Page 12 - Scene Magazine February 2022 47-02
P. 12

  Education Scene
BY HAILEY BLACK, BSN, RN Community Public Health Director
   When a person pictures a school nurse, they might envision a relic of the past with the crisp white nurse’s cap and a thermometer in hand, at the ready with band-aids. The current reality of health needs in schools is much more complex. “In the United States, more than 40%
of school-aged children and adolescents have at least one chronic health con- dition, such as asthma, obesity, other physical conditions, and behavior/ learning problems,” according to the CDC. This means that schools share in the responsibility for caring for children with chronic illnesses during the school day.
organ problems and coma. Diabetes is increasing in school age children. When a child does not have well controlled diabetes, they can have trouble focusing in class, or be frequently sick and miss class and experience hospitalizations.
 Enter the School Wellness Program of Calhoun County Public Health De- partment. The CCPHD School Well- ness Program works with Battle Creek Public Schools, Harper Creek Commu- nity Schools, and the Lakeview School District to place registered nurses in our local schools. These nurses have
the shared goal of keeping kids healthy and in school, ready to learn. One of the major ways they can do that is by pro- viding case management to students and families with these chronic illnesses.
The school nurse is an important partner for a student with diabetes. Young students will see the school nurse every day for assistance with counting carbohydrates, checking blood sugar, and getting insulin. What may begin as a scary diagnosis and infor- mation overload turns into a trusting relationship with the school nurse and a reliable partner at the school. Caregivers feel secure knowing the school nurse is there, knows their child, and has exper- tise in their child’s condition.
Students with Diabetes Have Nursing Assistance
Diabetes is an illness that makes
it difficult for the body to regulate its blood sugar levels. This can cause fa- tigue, difficulty concentrating, and upset stomach. Severe problems can lead to
The school nurse works with the school and the family to make sure
that managing the student’s diabetes is doable. She will work with the family to see what challenges they are having and help with a plan to address them. These could be trouble getting to appoint- ments, paying for medicine, or language barriers. She will work with the school so they understand the student’s illness. This may be helping the teacher in iden- tifying the student’s symptoms of low blood sugar, so they can get it back on track and be able to focus on learning and having fun.
 Eventually, the nurse will help
the growing student learn to manage their own blood sugars. They will be able to listen to their own body, count their carbs, and take their own insu-
lin. CCPHD school nurses have even arranged peer support groups, where students get to connect with people their age having the same experiences.
The School Wellness Program pro- vides more than band-aids – it’s a whole community approach to education.
References: npao/diabetes.htm chronicconditions.htm partments/public_health_department/ school_wellness_program.php

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