Advocacy Success Story: A full time school nurse saves a life.
I want to write to you to thank you for the information you sent me last year regarding development of a school food allergy management program at my son's school. He started first grade on September 2 of this year with a complete food allergy and asthma management plan in place. On September 12 he developed signs of anaphylaxis on the school yard immediately after lunch. Thanks to the rapid implementation of the plan by the certified school nurse, my son was given his Epi-pen, his asthma nebulizer was started, and then he was taken by ambulance to the nearest Emergency Room. He was sick for a few hours, but by the next day he was as good as new. (I am still recovering, however! :-)
I remember reading that you want feedback regarding your materials. Well, I can't thank you enough. Your information helped me work with the school to develop a comprehensive plan that worked when it was placed into action.
And, by the way, your information on school nurses and their importance also was great. Last year, while my son was in kindergarten, there was a certified school nurse at the school only three days per week, with the other days covered by LPNs (primarily because of special needs kids being at the school). When my son's IHP was presented to me last year for my approval, I approved it, but noted *in writing* that I approved it with reservation due to the lack of an RN at the school each day, and I felt this was necessary for high risk children to have a nurse available for ready assessment. I found out later in the school year that funding had been approved for a full time Certified School Nurse. It was this new, well qualified, Certified School Nurse that was on duty when my son had his allergic reaction. You can bet that I will be sending a letter to the school board as well as key school administrators thanking them for this decision.
I think your literature gave me the knowledge and confidence to pursue my concerns in writing, as I mentioned to you, plus I worked with the supervising Certified School Nurse last year in vocalizing my concerns about the inadequacy of the staffing. She later told me that she continued to lobby through the school year in order to justify and get approved the full time RN staffing. I may have only played a small role in the events that triggered the approval of the full time school nurse staffing, but I do know they realized that I knew what my son's rights were, as well as what the school's liabilities were, regarding the management of a potential emergency. I wouldn't doubt if this helped move things along in some way.
Sincerely, LM Oct. 97
The world endures solely by virtue of the breath of school children. (Talmud)