Local: Education

D.C. allows non-nurses to treat diabetic students after incident

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Photo - Staff members other than nurses will be trained to administer insulin shots in D.C. schools after a complaint was filed with the U.S. Department of Education. (Getty Images)
Staff members other than nurses will be trained to administer insulin shots in D.C. schools after a complaint was filed with the U.S. Department of Education. (Getty Images)
Local,DC,Education,Lisa Gartner

D.C. officials introduced emergency guidelines to allow any school staff with the proper training to give medicine to students with diabetes or asthma.

D.C. Public Schools came under fire in July for allegedly forcing a third-grade girl to stay home, and then labeling her truant, whenever the school nurse was absent or at required conferences.

Nathaniel Beers, DCPS' special education chief, told the D.C. Council that he was advised he could not train employees other than nurses to administer diabetes medications. Health Department officials said this was a misunderstanding, and that they would train three or more staffers in affected schools by the start of the school year, Monday.

Adopted as an "emergency rule" on July 31, the interim health director said he expects to make the temporary guidelines final and permanent by the end of August.

The amendment allows students to self-administer insulin shots and other medications for diabetes, asthma and anaphylaxis. When students can't treat themselves, the amendment specifies that a school employee who has received training can step in.

It also ensures that schools provide medical waste containers with locks.

lgartner@washingtonexaminer.com

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Lisa Gartner

Examiner Staff Writer - education
The Washington Examiner