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Helping a student thrive with VNA’s School Health services

July 6, 2022 | VNA Staff | Story

Visiting Nurse Association’s (VNA’s) School Health services ensure healthy students while allowing faculty and administrators to teach and lead. This is one student’s story. 

Receiving a diagnosis

In one of the schools served by VNA nurses, a student received a diabetes diagnosis in the first grade. Since his diagnosis, his father passed away after a long illness. As a result, this caused stress on the family while his mother worked full time.

Now in sixth grade, the student moderately controlled his diabetes using an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor. That is until the school received word after a long weekend that he was in the ICU for severely high blood sugar. His insulin pump had not been operating for a few days. His mother had been working and was not aware that he was ill or that his equipment had failed.

boy sitting with insulin pump

Establishing a plan of action

Once the student was released from the hospital and cleared to return to school, the school staff and VNA nurse held a parent meeting to develop a specific plan to monitor his blood sugars while at school. After several weeks without the insulin pump, only utilizing insulin injections, the group met again to evolve the plan. They identified barriers and possible solutions to help him manage his blood sugars. 

Due to limited hours in the school, the VNA nurse focused on reinforcing education with the student and provided diabetic education training to the health assistant and school staff. The nurse also connected the family to a diabetes clinic for additional education and support. Everyone’s ultimate goal was to have the student remain at this school with his diabetes managed consistently.  

One month later, the group reconvened to review the action plan. The student was feeling much better, his blood sugars were more controlled, and he was participating in school activities. He continues to do well and manage his diabetes with the support of the VNA school nurse, school staff and his mother. 

VNA’s School Health Services


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