Teachers can "Pinch Hit" for Nurses?

  1. 1 Below are excerpts from an article in today’s Los Angeles Times.

    More than 30 states allow nonmedical school employees to administer insulin to students, said a representative of the American Diabetes Assn.

    Several nursing organizations filed suit, arguing that only medical professionals should be entrusted with such a responsibility. On Nov. 14, a Sacramento County judge ruled in the nurses' favor.

    It's hard not to see it as little more than a ploy to protect nursing jobs… If teachers and counselors were allowed to manage diabetic children, it might be a license for public education to further deplete the ranks of school nurses.

    Jeffrey Ehrlich [A parent, states]… “the idea that nurses are the only ones that can help diabetic kids manage their health is ridiculous…It's not rocket science." (Emphasis added).

    Dr. Francine Kaufman... “Nurses are preferable… but not allowing a vice principal or teacher to pinch hit is holding diabetic children back and imperiling their health… We have taught completely illiterate people how to technically deliver insulin …. It takes about four hours to train an adult.”

    Lopez, S. (November 23, 2008). Young diabetics at heart of school nurse dispute in Los Angeles Times.
    Retrieved November 23, 2008 from
    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la....column?page=1

    I am curious about your opinions on this one. Here we are in 2008 still trying to prove our value. Anyone know of any recent studies that demonstrate the value of having a school nurse?
  2. Visit  dianabay profile page

    About dianabay

    From 'California'; Joined Jun '08; Posts: 82; Likes: 61.

    24 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  Aneroo profile page
    2
    Delegation, while necessary to spread ourselves as thin as we can, also shows legislature that nurses aren't needed (even if they don't/won't recognize the education and constant assessment/follow up that happens with delegation).
    SunshineBaby and lindarn like this.
  4. Visit  dianabay profile page
    0
    Nice succint summary, Aneroo, and SO true!

    Diana
  5. Visit  SuesquatchRN profile page
    1
    lindarn likes this.
  6. Visit  dianabay profile page
    2
    Thanks, Suesquatch; missed that!
    SuesquatchRN and lindarn like this.
  7. Visit  Jolie profile page
    3
    Jeffrey Ehrlich [A parent, states]… “the idea that nurses are the only ones that can help diabetic kids manage their health is ridiculous…It's not rocket science." (Emphasis added).

    The next time this man has a health crisis, will he call a nurse or his child's elementary teacher?

    Dr. Francine Kaufman... “Nurses are preferable… but not allowing a vice principal or teacher to pinch hit is holding diabetic children back and imperiling their health… We have taught completely illiterate people how to technically deliver insulin …. It takes about four hours to train an adult.”

    Just think of all the time we waste in nursing school, spending days and even weeks learning about diabetes management and insulin administration. Four hours is all that's needed. Who knew? And why is this woman training illiterate people to deliver insulin? I personally think we should train illiterate people to take over education administration. They'd probably do a better job.

    I guess the State Nurse Practice Act means nothing to these people?
    TwinStars, Spidey's mom, and lindarn like this.
  8. Visit  dianabay profile page
    1
    Great point; and how many of these "illiterate" (and literate) people do we see in ER because they mismanage their insulin or because they have a flu and didn't adjust accordingly?

    Quite often, an experienced nurse can take one look at a kid and know if they are hypo or hyper, and will have acted before the teacher has even pricked the kid's finger.

    I have done diabetes education; I'd like to see the patient who "got it" in 4 hours. It usually takes that long just to teach about diet! And what about those who are poorly controlled despite being compliant?

    I don't know how long the degree for "Rocket Science" takes, but I went to school for 3 years-40 hours a week (no spring or winter break) and did a 12 month internship. And I am back in school for my BN.

    In most places, one can not think about a job as a diabetes educator without a BSN and a CDE as well. Apparently, all that education is for naught!
    lindarn likes this.
  9. Visit  Tippy-ta-ta profile page
    0
    hmm...but teachers don't need to know CPR or First Aid? But they can give insulin? Makes no sense.
  10. Visit  lindarn profile page
    6
    Quote from dianabay
    Great point; and how many of these "illiterate" (and literate) people do we see in ER because they mismanage their insulin or because they have a flu and didn't adjust accordingly?

    Quite often, an experienced nurse can take one look at a kid and know if they are hypo or hyper, and will have acted before the teacher has even pricked the kid's finger.

    I have done diabetes education; I'd like to see the patient who "got it" in 4 hours. It usually takes that long just to teach about diet! And what about those who are poorly controlled despite being compliant?

