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#91 of 106 Old 05-21-2008, 07:08 PM
 
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I'm sorry; I've read your posts and I just don't follow the logic. Do you think that all parents whose children are dx'd should go out and get a professional degree in order to adequately meet the medical needs of their child while s/he is at home? Or is an RN only required in a school setting?
Well, I realize you are being facetious but I'm going to answer the questions anyway.

With the amount of education and training I, my dp, my kids and other family members have had and done, we would probably pass the endocrinology portion of an RN exam (as well as some other areas). So, yes, I believe it takes a certain level of education to care for a diabetic child.

I also believe it takes a person *specifically dedicated* to the issue. Even with my own training and understanding of how the disease affects my own child, there is no way I could reasonably care for and educate a class of 25 children while also adequately caring for a diabetic child. Not to mention the time and education needed to keeping up-to-date with the new and ever-changing methods of care and insulin delivery. That kind of responsibility is far too much to ask of a teacher, who already has quite a job-load.

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#92 of 106 Old 05-21-2008, 07:22 PM
 
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Schools don't do all these things to save the world. Believe me, saving the world never comes up at a board meeting. They do all these things to raise test scores. Hungry children don't do well on tests. Parent invovlement is suppose to raise test scores. Teaching parents English is supposed to raise test scores. I have to say that when the budget comes up, I've NEVER heard that we should spend money just to be nice, it is because someone somewhere thinks that it will raise our scores.
I know that raising test scores is VERY important to the school. My second grader cried all through assessments. D Do doing these things actually raise test scores? I believe that many children of immigrants learned to read successfully because the schools taught THEM to read. Focus is a crucial part of any endeavor. I believe that the schools have lost focus. But we all have a right to our opinion..

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Further more, free and reduced lunch is a federal poverty program and not really a "school thing." Daycares, YMCA's, Boys and Girls Clubs, etc. can all be part of the same program and the entire food budget is separate from the general fund.
It doesn't change my opinion whether it is federal or not. I still think it is the parent's responsibility to feed their children. The school lunch program is another example *to me* of mismanaging time and money. Parents would still need to feed their child lunch whether at home or school. I don't see why a school lunch is considered an *extra expense.* If a family is in need for money to feed their children, whether at home or at school, I feel the funds should come from an already existing financial assistance program. Why do they need two entities do deal with ONE problem? This would leave one less responsibility on the school, less paperwork they need to worry about, and therefore more time to concentrate on educating THEM.

ETA ... and I have my doubts as to how accurately tests reveal a childs knowledge anyway. JMO
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#93 of 106 Old 05-21-2008, 07:34 PM
 
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Well, I realize you are being facetious but I'm going to answer the questions anyway.

With the amount of education and training I, my dp, my kids and other family members have had and done, we would probably pass the endocrinology portion of an RN exam (as well as some other areas). So, yes, I believe it takes a certain level of education to care for a diabetic child.

I also believe it takes a person *specifically dedicated* to the issue. Even with my own training and understanding of how the disease affects my own child, there is no way I could reasonably care for and educate a class of 25 children while also adequately caring for a diabetic child. Not to mention the time and education needed to keeping up-to-date with the new and ever-changing methods of care and insulin delivery. That kind of responsibility is far too much to ask of a teacher, who already has quite a job-load.
A nurse is not an endocrinologist, nor specially dedicated to the issue. Whatever nurse is hired, unless having prior experience with Type 1 Diabetes, will still need to learn the special considerations necessary to take care of a child with Diabetes. She will also have other responsibilities, not just caring for the child. But if I am comfortable with a reasonably intelligent person with common sense and a genuine desire to care for my child well, and you are only comfortable with an RN, I guess that just makes us different people with different comfort zones.

