Diabetes medication and equipment

Taking into account what is reasonable and safe in an individual case, schools are expected to support students to develop independence in managing their own health.

Classroom teachers can volunteer to assist students with the specific health care procedures associated with diabetes, for example blood glucose testing, and in these circumstances they should receive training in these specific health care procedures.

Most students can prick their own finger and measure their blood glucose level (BGL) using their own blood glucose meter. Wherever possible a student should be allowed to test in class if they wish . This also means students don't miss class work and their class peers can become aware of and used to what is involved in looking after diabetes.

If it is not possible for blood glucose testing to occur in the student's classroom, agreed procedures to minimise potential risks should be outlined in the student’s health care plan. This could include, locating the student's class in a room close to the office or arranging for trained staff to come to the student's classroom at agreed times to assist with and/or perform the blood glucose testing.

Younger students will require a higher level of support and assistance with blood glucose testing and administration of insulin than older and more mature students. Additional information is available regarding a decision to allow a student to self-medicate and principals may wish to seek medical advice from the student's diabetes team.

Where students self-administer insulin, consideration needs to be given to providing an appropriate place that they can access easily, is discreet, gives the student privacy and allows for adequate supervision.

High school students can be given greater flexibility to carry their equipment and administer their insulin in a place where they feel comfortable as a normal part of their diabetes care.

Very young students will require help with blood glucose monitoring and, if using an insulin pump, will require assistance from school staff at each meal beak to help enter information into the pump. Primary and high school students are usually independent in managing their insulin pump.

It is the responsibility of the parent/carer to ensure that all diabetes equipment is prepared and ready for use each school day. This includes setting the lancet or needle in the blood glucose testing and/or insulin delivery device. The student's individual health care plan should document an agreed procedure for managing the remote possibility of a needle or lancet coming loose from a device. School staff should not be required to change lancets or needles on devices. The student's parent/carer should be contacted to come to the school and do this where possible.

It is important that schools keep accurate daily records of BGL readings and administration of insulin. A communication diary can be useful for primary school students. For older students who are self-managing their diabetes, their health care plan should outline how records will be kept.

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