    I don't know how long the degree for "Rocket Science" takes, but I went to school for 3 years-40 hours a week (no spring or winter break) and did a 12 month internship. And I am back in school for my BN.

    In most places, one can not think about a job as a diabetes educator without a BSN and a CDE as well. Apparently, all that education is for naught!
    I have said it before, and I will say it again- no one ever died because they could not do long division, or diagram a sentence. But how many people (kids included( have died because there were not enough nurses to properly take care of them?

    Here in Spokane a few years ago, a public school class went on a field trip someplace (I do not remember) in the area. The school lunchroom packed lunches for all the kids to take.

    One little boy was deathly allergic to peanuts. There were notes on all of his school records. The teacher were also aware of his allergy. In spite of this, his lunch was packed with items that contained some form of peanuts. He was smart enough to look through his lunch to check for peanut products, and did not eat his PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICH, but did not see any peanuts in the cookie that was included in the lunch, so he ate it.

    Well, the cookie contained peanuts and he went into anaphylactic shock. The teachers had no idea what was wrong with him and delayed calling 911. To make a long story short, he died. A 9 year old boy who only needed someone to recognize what was wrong with him and administer his Epi pen when it became apparent that he was incapable of injecting himself because he went into shock too quickly.

    The family right fully sued. This is what happens when there is no nurse to assist or brief teachers on how to react in an emergency, and to check which of their students has medical issues when they are in class, and especially when they are away on field trips. And the importance of calling 911 immediately if they think that something is wrong. This was a completely avoidable, tragic death.

    I thought that this was important story in light of the resistance of the public and the schools to recognize the importance of nurses in the schools. This is an area that nurses should stress why nurses are needed in the school system and that we cannot be replaced by teachers with no medical training, and/or unlicensed individuals.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Spokane, Washington
  11. Visit  Tippy-ta-ta profile page
    2
    Quote from lindarn
    I have said it before, and I will say it again- no one ever died because they could not do long division, or diagram a sentence. But how many people (kids included( have died because there were not enough nurses to properly take care of them?

    Here in Spokane a few years ago, a public school class went on a field trip someplace (I do not remember) in the area. The school lunchroom packed lunches for all the kids to take.

    One little boy was deathly allergic to peanuts. There were notes on all of his school records. The teacher were also aware of his allergy. In spite of this, his lunch was packed with items that contained some form of peanuts. He was smart enough to look through his lunch to check for peanut products, and did not eat his PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICH, but did not see any peanuts in the cookie that was included in the lunch, so he ate it.

    Well, the cookie contained peanuts and he went into anaphylactic shock. The teachers had no idea what was wrong with him and delayed calling 911. To make a long story short, he died. A 9 year old boy who only needed someone to recognize what was wrong with him and administer his Epi pen when it became apparent that he was incapable of injecting himself because he went into shock too quickly.

    The family right fully sued. This is what happens when there is no nurse to assist or brief teachers on how to react in an emergency, and to check which of their students has medical issues when they are in class, and especially when they are away on field trips. And the importance of calling 911 immediately if they think that something is wrong. This was a completely avoidable, tragic death.

    I thought that this was important story in light of the resistance of the public and the schools to recognize the importance of nurses in the schools. This is an area that nurses should stress why nurses are needed in the school system and that we cannot be replaced by teachers with no medical training, and/or unlicensed individuals.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Spokane, Washington
    great point and it just reiterates the importance of having teachers trained in CPR and first aid as well.
    dianabay and lindarn like this.
  12. Visit  dianabay profile page
    1
    Well said! That would be a great response to the jouranalist who sees the issue solely as an attempt to protect our jobs. For me, it's about the recognition of our education, knowledge, and skills; it's about our VALUE to society. Something we seem to have to prove over and over......
    lindarn likes this.
  13. Visit  Flare profile page
    2
    This is now coming down the pike in NJ. Of course the school nurses in the state are lobbying hard against it. The bottom line is that if i delegate a take to a staff member, it is my license on the line. If the staff member gives an incorrect dosage or misinterprets symptoms or a blood glucose reading and the child gets hurt (or even of the child doesn't get hurt in this litigious society) it's will be me out looking for a new profession. Epi-pens i can somewhat go along with -but insulin and glucagon are two completely different animals. No thanks - no way.
    Valerie Salva and lindarn like this.
  14. Visit  dianabay profile page
    1
    Absolutely! When an adverse event occurs (and it will), whose license is on the line? Not the teacher's.
    lindarn likes this.


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