accomidated, even if it means that the majority of students lose resources because of this. Again, I'm not against special education or against making accomidations for kids with special needs. But the reality is that special services do take funding away from mainstream funding, and this is especially true in small schools.
post #11 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by annethcz View Post
This is one of those subjects on which I have mixed feelings. I do believe that every child should have an appropriate education. But at times I do struggle with the amount of resources that are made available to children with special needs. It's not that I think kids with special needs shouldn't have those needs met, but when such a large percentage of resources is spent on such a small percentage of the population, it seems unfair. Especially in the case of a small school, where the addition of one extra staff person who is hired to care for only one child takes away from the resources available for the other 65 children who may not benefit from that extra staff person. In a small school, hiring a nurse or an extra paraprofessional may mean that there isn't money for an art class or for field trips.

I don't think this really has anything to do with whether or not there is adequate funding for schools, but rather how we as a society have chosen to prioritize school spending. As a society, we have decided that all kids should have their special needs accomidated, even if it means that the majority of students lose resources because of this. Again, I'm not against special education or against making accomidations for kids with special needs. But the reality is that special services do take funding away from mainstream funding, and this is especially true in small schools.
What would you suggest instead?

-Angela
post #12 of 106
Well, I can't speak to special needs staffing on an educational level but as the mother of a type 1 diabetic, reliable healthcare for the admistering of insulin is a life and death situation. The incompetant nurse I spoke of earier nearly gave my child an extremely dangerous dose of medication because her math skills were faulty.
post #13 of 106
We have had a very similar situation at our school. We have 70 kids in preK-12 and last year one of the 1st graders was diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic. We also only had a nurse 1 day/week. What our school did was hire a LPN that works there 3/4 time (also helps out as an aide in a couple of classes as needed), and her mom is the preschool teacher (which is a part of the school), and she is there 3 mornings a week, and keeps a very close tab on things and fills in the other 1/4 time.

I am very happy with how they handled this, as they had never had a situation like this occur before and within a few weeks had this all in place. We are VERY rural and just happened to have someone that was qualified to fill this position.
post #14 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by annethcz View Post
This is one of those subjects on which I have mixed feelings. I do believe that every child should have an appropriate education. But at times I do struggle with the amount of resources that are made available to children with special needs. It's not that I think kids with special needs shouldn't have those needs met, but when such a large percentage of resources is spent on such a small percentage of the population, it seems unfair. Especially in the case of a small school, where the addition of one extra staff person who is hired to care for only one child takes away from the resources available for the other 65 children who may not benefit from that extra staff person. In a small school, hiring a nurse or an extra paraprofessional may mean that there isn't money for an art class or for field trips.

I don't think this really has anything to do with whether or not there is adequate funding for schools, but rather how we as a society have chosen to prioritize school spending. As a society, we have decided that all kids should have their special needs accomidated, even if it means that the majority of students lose resources because of this. Again, I'm not against special education or against making accomidations for kids with special needs. But the reality is that special services do take funding away from mainstream funding, and this is especially true in small schools.
The money issue was a great concern for our district (we are very close to having to consolidate with another district - mostly we have not because there is not one close and our state test scores are very high). Our district was able to get a grant to pay for part of the LPN's salary and she is able to help be an aide in any of the elementary classrooms, which also helps the district.
post #15 of 106
How often would a diabetic child who needs shots every day need to have the shots given in a day? I imagine it may vary, but I don't really know.

Our school does NOT have a nurse on staff ever. No medications are given by the staff unless it is an epi pen in an emergency situation. There is 1 kid I know of who needs medication at noon every day, his parents bring it to him & they give it to him.

It is school policy that they will not give medications to children. It is a public school with 250ish kids from K-8.

I can understand from the school's point on not giving it, I can understand on the parents point on wanting someone there to do it.
post #16 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrieMF View Post
How often would a diabetic child who needs shots every day need to have the shots given in a day? I imagine it may vary, but I don't really know.

Our school does NOT have a nurse on staff ever. No medications are given by the staff unless it is an epi pen in an emergency situation. There is 1 kid I know of who needs medication at noon every day, his parents bring it to him & they give it to him.

It is school policy that they will not give medications to children. It is a public school with 250ish kids from K-8.

I can understand from the school's point on not giving it, I can understand on the parents point on wanting someone there to do it.
In the US there are laws to ensure that every child has access to a free and appropriate public education. That includes medications like insulin.

-Angela
post #17 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrieMF View Post
How often would a diabetic child who needs shots every day need to have the shots given in a day? I imagine it may vary, but I don't really know.

Our school does NOT have a nurse on staff ever. No medications are given by the staff unless it is an epi pen in an emergency situation. There is 1 kid I know of who needs medication at noon every day, his parents bring it to him & they give it to him.

It is school policy that they will not give medications to children. It is a public school with 250ish kids from K-8.

I can understand from the school's point on not giving it, I can understand on the parents point on wanting someone there to do it.
A diabetic child on insulin shots woud need at least one shot every single time he or she ingests food. Average kid, average school day, that is at LEAST twice (snack and lunch). My son, who was newly diagnosed when we were still at the public school, needed several extra checks a day while we got a hold on the way the illness was affecting him so there was often a 3rd and 4th shot in there. The amount of insulin is calculated to compensate for current blood sugar levels and the amount of carbohydrates eaten. It's complicated and very very important.

Diabetics are not the only children who may need medical care during a 6+ hour school day. I am surprised to hear of a school of that size that does not have a medical professional on hand to deliver medication.
post #18 of 106
None of the schools here have medical staff on hand. I don't know what they'd do in the case of a diabetic who needs insulin. I know there is 1 child who is diabetic(she doesn't participate in the breakfast program becuase of it), but AFAIK she isn't on insulin.

the 1 child who does take meds every day that his parents bring for him to take is on some sort of a ADHD medication. I can see if this child is new to this, it isn't simply a case where someone could come in to do it.

My dd is hypoglycemic & has allowances to eat at the last recess, but we don't have a specific plan set up for it.

I'm a noon supervisor at the school & from what I"ve seen there aren't any other kids besides that 1 who gets meds daily. There are some kids who have inhalers for asthma, but they keep those in their lockers. Some who don't need them all the time, just have them on hand JIC have them locked in the office. The epi pens are locked in the kids classrooms(there are 2 who have them at school)
post #19 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
What would you suggest instead?

-Angela
I'm not suggesting anything else. I am saying that because we expect our schools to meet the special needs of students during school hours, it does take money and resources away from the kids who don't need special services.

I can see both sides of the argument.

ETA: Because of hearing about my mom's experiences as a special education teacher, I do have some ideas about reducing special education costs. But my thoughts probably wouldn't be well received, so I won't post them here
post #20 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrieMF View Post
None of the schools here have medical staff on hand. I don't know what they'd do in the case of a diabetic who needs insulin. I know there is 1 child who is diabetic(she doesn't participate in the breakfast program becuase of it), but AFAIK she isn't on insulin.
If she's not on insulin, then she's type 2, not type 1- a whole different ball game.

-Angela
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