Diabetes mellitus (diabetes) is a chronic condition in which the bodys capacity to deliver or react to the hormone insulin is inhibited. This results in the irregular breakdown of carbohydrates, and elevated or decreased glucose in the body. The side effects of high and low glucose can cause many serious, even life threatening conditions (Selekman, 2002). The prevalence of diabetes in school age children continues to rise and that means there are more diabetic students in schools.
The increased population requires an increase in the amount of people who must care for these students. The role of the school nurse is of utmost importance for the diabetic student. The nurse not only cares for the child but must educate the staff in regard to the child’s condition. In addition to educating the staff it is the nurses responsibility to put into place an Individual Health Plan (IHP), an Emergency Care Plan (ECP) and a 504 if warranted. All children are entitled to an education regardless of health status and it is the duty of the school nurse to ensure the diabetic student is in an environment in which they are able to learn and have their health needs met.
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The care of diabetic children in the school setting is widely discussed topic. This review discusses the benefits of having a nurse in school for diabetic students. The literary review was done using the terms diabetic children, school, nurse and school age child to utilize articles from 2012 through present. The articles focus on the child and parents experience for the diabetic student in school.
The benefits of having a nurse to care for the child while in school and the laws that are associated with diabetes in the school setting. Background information on diabetes was obtained from the Centers For Disease Control and the American Diabetes Foundation for Children. The laws that pertain to the diabetic school age child were acquired form the Pennsylvania code and from the Department of Health.
History While the incidents of adult onset diabetes has been declining in recent years, juvenile diabetes, Type 1 and 2, has been on the rise (CDC, 2017). Diabetes dates back thousands of years. The diagnosis of diabetes consisted of doctors observing the amount of urinating a person did, and if copious amounts of sweet smelling urine were produced the doctor would diagnose diabetes. There was no understanding of the disease process or how to treat the condition.
Fast forward to the 17th century when Dr. Thomas Willis would taste his patients urine to diagnosis diabetes. He found that if their urine was sweet tasting they has diabetes (Roberts, 2015). This diagnostic technique remained the same until the twentieth century.
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