Jump to content

Need advice on helping kids live with diabetes

sunny1973 sunny1973 (New) New


I am a new school nurse. I really love my new job. I'm working at a primary school & with over 500 kids. There are many diabetic children. The older ones (7-11) are having a hard time feeling different & tell me how much they "hate" coming to the nurse everyday. Of course, their feelings are only natural but I wish I could help them through this rough time. I have used conversation techniques learned from nursing school, pediatrics & psych studies and these work well most of the time. However, there are a few kids having a particularly hard time. (They are also involved with the school counselor but do not open up to her in the same way).

Can anyone recommend a website, book(s) or offer some advice on how to handle these kids? I want to enter this school season better prepared.


PS - In case you haven't guessed, I'm a newby in need of a mentor! :)

First - the need for a mentor. You are so right!! Does your district have an experienced nurse that would be willing to be there for you? Are you a member of your state school nurse association? - they may have a mentoring program. Also, most states are holding their new school nurse orientations in the next 3 weeks and it is an excellent place to network and find out about local resources for issues such as the one you are describing. We have many nurses in this state who go after working a year or two.

Check out the National Association of School nurses web site for the link to your state organization http://www.nasn.org

Another resource is the school nurse listserv, which is kind of like this bulletin board, but in email form. Many states have their own school nurse listservs now too.

schlrn-l Subscribe at:


Much of the research coming out now finds the more concientious a child is to their diabetic regimen, the more likely they are to be depressed. To look up the articles go to PubMed at the National Library of Medicine Website and do a search


But I would look at websites for diabetes, juvenile diabetes and check these specialty organizations in your local area for assistance.

I just did a google search http://www.google.com using diabetes cope child as the search terms and got great hits!!

Would their parents allow you to have a group? You have to get permission to reveal the identity of the diabetics to each other. Some schools have had great success having a local ballplayer or celebrity with diabetes come in.

Good luck!!!

I would also get in touch with the different Endocrinologist's Offices. They usually have a nurse educator, dietition, social worker, etc on staff that you can use as resources. I've found these professionals to be extremely helpful with the children. They have sent me carb charts, group activities, articles, and so many other things that I am so grateful for. The kids also now have a friend in common with you. I have the "80 to 120 club" after school. We all eat our 15-30 carb snacks, drink diet soda or water, and talk ir okay games. There is a guidance counselor that sits in with us, and she's learned a real lot about diabetes. It's a good thing too, because she was just diagnosed with diabetes this summer! Of course, I don't get paid for the extra time, but the intrinsic reward is worth more!

This topic is now closed to further replies.