October 7, 2011
Why School In-Service Presentations Are So Important
By Danny Moore, RN, Outreach Nurse
It’s a stressful thing, being responsible for someone with a chronic medical condition. It’s even more stressful when you have no idea what that condition is or how to treat it.
As a nurse, I’ve received tons of calls from my wife and her fellow teachers asking about information on everything from asthma to seizures. They’d get a new student with a chronic condition, and would be given no information on what to do in case of an emergency. I can only guess what their imaginations are conjuring up when they hear some of these diagnoses, but I have a pretty good clue what their first thoughts are when they hear the words “bleeding disorder.” There are so many examples, both in print and on TV, of reporters quoting “all they need is a paper cut.” To those of us that deal with bleeding disorders on a daily basis this is absurd. Nevertheless, the inaccuracy has made its way into society. We not only need to correct this misinformation, but we also need to calm the fears of those responsible for our children.
It is possible for someone to go on the internet and learn the basic information about a bleeding disorder, but everybody bleeds differently. It’s so important to help a teacher/coach/school nurse know what to look for specifically for each individual. It’s also important to know the signs of life-threatening issues and what to do in those cases. That’s where your HoG nurse can help. We all have experience with bleeding disorders, as well as other chronic conditions. We can help the school staff to know what to do in case of a bleeding event, how to recognize bleeds, when to call the parent and when to call 911. We also want to let them know about any other conditions affecting the child, so be sure to let your HoG nurse know. When the teachers and coaches feel more comfortable, it opens new avenues of learning and creates a much better learning environment.
I have personally given school in-services where the coaches were too scared to let the student participate in PE. The last thing we want is for our children to feel punished just because they have a bleeding disorder. There are only a few things that they can’t do. With a little education, we can help everyone realize just how much they CAN do.