I agree that the extra burden should not be *obligatory* for a teacher. BUT in a small school, that has a lot of volunteers implies a general attitude that may not be opposed to this arrangement. Who are we to tell them not to, if they want to and it's agreeable to the parents?
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#94 of 106 Old 05-21-2008, 07:42 PM
 
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A nurse is not an endocrinologist, nor specially dedicated to the issue. Whatever nurse is hired, unless having prior experience with Type 1 Diabetes, will still need to learn the special considerations necessary to take care of a child with Diabetes. She will also have other responsibilities, not just caring for the child. But if I am comfortable with a reasonably intelligent person with common sense and a genuine desire to care for my child well, and you are only comfortable with an RN, I guess that just makes us different people with different comfort zones.

I agree that the extra burden should not be *obligatory* for a teacher. BUT in a small school, that has a lot of volunteers implies a general attitude that may not be opposed to this arrangement. Who are we to tell them not to, if they want to and it's agreeable to the parents?
I'm well aware of the differences between nurses and endocrinologists. (nurses give better care! ) My point is that trained nurses have a basic medical education, an understanding of and appreciation for medical processes and how the human body works. I'm sure there are lots of LPNs, health aides and teachers and administrators who have that too.

I'm not saying I should get to decide what schools have an RN (although, yes, I do think ALL schools should have an RN---hell, I've had an RN on staff at nearly every office job I've worked). I am saying that if a family and 504 plan agree that an RN is necessary to the child's well-being, than that it is our responsibility as a community to work to provide that.

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#95 of 106 Old 05-21-2008, 10:56 PM
 
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I'm well aware of the differences between nurses and endocrinologists. (nurses give better care! ) My point is that trained nurses have a basic medical education, an understanding of and appreciation for medical processes and how the human body works. I'm sure there are lots of LPNs, health aides and teachers and administrators who have that too.
So, if there is an LPN, health aide or teacher that does have a basic medical education, then *to me* that makes them just as potentially qualifiable as a nurse. But that's me.

Having a nurse would not make *me* breathe any easier. I have been in the unfortunate position of having a paramedic give my Type 1 husband a glucagon shot, testing him at 212 and then GIVING HIM ANOTHER ONE!! This was a medically trained professional. I have also been in the position of having two of my sons almost die (on seperate occassions) at the hands of incompetent medical professionals. Thus my my reasons for stressing common sense and knowledge of diabetes over a "medical professional." As I have mentioned in another thread, give me a nurse WITH common sense and we have struck gold! I was fortunate enough to have one of those when my son did attend school. She was great. BUT I also know of parents that have had to PROTECT their children from medical professionals, as I'm sure if you have hung out on the diabetes forums, you know some as well.

Perhaps my negative and life threatening situations with medical professionals has knocked them off their pedastal a bit *for me* and I am not immediately relieved when I find out there is a nurse. In fact, my first concern is usually that they will have a "I know better then you" attitude, that could hinder their openness to learn and work *with* me as a team in caring for my son. BUT, my perception has more than likely been colored by my experiences.


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I'm not saying I should get to decide what schools have an RN (although, yes, I do think ALL schools should have an RN---hell, I've had an RN on staff at nearly every office job I've worked). I am saying that if a family and 504 plan agree that an RN is necessary to the child's well-being, than that it is our responsibility as a community to work to provide that.
I don't disagree with this. And if the 504 plan and the family agree that a nurse is NECESSARY, than absolutely a nurse should be provided.
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#96 of 106 Old 05-21-2008, 11:04 PM
 
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Well, I think we are doing more agreeing than not, lilsparrow. I think I mentioned it upthread, but it was an RN who nearly gave my son several times the amount of insulin he needed to cover lunch because her math was faulty. So, certainly, a medical education does not necessitate great medical care.

Mostly, my point is that I think there should be a person on staff, full time, who deals solely with medical issues for the students and staff. I think any building with large numbers of people there for several hours every day should have one, which is why I mentioned my workplaces having nurses offices.

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#97 of 106 Old 05-22-2008, 01:04 AM
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I've written and re-written a couple of responses here, and I can't come up with something that doesn't sound potentially condescending and inflammatory. I truly don't mean anything of the sort. I'm trying to think of a way to adequately and neutrally express the idea that perspective changes over time and with greater experience -- sometimes for better, sometimes for worse.

