Diabetic Concerns for Children

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There's only one registered nurse for every six schools in Leon County. As a result some of the schools are relying on health assistants or even secretaries to administer care, but some of the care includes administering shots, in particular insulin shots for diabetic children.

Lorri Pilkington, a registered nurse and coordinator of Health Services in Leon County, said, "The real problem is that we're not there and we're requiring non-medical people to be making medical decisions, and that's really frightening."

Ramona Fatkin has been a school health assistant at Buck Lake Elementary for seven years. She is not a registered nurse. Fatkin says she has the proper training, but still understands why parents might be concerned.

"I feel that my experience through the years certainly qualifies. Someone inexperienced I would definitely have a concern for that."

And that concern is why school health officials are finding ways to be safer when giving insulin shots. One way is by using an insulin pen.

Pilkinton said, "It has a cartridge in there and a dial that you can actually dial the units of the insulin you get. It is a much safer way to give the insulin."

Pilkington says they're trying to cover all of the basis by educating not only those administering the insulin shots, but educating the children on how to help themselves.

School staff members that administer the insulin shots go through a school health assistant training program.