California Nurses Put the Brakes on Training Non-Medical School Staff


By: Linda von Wartburg

Recently, as the result of the settlement of a 2005 lawsuit filed by parents and the ADA, California schools were told that they must have staff available, trained but not necessarily licensed, to help diabetic students with their shots, monitoring, and other needs.

The settlement was intended to address California’s very low nurse-to-student ratio, the result of which is that many diabetic students receive no care at all during school.

Now, however, it looks like a fix may be a long time coming. The California School Nurses Organization has thrown a wrench into the works by advising school nurses to seek legal guidance before training non-medical staff to provide diabetes-related care. The nurses insist that because insulin mistakes can be fatal, only licensed personnel should administer insulin.

They are concerned, they say, about losing their licenses if they train unlicensed school staffers to administer insulin. And they report that non-medical staff, who have the same concerns, are equally reluctant to be trained.




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