From my perspective as an adult with 25+ years of T1 experience, plus some relevant academic training, I truly believe that the idea that, 'managing T1 requires intensive specialized medical training,' is both inaccurate and ultimately harmful to those of us living with the disease.

That said, I absolutely agree that it is part of the function of schools to care for children with a wide variety of individual needs, and I hope that the OP's school finds a mutually acceptable way to support this child and family.

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#98 of 106 Old 05-22-2008, 01:49 AM
 
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Well, I think we are doing more agreeing than not, lilsparrow. I think I mentioned it upthread, but it was an RN who nearly gave my son several times the amount of insulin he needed to cover lunch because her math was faulty. So, certainly, a medical education does not necessitate great medical care.

Mostly, my point is that I think there should be a person on staff, full time, who deals solely with medical issues for the students and staff. I think any building with large numbers of people there for several hours every day should have one, which is why I mentioned my workplaces having nurses offices.
I think we are mostly agreeing too. And I mostly agree with your last point. It would be a good thing for the school to have an employee that deals specifically with the entire student body's health needs. While clarifying that, IMO, a nurse is not needed to be hired solely to care for the needs of a Type 1 Diabetic child.
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#99 of 106 Old 05-22-2008, 01:56 AM
 
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I've written and re-written a couple of responses here, and I can't come up with something that doesn't sound potentially condescending and inflammatory. I truly don't mean anything of the sort. I'm trying to think of a way to adequately and neutrally express the idea that perspective changes over time and with greater experience -- sometimes for better, sometimes for worse.

From my perspective as an adult with 25+ years of T1 experience, plus some relevant academic training, I truly believe that the idea that, 'managing T1 requires intensive specialized medical training,' is both inaccurate and ultimately harmful to those of us living with the disease.

That said, I absolutely agree that it is part of the function of schools to care for children with a wide variety of individual needs, and I hope that the OP's school finds a mutually acceptable way to support this child and family.
I would be EXTREMELY interested in what you have to say concerning the harms of thinking this way. Perhaps it will help me better understand why my gut is telling me the same thing, but I don't know why. A part of me just senses, DANGER!
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#100 of 106 Old 05-22-2008, 11:58 AM
 
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I know that raising test scores is VERY important to the school. My second grader cried all through assessments. D Do doing these things actually raise test scores? I believe that many children of immigrants learned to read successfully because the schools taught THEM to read. Focus is a crucial part of any endeavor. I believe that the schools have lost focus. But we all have a right to our opinion..



It doesn't change my opinion whether it is federal or not. I still think it is the parent's responsibility to feed their children. The school lunch program is another example *to me* of mismanaging time and money. Parents would still need to feed their child lunch whether at home or school. I don't see why a school lunch is considered an *extra expense.* If a family is in need for money to feed their children, whether at home or at school, I feel the funds should come from an already existing financial assistance program. Why do they need two entities do deal with ONE problem? This would leave one less responsibility on the school, less paperwork they need to worry about, and therefore more time to concentrate on educating THEM.

ETA ... and I have my doubts as to how accurately tests reveal a childs knowledge anyway. JMO
I don't really know if they raise test scores. I think you can find studies where they do and studies where they don't depending on a lot of factors. But that is always the thought behind any program we add to the school. Some board member or admin. finds a study saying X, so we try it at our school.

My point with the food is that regardless of whether food was offered at our school or not, it wouldn't change the budget for the general fund. Right now our district has to make 5 million dollars in cuts and has laid off 40 teachers, but the cafeterias aren't touched because it isn't our money to play with.
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#101 of 106 Old 05-22-2008, 09:51 PM
 
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My point with the food is that regardless of whether food was offered at our school or not, it wouldn't change the budget for the general fund. Right now our district has to make 5 million dollars in cuts and has laid off 40 teachers, but the cafeterias aren't touched because it isn't our money to play with.
Gotcha!
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#102 of 106 Old 05-22-2008, 11:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My computer's wonky and I can't get on here for a few days and I come back to a discussion about school lunches? Huh?

