Broward County public schools (BCPS) is the sixth-largest school district in the nation and the second-largest in the state of Florida. The district is Florida’s first fully accredited school system since 1962, and has more than 271,500 students and approximately 175,000 adult students in 234 schools, centers, and technical colleges, and 88 charter schools.
To date, BCPS serves more than 450 students diagnosed with diabetes. Of the 450 students, approximately 76% have a diagnosis of type I diabetes. The remaining percentage of 24% have been diagnosed with type II diabetes.
In addition to this data, there has been a noticeable surge in the use of technology in the treatment of diabetes within the Broward County public schools district. Specifically, insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors (CGMs). Inclusion of these trainings have been implemented in the core orientation of nurses and health service technicians for each school. Diabetes education training is ongoing throughout the year for key stake holders.
Ensuring students with diabetes receive accommodations detailed in 504 plans is paramount to ensure every opportunity to learn equally with their peers is provided. Providing access to a nurse for students diagnosed with diabetes at school is enforced. Students have been shown to also be more active in their care of diabetes with the support of school nurses and health service technicians (HSTs) onsite during school hours to assist in their healthcare. This has led to an increased knowledge base regarding their diagnosis. Increased communication between healthcare providers and school staff members during school hours has also proven to increase student compliance regarding nutrition and medication while on school campus.
Collaboration with students, parents, healthcare providers, and school staff, including school nurses, has proven to not only increase communication among students, parents, healthcare providers, and school personnel, but also assists with increased compliance in closer monitoring and decreased deviations of blood sugars during school hours. The presence of nurses and health service technicians (HSTs) on school campuses has aided in decreased 911 calls while at school and ER (emergency room) visits from school.
Convincing statistics have revealed having nurses accessible to students with diabetes to advocate for these students has improved overall blood sugars, decreased school absences, and increased medication and nutrition compliance.
Although the fight against diabetes is ongoing, Broward County public school district is proud to be on the forefront in the battle against diabetes.
Note: This poster featured in virtual display only.