Problems with the school nurse

My son is 6 years old and in 1st. grade. Today he went to the nurse at the normal times to check his blood sugar and for his insulin shot. He went at 2:00 p.m his normal time and his blood sugar was 109. About 25 mins later at 2:25 he told his teacher he felt low so he went to the nurse again. She tested him and he was 91. She told him that he should only come down at his scheduled time and that he shouldn't be coming down there that often. So don't come down here anymore today. The day before he came to the nurse 8 times because he felt low and high when he's usually only down there 5 times. Of course most of the times he went he wasn't really low or high he can't tell usually. When he got home from school at 3:40 his blood sugar was 60 so his blood sugar had been dropping. If he went to the nurse one more time they would have caught it and he wouldn't have gotten that low. I asked him "Why didn't you go back to the nurse?" and he said with tears in his eyes "She said not to come anymore today." This is so ridiculous. I am going to the school to have a meeting with her tomorrow. This isn't the first problem we had with the nurse. Have any of you ever had any problems with the school nurse?

OMG...what an idiot! YOU need to have a chat with that "nurse" asap!! What a thing to if lows happen on schedule!! GEEZ!!!!
He's 6! Besides, he FELT check his bg! That's the whole idea of checking, to NOT guess!

I am most definitely having a chat with her. This is just ridiculous he needs to feel safe at school and right now I’m not so sure he is. I hope this problem gets resolved soon.

In my opinion, he should be able to test in place. If he is feeling low, walking to the nurse is dangerous. This also keeps him in the classroom more. If he finds he is low (whatever your threshold) the nurse should come to him. This has been our Agreement since Kindergarten.

I have a type 1 first grader as well. e have a 504 in place that pretty much entitles him to go to the nurse whenever he feels low/high. By law they have to accommodate our requests. I would recommend a meeting with the nurse and include the principal and getting a 504 in place. If the accommodations requested are within reason, the school can't argue with a 504, they have to abide by it.

Hopefully you can solve this issue with the nurse easily and maybe its just a miscommunication. I have found it to be to my benefit to work with the nurse as best as I can. They are really our lifesaver in the schools and someone we rely on.

Our 1st grade son is checked at snack time (10:20-ish) lunch time (12:15ish) and at 3:15 before he leaves the school and anytime he feels low or high. We have him on a Medtronic Mini-med and a DEXCOM CGM. The CGM really helps with highs and lows and has proven to be a useful tool for the school staff in assessing his blood sugars and where they are trending.

hi there, I would also suggest if he is willing for him to test in the classroom for these situations, he can be very subtle about it, he could also keep juice or glucose tabs at his desk to treat his low without having to interrupt his classroom time, starting him early with self reliance here also, obviously keeping his classroom teacher in the loop without making it a big to do. my son was diag at 10 and self conscious and never wanted to test in the classroom lucky for him and me he was pretty stable at school and never really had the need but with your son so young he may feel comfortable with this perhaps only needing to go to the nurse for shots?? either way this is a stressful time for you and for your little guy he may feel low when he is nervous, tired or dehydrated but better to get him used to testing when he suspects something is up even though he is young having a sense that he is part of his diabetes team and in control of his body will build his confidence. best of luck to you both, tread easy with the nurse, educate her and his teacher and empower your boy and yourself blessings, amy

Sorry to hear about that. I agree with the comment that he should be allowed to check in the classroom. My son is in high school now and when he was first diagnosed in third grade in elementary school I felt he was spending too much time in the nurse's office- his grades were dropping. In my situation it was the nurse who was nervous and had him come check about 4 times per day. Also, there have been times where I am sure my son was manipulating the system and "feeling low" when he wanted to avoid something in class or was just bored. My advice is to get his teacher on board with checking in the classroom so he doesn't miss instruction. The teacher may be agreeable to keeping a juice box or snack in the room in case he is mildly low. I found some teachers were very helpful and agreeable to this and others who preferred he go to the nurse to treat. Of course he should be able to go to the nurse when he is low but also he should not be walking there alone. I hope you resolve the situation amicably as he is only in first grade you have several more years he will be in the care of this nurse. Good luck.

I am heartbroken over this! I never had a problem with any school nurses. We have been so fortunate. With everything parents and children with T1D have to deal with, it is just too much to have to deal with a dangerous situation such as you described. Sometimes our nights are sleepless. Should we now spend every waking moment our children are in school worrying that they will be looked after properly? Soon your son will be able to do his blood tests on his own whenever he feels the need. My son was 7 when he was diagnosed and from that time he always did his own tests. Good luck!