Anyway, turns out the kid isn't coming this year after all. I don't know details, but whatever. The student will start in our school in the fall, but won't be in my class then. Fascinating discussion here, though! The striking thing to me is the overgeneralization about schools. They are SO diverse, that what holds true in one place doesn't at all in another. Yet we still make these broad sweeping statements about Schools as an institution and how they upset us, make us happy, whatever. And this cracks me up because I think MY school is drastically different from a vast majority of public schools in this country, for a great many reasons.
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#103 of 106 Old 05-23-2008, 10:48 PM
 
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My computer's wonky and I can't get on here for a few days and I come back to a discussion about school lunches? Huh?

Anyway, turns out the kid isn't coming this year after all. I don't know details, but whatever. The student will start in our school in the fall, but won't be in my class then. Fascinating discussion here, though! The striking thing to me is the overgeneralization about schools. They are SO diverse, that what holds true in one place doesn't at all in another. Yet we still make these broad sweeping statements about Schools as an institution and how they upset us, make us happy, whatever. And this cracks me up because I think MY school is drastically different from a vast majority of public schools in this country, for a great many reasons.
I am REALLY glad the situation worked out well for all!!
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#104 of 106 Old 06-09-2008, 06:36 PM
 
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whoa, big thread. Sorry, haven't ready everything here. I figured I would comment on the general situation, just in case others ask (and search for) the same question in the future.

I have no clue how things work in the US (or in Canada, for that matter) as I was lucky enough to develop diabetes when I was at an age when I could manage it myself.

Could the nurse, teachers, and others at the school all be trained in diabetes management? You'll have to have some understanding of it anyway with this child in the classroom. I was appalled that a friend of mine had a child in class who was repeatedly going extremely low, to the point of passing out - and had never received any training about what the numbers even meant.

Is it possible to use technology to connect the child and the parent and the teacher so that the parent can help make decisions about the correct course of action? I know of parents who get the child to text or call them with their blood sugar readings and then they discuss the appropriate action.

We've come such a long way in diabetes management, but it is still very much a disease that you need to manage every minute, and it's still a life or death situation.

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#105 of 106 Old 06-09-2008, 07:10 PM
 
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I find it scary that many schools (like mine) are rolling the dice in having a nurse who's there only one day a week.

Diabetes is not that rare. Nut allergies aren't that rare. Even less rare is asthma, injuries, lice and illness.

I also feel that special education has hidden benefits- when I was a para, the child actually did not need me breathing down her neck, just guide her. Often, to help her learn independence, I would go help another student. The teacher realized it was nice having me help, and other kids did benefit. I helped other kids, so........maybe my purpose wasn't entirely unfair?

Furthermore, a lot of people quietly struggle with how many resources are spent on a child with special needs. All I can say is, heave a sigh of relief that your kid doesn't need those resources. Your kid can go on to lead a good productive life if he/she has the inclination. The future can be much dimmer for people with disabilities.
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#106 of 106 Old 06-12-2008, 10:15 PM
 
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ay-yi-yi!! are we still talking about this? if i recall, the OP is a teacher in a very small school which does not have funds to pay for an RN (or even a "health aide") for a diabetic child.

as the parent of a diabetic child (and wife of a T1 diabetic husband!) in a very small school which does not have said funds, i respectfully disagree with all who feel the school should pay for a health professional to be on call at all times for this kid (even though we know now the child wont be there till the fall).

what some folks might not understand is the VERY thin line in our school budget which keeps the school open. we (not saying that ecoteats is the same, just talking small schools here) have to vote every year to keep our school open and there are many years (like this year) where the school was kept going by TWO votes. a small school such as this simply does not have the extra $$$ to have a full time school nurse. we have 37 students, what would s/he do all day?? wait for dd to have a problem? bandage a scraped knee every 2 days?

i understand all the argument about special needs kids - perhaps if dd was in a bigger school i might feel differently, but in a small school setting (which the OP described) a diabetic child is in good hands. especially if the school is able to be in contact with the childs parents as widemouthedfrog suggested. our school cook has called me at home and dh at work to try to figure a situation where she was unsure. no nurse needed.

sorry to disagree with the other mamas of T1 kids. please don't be offended!


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