Diabetes and health services delivery

by SKHC Editor on May 3, 2006

Greetings from Twyla,

The diagnosis of diabetes in a school-aged child brings turmoil for the child and his or her family.  Include the possibility that the diagnosis can come in a student with deficits in cognitive, emotional, learning or physical ability, and another layer of complexity  is added.

As a school nurse, there are many things to consider when providing care at a school – blood glucose monitoring, insulin administration, hypo and hyperglycemic episodes and glucagon, to name a few.  There is the issue of carb counting in foods eaten for snacks, meals and special occasion treats.  And what about excercise, field trips and bus transportation?  We must also keep in touch with current and rapidly-changing technology in the field, and the political, legal and educational challenges that face us everyday.

Perhaps the most significant consideration is your model of health services delivery.  Is there a school nurse in every school in your geographic area, or must you delegate these tasks to licensed or unlicensed, assistive personnel?

I invite you to share your ideas, success stories and those decisions that had to be re-evaluated.  In that way, we can learn from each other and help one another to manage these complex situations.


Twyla Lato, RN, BSN, NCSN is a School District Nurse for a suburban community in southeast Wisconsin, and a past president of the Wisconsin Association of School Nurses. 

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