Only Nurses Can Give Insulin?
Yesterday, November 21, the California Superior Court overturned an earlier agreement between the California Department of Education and the American Diabetes Association allowing unlicensed school personnel to administer insulin.
The California Nurses Organization obviously was quite pleased with the decision as it now appears that only licensed nurses will be allowed to administer insulin injections in California public schools (except in cases where either the individual self-administers or a parent administers).
What do you think about this?
Our own opinion is that this not only severely limits choices that a school and parent has for medical treatment, but it also binds schools to another layer of fiscal costs in a time when our schools (especially in California) are truly suffering.
In our own school, nurses are only on campus and available about 20 minutes each day during lunch. That’s all! Also, the actual nurse who arrives changes each day and we do not have a clear understanding of their schedule so we don’t know who to expect on any given day. Though some of the nurses have been fantastic – caring for our son and another child with diabetes and being proactive to ensure they eat everything in their lunch – others have been downright irresponsible. We have had a number of occasions where my wife (who has been showing up to train all these nurses) has had to hunt the nurse down or has had to keep them there in the office rather than running out “to a meeting”. It has been clear that if my wife was not there these individuals would have left campus without administering insulin.
The reason why there is such a turnover of nurses and limited coverage has not clearly been explained to us, but it is clearly a result of the difficult financial state of our district (the largest in the State) along with a rise in diabetes incidences.
Though we certainly appreciate a well-trained and caring nurse, it has become very evident that just because one holds a nursing license it does not explicitly equate to “well-trained” and “caring”. We would actually be much better off training a single, responsible, caring individual on how to calculate dosage and how to administer insulin rather than rely on the bevy of inconsistent nurses we have now.
Our own view is that this decision is simply a means of maintaining job security for the nurses rather than in any interest for the well-being of our children. Given that there is clearly a lack of adequate nurses in our country these days, this decision can only be seen as narrow and wrong.
I am sure that both the American Diabetes Association and the California Department of Education will be fighting this. We should lend our support.
Read more here: California School Nurses Org Applauds Court Ruling