That sounds like a great idea. I didn't really think of that since he was only in school half a day for Kindergarten he only was checked once. Thank you for the tip :)

Thanks so much for your input. I am having a meeting tomorrow about our 504 plan with the nurse and principal. i really do hope that this issue will be resolved because I feel like the school nurse should be someone to rely on and right now I can't. He isn't on a Pump or a CGM. I'm looking into getting a CGM right now. We had problems with the pump so we took him off of it.

Thanks you so much Amy. He is very self conscious about his diabetes he always tells me I want to be like everyone else. So I will definitely have to work on him being willing to test in the classroom.I think the reason he is experiencing unstable blood sugar may be that he is just nervous because this is his first year in all day school.

Thank you Angie. His teacher is very nice and very caring about him when it comes to diabetes so I definitely think that she will be okay with him checking in the room and keeping juice there. He never goes to the nurse alone his cousin is in his class so he goes with him.

Thank you so much for the caring words Joey. It means a lot. We are working on getting him to start testing himself so hopefully next year in 2nd. grade he will be able to.

Most of the problems I had during Eric's first year at the school were related to the nurse not being detail-oriented enough about keeping records, but in several instances that lack of record-keeping led to Eric getting overdosed or dosed twice, so it was a pretty serious issue. I liked the woman well enough, she just wasn't able to do the job, and in the end she got let go by the district for reasons I've never been able to ascertain (but I'm guessing it had to do with too many medication errors). Even as not-terribly-competent as she was, she'd never have done THIS. I find it unfathomable that a nurse would tell a child who experiences his lows "don't come." She may be thinking he is malingering but she needs to know that it is NOT okay to deny him access to her care — such as it is — if he feels he needs it. Lows can happen fast, and if she thinks it's okay to wait till he passes out rather than have him come to her when he feels it starting, she needs a verbal spanking.

I gave my school nurse a 10-page booklet that laid out what I expected to happen and when, and it very clearly says that my son should be checked ANY time he says he feels low or "hungry" (which for him is often how he expresses/experiences his lows).

I would also suggest you find out who the 504 plan administrator for the school is. If it's not the nurse herself, then you need to alert this person that the plan needs updating to clarify that yes, the nurse IS expected to care for your child whenever HE says she needs care, and not just on the "scheduled" times. If it IS the nurse, then she gets this news from you but also you need to talk to whomever her immediate supervisor is — whether that's the school principal or some other administrator — and express your concern that the nurse may not be handling your child's case appropriately.

Thanks for all the information Elizabeth it was very helpful. I am having a meeting with the principal and nurse tomorrow about his 504 plan.

The nurse at our school actually just asked me if I wanted his supplies in his classroom. I am hesitant only because if their happened to be an emergency the nurses office is the first place everyone would take him - and no supply kit would be there. The only solution to this is to have 2 supply kits at school:one in the classroom and one in the nurses office. Haven't really thought through the logistics of this. What do you all do?

DS is now in Middle School. I provide emergency supplies (tabs, juice, gel, granola bars, test strips) in EVERY CLASSROOM he is in plus the health office. They are in bright pink pencil boxes and can't be missed! This is a small cost to eliminate the worry of someone not being able to find what he needs. When he was in elementary, it was the health office, his classroom and we stocked the yard duty packs with extras.

Hi Kate, another tidbit of advise that even with our best intentions doesn't always work out! my son was older at diag so easier to regulate I suspect. we always strived to keep him steady at school by giving him a breakfast with some fat and protein and perhaps a tad bit less insulin on school days. since pumping this has been easier we can lower his basal during school. even with lunch something with fat and protein of course this doesn't guarantee stability but it can help a bit, you are probably already doing this but I just thought I would mention it. hope your little guy is settling, school start up is challenging for everyone, but having to worry about all this makes it so much harder, we understand completely. trust me it does get better with age and with giving your son responsibility and accolades for taking good care of himself. new changes with age, my son will be driving soon and starts a job tonight, my bad he hasn't mentioned his diabetes yet but this is all on him as far as outside the home, I hope he mentions it tonight, I know he is stressed about the whole thing so I haven't pushed the issue. best to you, and happy Friday, your little guy all to yourself for the weekend, so hard giving up control. you are doing a great job. blessings, amy

Thank you Amy that really means a lot to me. I had a meeting with the school nurse today and it went pretty well I am having another meeting on Monday with the Principal and the nurse so hopefully by next week it will be resolved.

I'm sorry you are going through this! My daughter has had no problems with the school nurse, but: A. She is in middle school and manages most T1D-related things independently. and B. We've been exceptionally lucky. (I hear all kinds of horror stories like yours from other parents. T1D is difficult enough to deal with, without having to fight our kids' schools!)